Heacham Park fears expressed

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Campaigners who want to buy an area of historic parkland say time is running out for the community to preserve it for future generations.

A public meeting will be held this weekend to discuss the future of the Heacham Park site, which a group of residents wants to buy for the village.

The park, which was originally the grounds of Heacham Hall, the ancestral home of John Rolfe who married the American Indian princess Pocahontas in the 17th century, was put up for sale earlier this year with a £550,000 price tag.

And Jimmy Groom, a member of the steering group, warned that action needs to be taken swiftly for the community to secure the 48-acre site.

He believes the site is even more important now because of proposed housing developments on both sides of the village.

As previously reported, Hopkins Homes want to build 166 new homes north of Heacham, which some opponents argue will increase traffic in Heacham, while an appeal has been lodged against the refusal of planning permission for homes and care accommodation off School Road.

Mr Groom said: “There are people already interested in parts of the park. The writing is on the wall.

“If we lose the opportunity to buy the park, it will be a great loss for generations to come.”

Mr Groom said steering group members have been delivering posters to homes in the village promoting their ideas.

He added: “I think we have the support of the village, but that we will find out.”

Supporters of the purchase plan have argued that more should be made of the village’s links with Pocahontas, who visited the park in 1616, a year before her death.

They also believe that a £385,000 trust fund set aside for youth and community projects should be used to help fund any purchase.

The meeting will be held at the Heacham village hall this Sunday, August 17, at 2pm.