Green Britain Centre sale a 'lost opportunity', Swaffham mayor says
Swaffham's mayor has said the sale of the Green Britain Centre for commercial purposes is "a lost opportunity" for the town.
Jill Skinner said the Turbine Way building was an ideal site for a sport and leisure provision, which the authority had been pursuing for months in the form of a land swap with Breckland Council.
But after the district council announced on Friday that the former eco centre had been bought by an expanding international business, the town council will now have to look elsewhere for its aspiration.
Mrs Skinner said: "For the majority of the town council, this is a big disappointment and a lost opportunity to complete a vision for Swaffham to have what most towns have, good sports facilities and a community centre for all ages.
"There were many reasons as to why the GBC was such a good exchange ranging from the position, the land and building itself. It lent itself to numerous ideas and opportunities.
"We now have accepted the decision that’s been made by Breckland and move on to try and fulfil the needs of our residents, young and old."
As reported on Friday, Breckland Council have stated the sale of the GBC will initially bring 25 existing staff to the site, with plans to create as many as 65 new jobs in the next few years.
And Swaffham's Breckland councillors previously said they will continue to explore a sport and leisure provision for the town, with input from the town council continuing.
Breckland councillor David Wickerson said: "I can understand the disappointment to a certain extent after the amount of time and investigation by the town council.
"The alternative which has come around on the table is promising for the town however."
Residents4residents town councillor Graham Edwards was in the minority within the town council when objecting to the land swap.
Following the sale, he said: "I cannot say how pleased but also relieved I am at this news and especially that the town council will no longer have to flounder about as it has done for the last 16 months, some say it's 18 months, without achieving anything at all, nothing.
"If ever anyone needed an example of why a small parish council with councillors of differing abilities, but with equal voices, should keep clear of property ownership and development, then this sorry exercise must surely give conclusive evidence and proof.
"We can now look to the future and consider with time on our side what to do about Days Field and the funding that will come from it if needed."