Why the future may be orange in Lowestoft

PROPOSALS to relocate a thriving community-based sports club to an alternative new ground that had not been listed in a major planning document were suggested at a well-attended meeting this week.

PROPOSALS to relocate a thriving community-based sports club to an alternative new ground that had not been listed in a major planning document were suggested at a well-attended meeting this week.

About 100 people turned out for the 12th annual meeting of Gunton Woodland Community Project on Wednesday as members, police officers, local residents, councillors, representatives of Lowestoft and Yarmouth Rugby Club, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Gunton Church all aired their views on plans for major development across Waveney.

The main focus was on the proposed relocation of the rugby club to two sites that had been earmarked in Waveney District Council's list of preferred sites for future development.

In December, The Journal reported on how the proposals either at land west of Dip Farm, off Corton Road (site 190) or at land north of Corton Long Lane (193), had been objected to by the project group and locals.

The council is still analysing responses after nearly two months of consultation ended in January, and the publication of the final draft will be available in June ahead of submission of a site-specific development plan document in October. Meantime, the woodland project - while still warning of 'serious consequences' from the possible relocation to the Church Field immediately next to the wood - has suggested an alternative area.

The project team stressed it was still in favour of better facilities for the club but argued that there were far more suitable locations available. At the meeting, held at Gunton Primary School on Wednesday, votes were taken after a rugby club presentation.

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Most of the 96 people present voted in favour of the club's relocation; no one voted in favour of moving to either the proposed site 190 or site 193; and everyone apart from one abstention voted for the club to move to a new suggested site near Rackham's Corner. This is believed to have been one of the council's initial sites, looked at before sites 190 and 193 were chosen as the preferred option.

'Everyone was in favour of the club moving to the orange area just south of Rackham's Corner,' said woodland project secretary David Briggs.

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