Council explores option of new football facility in Sprowston

The first session of Man v Fat football returns to Norwich. Picture: Dan Church

Sprowston Town Council and Norfolk FA are exploring the option of a 3G football pitch in the Sprowston area - Credit: Archant

A town council is exploring the potential for new football facilities for the community in response to the growth of development.

Sprowston Town Council is expecting developers to make financial contributions which will see the authority potentially receive millions of pounds worth of contributions for off-site formal recreation and allotment facilities. 

During a full council meeting last month, the authority expressed a desire to explore the option of engaging with partners such as the Norfolk Football Association to help explore new football facilities. 

Ian Grange, of the Norfolk FA, gave a detailed presentation to councillors and a working group was formed to assess all recreational facilities across Sprowston. 

The group had been scheduled to meet the Norfolk FA at the Open Academy in Heartsease to see how the football facility there has benefitted the community.

Open Academy in Norwich.

A Sprowston Town Council working group will be meeting the Norfolk FA at the Open Academy to see how the 3G pitch benefits the community - Credit: Archant

Due to the coronavirus, this meeting has been postponed with a new date yet to be arranged. 

Speaking this week, Mr Grange said the Local Football Facility Plans has a 10 year commitment from the Football Foundation.

And the catchment area of Sprowston, Spixworth and Old Catton has been identified as being in demand of a 3G all-weather pitch as a result of increased population from recent development. 

Mr Grange said: "There are a number of considerations we have to make including floodlights and light pollution, planning permission and the noise perspective. 

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"The council were certainly open minded and want to understand more about what the pitch could bring and the impacts it would have on the local community. They are keen to explore the possibility." 

The town council minutes from the February meeting state the council needs to act now to identify appropriate ways to spend the money contributed by developers for recreational facilities otherwise it will be paid back.

Mr Grange said 3G pitches can be used for training, match play and recreational use, and can encourage a broad mix of people to use the facility including walking football groups and those with disabilities.

Each district throughout the country has a local Football Facility Plan which are detailed reports that map out the football facilities needed across the country. 

Mr Grange emphasised a decision would not be rushed as they have a 10 year commitment.