West Norfolk Council made much of their promise to secure the long-term future of the site known as Lynnsport 2, or as it is known to the community River Lane playing field, as a Field in Trust site, and this was further agreed at the council meeting on July 30, 2015.
This would afford a long-term secure future for a community resource and prevent any future plans to turn this into a housing estate.
Cllr Beales stated, however, at the last council meeting that an application to Fields in Trust failed due to the use of River Lane by sporting clubs who pay fees for use of the field. There seems to be some confusion in the council on this point, as a representative from Fields in Trust has confirmed that protection certainly accommodates and allows for booking of pitches for sport and recreation. In short, playing sports on recreational fields is not an issue. Fields in Trust do ask landowners that have formal agreements with clubs or organisations on their fields to provide these agreements and some additional information on the clubs for them to review during the protection process. They asked for this information from the council with regard to River Lane sports pitches and were told that the council no longer wished to pursue protection there as they felt the process was too complicated. It is, howeve,r the same process that has been successfully completed by the the council for other sites, such as the Walks.
Fields in Trust have said they must carry out these reviews, only to ensure that the fields are used for community recreational purposes and they were sad that the council did not feel able to provide this information. They said they would be happy to pick this up with them again. Given the controversial nature of building houses on a community recreation space, it must surely be of paramount importance that the council keep their promise of protecting River Lane through Fields in Trust. Now that the confusion regarding sports pitches has been clarified, perhaps the council will now reconsider keeping their original promise?
Sue Bruce, Secretary to Lynnsport Area Residents’ Association