Lakenham cricket ground developers win new homes appeal

Lakenham cricket ground pavilion
Image caption Cricket was first played in Lakenham in the 1820s and it was praised by cricket commentator Henry Blofeld as one of the most famous minor county grounds

Approval has been given for 75 new homes, a play area, allotments and five-a-side football pitch at the former home of Norfolk county cricket.

The plan for the Lakenham ground was rejected by Norwich City Council but developers Serruys Property appealed.

Council bosses said the development would mean a loss of significant open space and a historic cricket pavilion.

The planning appeal said new homes were a higher priority and the pavilion had no historical merit.

A report said: "The prospect of the availability of the elements of sports and open space to the general public is a significant benefit when compared to the otherwise uncertain future of the site, which may not include public access.

"The use as a cricket ground dates back to 1827 on land owned by the locally significant Colman family.

"The ground was used by Norfolk County Cricket Club until 2000 when they moved to Horsford Cricket Club.

"The pavilion was constructed with money from the Colman family, said to be as a memorial to Captain Colman.

"However, apart from sharing the family name and a part in the family business, there is no evidence of any particular significance of Captain Colman."

In rejecting planning permission, Norwich City Council regarded the pavilion as a 'heritage asset', but in 2001 English Heritage rejected this status.

Trevor Ivory, who represented the landowner at a public inquiry, said: "The impact (of this decision) will be felt across the whole of the Greater Norwich area.

"Delays in the adoption of the Joint Core Strategy in Broadland have combined with other issues to cause a lack of availability of land for new housing.

"The inspector has made it very clear that this is a problem that all three local authorities must share responsibility for sorting out."

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