(All images by leaderofourboat, reproduced with permission)
Lakenham Sports & Leisure Centre, including the historic cricket ground and pavilion, remain empty amid imminent plans to transform the land for housing.
There’s been particular concern about the potential destruction of the historic cricket pavilion building – one of the Norwich area’s significant sporting landmarks. Permission to redevelop the site was initially refused but developers successfully appealed.
Among the critics of the proposed plans is the Norfolk-born writer and TV personality Stephen Fry who described the decision as ‘sacrilege’.
The land became a cricket ground in 1827 and has seen many important matches throughout the years.
But after Norfolk County Cricket Club moved to new premises in Horsford in 2000, the ground fell into disuse and finally closed, followed by the rest of the sports centre in 2007.
Early proposals for the site’s reuse incorporated a new sporting facility for the area. However, these plans were not realised and the site will now hold new homes, a play area, allotments and a five-a-side football pitch.