New fence raises fears over access on Thetford recreation ground

Norwich Road residents Association are unhappy with a plan for fencing that may be put up around the field off Munford Road
Norwich Road residents Association are unhappy with a plan for fencing that may be put up around the field off Munford Road

Calls for compromise on plans for a new fence which will prevent access across the Mundford Road recreation ground have been made.

Parkwood Leisure wants to put fencing round the perimeter of the Thetford pitches to stop people walking across them and causing damage.

Several residents and at least one member of the town council have asked for a fence that keeps access, but diverts people away from the pitches.

Dave Hodgkinson, of Collingwood Way, raised his fears at a meeting of the town council last week.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “The field there has been open space since about 1900 and since the industrial estate has been there people have crossed it to get to work.

“A decision has been made to close it completely but that could add 10 minutes to people’s walk to work and it’s not such a pleasant route.”

Issues with pedestrians crossing the pitches were raised by Thetford Cricket Club after a series of incidents including break ins at its pavilion and damage to the outfield.

Stuart Wright, Thetford town councillor and chairman of the Thetford Society, said a compromise was possible.

“We can still fence off the recreation ground but provide a pathway which allows security for the cricket club and access for residents.

“I think the thefts there are a bit of a red herring as you can still jump through the hedge or over the fencing if you want to do that.

“But that field was given to the town as a recreation space and we should have access to it,” he said.

Parkwood Leisure has now put up a sign on the field saying that a fence will be erected.

A spokesman for Breckland Council, on whose behalf Parkwood Leisure run the leisure centre, said it was working to find a solution.

“The sign was erected to give advance notice while we jointly look into the issues to gain a greater understanding of implications of various possible courses of action.

“The siuation is complex and nothing has been decided yet.”