Developers behind plans to replace the defunct Pinebanks sports centre have been warned they will need to provide facilities to match those that were previously at the site.

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"From our point of view, if they didn’t adequately replace the facilities, then development would be unacceptable."

Phil Courtier, Broadland District Council head of planning.

As previously reported, developers plan to build 240 new homes at the site off Harvey Lane, Thorpe St Andrew, and a further 50, along with new sporting facilities, at nearby Griffin Lane.

But Broadland District Council head of planning Phil Courtier has said development would be unacceptable were the new facilities not equal to those lost when the site closed in 2008.

Speaking after a meeting with developers, Mr Courtier said: “Developers said they will provide something similar to Pinebanks. From our point of view, if they didn’t adequately replace the facilities, then development would be unacceptable.”

Sport England are also being consulted about the plans, and have listed what they want catered for, which has caused concern that their requests cannot be fully met.

Thorpe St Andrew town and district councillor Nigel Shaw referred to Sport England’s wishes at a town council meeting on Monday, saying: “They (Sport England) just listed so many sports, sports that I’ve never seen played in Thorpe St Andrew.”

Mr Shaw added: “We (Thorpe St Andrew Town Council) want what the people want, it would be pointless to say, ‘put in a hurling pitch’, for example.

“But we would want the majority of facilities to be reproduced.”

Nick Boulter, of Sport England, said: “Our starting point is to look for like-for-like provision.

“The developers would need to present robust explanations and evidence as to why they weren’t providing such provision.

“There is pressure on existing facilities in the area, and a need for pitch provision.”

The site was previously owned by Norwich Union, now Aviva, but closed three years ago, leaving sports clubs without a home. Since then it has had several owners.

A spokesman for developers Ocubis said: “Exactly what could be provided at Griffin Lane is currently subject to consultation.

“We will continue working with those concerned to determine the community’s needs and will look at the full range of uses that may benefit the greatest proportion of the population of the area.

“Once this research and consultation has progressed we will present the proposals at a public exhibition.”

What do you think? Write the Evening News at Letters, Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

8 comments

  • You simply can't trust these developers, they now look at these councils as a soft touch, oh yes they will make all the agreements, then they simply renege on them, just like Queens Hill and many others.

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    John L Norton

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

  • Pinebanks was never a facility for the people of Broadland. It was basicallya private facility for the employees of Aviva. A new facility open to the public is surely an improvement and Broadland council should be careful that they do not chase off the goose that lays the golden egg

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    Brian the Snail

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

  • Quite right Mr Cooper - Carrow Road due to be renamed as 'St Paul's Cathedral'

    Report this comment

    Lord Horn

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • Sport...Once a hobby...then and Industry...now a Religion !

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

  • When I was chairman of Sprowston Town Council developers promised cash for new playground equipment, in return for planning permission. They built the houses, took directors salaries and went bankrupt before we could get the cash. Never trust developers.

    Report this comment

    Stationerystill

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

  • On a previous report it reads as if the town council is now backing the developer. The same report also mentions the developer building new town council premises.

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    king123

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • I find it very difficult to believe that anyone without a vested interest in the housing development could argue for a huge faceless development in favour of retaining the sports facility and surrounding natural area (or at least as much as possible. I would also like to point out that the town council's position moved considerably in favour of the developers around the same time it was announced that the developers would provide them with new accommodation. Though maybe that's just a happy coincidence.

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    king123

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • quote from Nick Boulter, of Sport England, said: “Our starting point is to look for like-for-like provision. Reality check 2012 recession despite assurances from our Government we are not in one. We all know money is in developing housing not sports facilities. Take a look at how many times Norwich Sports Village closed and re-opened under a different name.

    Report this comment

    chebram71

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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