TERRINGTON ST CLEMENT: Search is on for new MUGA site
Facilities for teenagers in Terrington St Clement have been blocked by planners concerned about noise and nuisance for nearby residents.
West Norfolk Council wanted to build a fenced and floodlit multi-use games area (MUGA), an open and floodlit skatepark and a youth shelter in a field off Benns Lane.
But the application was refused by the council’s own planning committee after members visited the site to judge its suitability for use by young people. An alternative site is now being sought.
The committee heard the need for youth facilities was identified to reduce minor anti-social behaviour and criminal damage. It was also supported by a village youth survey.
Objectors included the parish council, which raised concerns about noise and light pollution, lack of public consultation, lack of natural surveillance and the cost of CCTV.
Nearly 50 other objections were received, including fears that the MUGA was too close to homes and that nearby residents’ gardens would be visible to skateboarders.
However, a 79-signature petition and 117 letters were received in support of the scheme. They highlighted the lack of youth facilities in the village and the benefit of enabling older youths to socialise away from children’s play equipment.
Council officers recommended refusal saying there was insufficient information to show noise would not be a problem and the plans could have significant adverse impact on health and quality of life.
The council’s deputy leader, Cllr Brian Long, said he was disappointed by the decision and found it strange that the parish council objected, bearing in mind it bought the land for youth amenity use in 2009/10.
He said the parish council should have established its suitability before buying the site, adding: “Most of all, I feel sorry for the youth of the village because they very much need this type of facility.”
The council would look into an amended design to mitigate noise, although the strength of opposition could prevent the site being used for MUGA.
Another option was an alternative site, for which a search was on-going, he said.
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