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Former Lakenham cricket pavilion looks set for demolition

PUBLISHED: 06:30 26 August 2014

Lakenham Sports and Leisure Centre - formerly the Lakenham Cricket Pavilion - looks set for demolition. Photo: Nick Butcher.

Lakenham Sports and Leisure Centre - formerly the Lakenham Cricket Pavilion - looks set for demolition. Photo: Nick Butcher.

Archant © 2009

Work to knock down one of Norwich’s former sporting landmarks could get under way within weeks.

Norwich City Council’s planning committee last year turned down plans for the old Lakenham Sports and Social Club site – once the home of Norfolk cricket.

Serruys Property Company, which wanted to build 75 homes on the land off Carshalton Road appealed against the decision.

A planning inspector last year allowed that appeal and granted permission.

The reasons given by the council in turning down the application were that the loss of the former cricket pavilion would be “detrimental” to the “local distinctiveness” of Lakenham, that there was not adequate compensation for the loss of open space and that it was likely to increase traffic.

But planning inspector Tim Wood said: “Although some opinions expressed state that the building is pleasing and of some merit, I consider that it does not display any particular aesthetic qualities, but agree that it stands out in the local area as it is different to other buildings.

“There is no suggestion that the pavilion played any significant part in the history of county cricket and whilst I can understand that a fan of cricket may feel some attachment to a familiar ground and pavilion, this does not bestow historic significance on the building.”

And now, Hopkins Homes – which will build the new houses – has informed Norwich City Council it wants to start demolition, including the pavilion.

The company has applied to Norwich City Council to check whether “prior approval” is needed for the method of demolition.

In documents lodged with City Hall, Hopkins Homes states that it hopes to start demolition this Friday, with the work set to last six months.
It will be up to the council to decide whether prior approval is needed, or if the developers can just go ahead.

The redevelopment will also feature allotments, a playground and a five-a-side pitch.

Campaigners had tried to save 
the pavilion, while Stephen Fry
 took to Twitter to say that knocking down the pavilion was ‘sacrilege’.

What do you think about the plans? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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