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‘It’s all we wanted’: treasured meadow will remain a family leisure site

PUBLISHED: 21:09 29 September 2020 | UPDATED: 21:10 29 September 2020

Pops Meadow play area, Pavilion Road, Gorleston. Photo: Nick Butcher

Pops Meadow play area, Pavilion Road, Gorleston. Photo: Nick Butcher

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A former children’s fun park loved by a seaside town will be “kept for community use” rather than sold to developers.

The future of Pop's Meadow, a former kids' fun park in Gorleston which has now been derelict for two years, will remain in the hands of the community. Picture: Daniel Hickey.The future of Pop's Meadow, a former kids' fun park in Gorleston which has now been derelict for two years, will remain in the hands of the community. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

At a meeting of Great Yarmouth Borough Council on September 29, councillors voted unanimously to retain Gorleston’s Pop’s Meadow for existing use for at least 25 years.

Leader Carl Smith said: “The recommendation is that we sell the Pops Meadow site for £100,000 for existing use - but add a further convenant that the property can’t be used for any other purpose for the next 25 years.

“We received 13 valid bids overall - but the one we’ve accepted recognises Pop’s Meadow as an asset to the community.

“The site will be free entry and provide family entertainment. Facilities will include a mini golf course, eating area, small operated children’s ride and entertainment area. A garden area will also be developed as a place for all ages to access and enjoy.”

Pops Meadow play area, in Pavilion Road, Gorleston will be maintained for Pops Meadow play area, in Pavilion Road, Gorleston will be maintained for "existing use" for at least 25 years after councillors reached a unanimous decision. Photo: Nick Butcher

Paul Wells, councillor for Gorleston, said he was relieved the council had put community first.

“A lot of residents were cynical about the proposals, but I’m happy that on this occasion the council has focused on the community rather than capital receipts,” he said.

Barbara Wright echoed his sentiment.

She said this plan was “all she wanted for the residents” and that she was “over the moon” with the proposals.

Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said the decision recognised Pop's Meadow as a Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said the decision recognised Pop's Meadow as a "community asset". Picture: Ella Wilkinson

“I hope the 25-year covenant soon becomes another 25 years,” she added.

Deputy leader Graham Plant said he had received “no end of correspondence” about Pop’s Meadow, but that the decision was the “best outcome we could have hoped for”.

Jade Martin said that local families, including her own, had such fond memories of Pop’s Meadow, the now-derelict site on Gorleston seafront, and that she was sure the new site would generate many more.

Earlier this year, when it was agreed at a policy and resources meeting in January the site would be put up for sale, there were fears among residents it would become another housing complex.

Barbara Wright said she was Barbara Wright said she was "over the moon" with the decision, and that it was "all she wanted" for residents. Picture: James Bass

A petition asking for a ban on any further development on the land, set up eight months ago, reached over 860 signatures.

According to Mr Plant, this covenant could be a “comfort” to all those who were worried about a “private enterprise” taking over this cherished community space.

Graham Plant, deputy leader of the council, said the 25-year covenant should be a Graham Plant, deputy leader of the council, said the 25-year covenant should be a "comfort" to all concerned residents. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

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