Cricketers aim for land boost amid special school plans
PUBLISHED: 08:30 23 December 2019
A secretary of a cricket club belives that the failure of a lease agreement has had a "detrimental effect" on them
Cricket in Fakenham could be in line for a boost if a bid to secure land a former school site is successful.
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Fakenham Cricket Club hopes it will finally be able to use part of the former sixth form college land off Field Lane, amid a new plan to redevelop the site.
Norfolk County Council has just launched a six-week consultation on a proposal for a specialist autism school there as part of a £120m plan to transform special needs education across the county.
Club secretary Kevin Webb said they would be able to expand their offering and boost cricket in Fakenham if they could use part of the site.
He said: "The club supports the school in principle. We are only asking for part of the field.
"Last year, our third team, made up of mainly teenagers, had to travel to North Elmham for its home matches. Our ladies' team has disbanded due to the lack of satisfactory facilities. "We are unable to accept as many young players under the age of 12 years as we would wish."
Mr Webb said the club had an agreement to lease part of the site from the council 10 years ago, but this fell through at the last moment.
He said since then the club had made efforts to "reactivate" the least to no avail.
The club wants part of the land so two of their teams can use the facilities at the same time. They also plan to extend the pavilion and build new changing rooms.
A spokesman from the council said: "The council is proactively engaging and consulting with local people and organisations to find out what they think about the playing field being re-used and which parts of the site could be suitable or of interest for community use.
"We are in discussions with the cricket club about making some of the site available to them free of charge."
The consultation on the new school plans will run until January 24 and people can have their say by visiting www.norfolk.citizenspace.com/consultation/re-use-of-education-playing-field-land-section-77
Printed copies of the consultation document can also be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and there will be a drop-in session where people can find out more at Fakenham Community Centre in Oak Street on Monday, January 6, 10am-12.30pm and 2pm-6pm.