Lakenham homes plan revived

Plans to build homes on a former Norwich sports club site have been revived after developers came up with a fresh scheme.

Proposals to build more than 80 homes at the former Lakenham Sports and Leisure Centre site were put forward last December, but met opposition from families living nearby.

The proposals at that time, coming after the site had stood empty for more than three years, also included the possibility of a sports centre or a care centre on part of the site.

But families raised concerns over the loss of public open space and Norwich City Council removed the scheme from its site allocations plan - which is a blueprint for where development will be allowed around Norwich in the years ahead.

However, at a meeting of Norwich City Council this week, it emerged that revised proposals have been put forward for the site, which is off Cricket Ground Road.

And councillors on the city council's sustainable development panel have recommended that the authority's cabinet puts the scheme out for consultation and asks the public for their views on whether the site is suitable for such a development.

The new scheme does not include a sports centre or care centre. Instead it would be a minimum of 65 homes on the northern part of the site and public open space to the south, which would probably be allotments.

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The proposals have been drawn up by planning consultants Lanpro Ltd on behalf of scrap metal entrepreneur Andre Serruys, who owns the site.

But Simon Wright, Norwich South MP, said he was disappointed to see the scheme - along with one for a housing development to the west of Bluebell Road - back in the mix after they were previously removed from the site allocations plan.

Mr Wright said: 'I am disappointed they seem to be back in the mix because there was a strong sense locally that both those sites being taken out was a positive move.

'I would urge people to have their say when it goes out for consultation because it is really important that people make their views known.'

The council's site allocations plan, which will be submitted to the government next year and details dozens of sites where 3,400 homes and businesses could be created by 2026.

But further consultation will see the public will get its say before the blueprint is lodged.

• Are you fighting a planning application where you live? Call Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email