Calls for watchdog to protect Lakenham Sports and Leisure Club

Civic watchdogs have been urged to add another historic building to a register of locations they think should be protected from the bulldozer, Lakenham Sports and Leisure Club.

The Norwich Society has launched a bid to help prevent Norwich's heritage from being lost and has spent the past three years drawing up a list of the buildings and landmarks around Norwich worth saving.

The society has drawn up the list in an attempt to prevent the fate which befell the Earl of Leicester pub from happening to other buildings.

To the dismay of many, the pub, in Dereham Road, was knocked down in 2005 to make way for flats, despite a last ditch effort to get it listed by English Heritage.

To prevent a repeat, the society has joined forces with City Hall conservation offices to get other sites considered worth saving locally listed.

While such a list will not be binding when it comes to applications for planning permission, it would mean members of a planning committee would need to take the status into account when making decisions.

The society has, over the past week, held an exhibition at The Forum showing photographs of many of the buildings its volunteers have identified.

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Buildings were scored over five criteria, townscape, architecture, history, community and condition, and had to score at least eight points across those criteria to make the final list.

Among those on the list are The Pavilion in Sloughbottom Park, Wensum Junior School in Turner Road, The Perseverance pub in Adelaide Street, Mile Cross Methodist Church in Aylsham Road and Earlham Library in Colman Road.

But Vicky Manthorpe, administrator for the Norwich Society, said another city building had repeatedly been suggested by visitors to an exhibition detailing its proposals.

She said: 'We've had a lot of people commenting and the exhibition has proven very popular so far. One which keeps coming up which isn't currently on the list is the Lakenham Sports and Leisure Centre.

'That is something which really does concern people and given that feedback, that's something we will revisit. It's not in a good state at the moment, but it's obviously important to people.'

The site of the sports centre, off Cricket Ground Road, is one which has caused controversy, because of a proposal to build 65 homes and allotments there.

The Norwich Society exhibition continues at The Forum until 5pm tomorrow as part of the H Factor programme of events, exploring Norfolk's heritage.

Do you think the sports centre should be protected? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email