New pitch plans get council boot

Weeting FC have had their application for new pitches rejected by Breckland Council.''Picture: Robert Childerhouse (councillor) and Joe Green (Weeting FC secretary) where the pitch was proposed
Weeting FC have had their application for new pitches rejected by Breckland Council.''Picture: Robert Childerhouse (councillor) and Joe Green (Weeting FC secretary) where the pitch was proposed

A village’s footballers will have to carry on playing away from home after plans for new pitches were given the red card by planning bosses.

Weeting Parish Council members were left ‘disappointed’ after Breckland Council’s Planning Committee turned down its scheme for new pitches in Lynn Road on Monday.

Teams currently have to travel to Brandon, Thetford, Methwold and elsewhere to get a game.

But members turned the plans down after officers told them the proposed 4.5 acre site was not sustainable.

Joe Green, Weeting FC secretary, said the decision was preventing children from getting involved in sport and holding back the club’s expansion ambitions.

“We are trying to improve the village and get kids out to play football instead of playing on their computers.

“With it being an Olympic year you would think the council would be happy to back plans like this but they just seem to look at the negatives,” he said.

Mr Green added that a lack of pitches meant teams often had nowhere to play and some had begun to fold because of the issue.

Officers highlighted a lack of access and the site’s inability to support future building developments as concerns.

But Robert Childerhouse, Breckland and parish councillor for Weeting, said the site was the only suitable one in the village, having looked at three other options.

“They got too concerned with the lack of a building and were so focused on that, they got lost as to what they are actually there to decide,” he said.

Mr Green said one councillor had recommended teams from Weeting go and play in Thetford.

But Gavin Lemmon, Norfolk FA’s community development manager, said Thetford had the worst provision of pitches in Breckland and one of the worst in Norfolk.

The parish plans to resubmit the application.