To receive petitions and public questions in accordance with Standing Order 9.
The Mayor invited Ms Sue Bruce to ask her public question:
“I refer to the application for a new 3G pitch on River Lane.
The application described the need for the pitch to support the needs of affiliated football teams, school programmes, clubs and coaching sessions.
I refer to an article in the EDP on the 9th October entitled Pitching in at King’s Lynn…. or are they? by King’s Lynn town football club which is too long to read out but includes the following.
It reports that they have found it impossible to hire pitches from Lynnsport for any of their youth teams and Norfolk FA promised that the club would have access to any new 3G pitch however they have now been told they will not be able to hire the pitch for any of their youth teams and he was told by a manager at Lynnsport to disband their youth network.
They have been using pitches at King Edward VII Academy however as the light fades the older age groups who train later face difficulties in training as there are no floodlights at KES. The better alternative would be to place the pitch at KES, who can help towards the finance and would be far more of a natural fit.
The report states that he would argue that the planned set up for Lynnsport is essentially an income-generating coaching organisation, but certainly not a grassroots football club.
This application is unpopular with residents, will remove important green space, will not support the current well run and successful youth teams and will cost £263 thousand pounds in tax payers money.
Isn’t it time to withdraw the application?”
Councillor S Sandell responded
“Demand for the 3G is extremely high and it is unfortunate that Alive West Norfolk regularly have to turn down clubs and organisations who wish to make use of the floodlit facilities. We have provided space for KLFC in the past but currently they are not using and have not booked any times.
The FA are committed to providing a facility at Lynnsport to address this additional demand and this is their preferred location. They do not support funding a 3G pitch at KES. Fields in Trust have also confirmed that this is an acceptable development on his site.
The report is criticising the FA making an award to Kings Lynn Football in the Community. Alive Kings Lynn Football in the Community provide an opportunity for children and young adults in West Norfolk to play sport and create opportunities at all levels.
The scheme was formed in 2002 and works with approximately 1500 children aged 5-19 year each week. Strong links have been formed with local youth football clubs, schools across West Norfolk, local organisation and agencies.
The scheme offers advanced football squads, player development centres, in-school curriculum sessions, school sponsorship days, after school and lunchtime clubs, birthday parties, disability sessions, multi-skills, and coaching opportunities
This application will allow Alive West Norfolk to extend the opportunities to the local community including a wider group of clubs and organisations within West Norfolk.”
By way of a supplementary Ms Bruce asked if consultation would take place with the public prior to the planning application. Councillor Sandell responded that the consultation would take place as part of the planning process.