Future of King’s Lynn sports field is hot topic

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The future of a Lynn sports ground has been called into question once more after council officials were quizzed about it on Thursday.

Councillor Alistair Beales was asked in a public question session why the River Lane playing field failed to be registered with Fields In Trust.

Mr Beales, who is cabinet member for regeneration and industrial assets, said that the application failed because of the income guaranteed from the site.

He said that the council would now seek protection of the area by covenant and added: “This council has agreed that there should be long term protection in place.”

But Sue Bruce, secretary of Lynnsport Area Residents Assocation (LARA) who posed questions to Cllr Beales, said: “We have been told that covenants are always time-limited and so the area wouldn’t necessarily be secured for the future, only for a set period of time.”

“Councillor Beales said at the council meeting on July 30 2015 that Fields In Trust registration would be given and we would like to se that honoured,” she added.

Fields In Trust is a charity which aims to protect and promote open spaces for sports and recreation in British cities and towns.

The council has previously protected 13 sites across the borough with Fields In Trust including The Walks, Gaywood Hall Recreation Ground, Peck’s Field and Kettlewell Lane Recreation Ground.

Patrick Rochford, whose ward Gaywood North Bank covers the Lynnsport area, said: “I am very concerned about the failure of River Lane, as the protection of this land is very important.”

Mr Beales said: “A report into this will come very quickly, the important thing isn’t the method of how [the protection] is done, but that it will be done.”

In September it was reported that the site had not yet been protected for future generations more than a year after a pledge that it would be.

Concerns were originally raised for the future of the site when it was included for a major new housing development around the Lynnsport and Marsh Lane areas two years ago.

The site was removed from the project in January last year in response to the weight of public opposition.

Around 150 homes were originally proposed for the site, which was referred to as Lynnsport 2 when it was part of the ongoing project.

Almost 400 more houses are planned for five other sites around the area, two of which are Marsh Lane and Lynnsport 3 which have already been granted planning permission.