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Halesworth given new sports hope

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 January 2009 | UPDATED: 07:53 01 August 2010

NEW proposals offering fresh hope for improving Halesworth's limited sports facilities were shown to the public at the weekend.

And the hundreds of people who turned out to an open day to look at them were evidence of the keen interest there is in bringing sports provision in the town into the 21st century.

NEW proposals offering fresh hope for improving Halesworth's limited sports facilities were shown to the public at the weekend.

And the hundreds of people who turned out to an open day to look at them were evidence of the keen interest there is in bringing sports provision in the town into the 21st century.

Residents have often voiced their anger about the lack of facilities for sports clubs in the town, and several projects in the past have crumbled.

The event, held at The Cut on Sunday, was hosted by Halesworth Playing Field Association (HPFA) and officers from Waveney District Council and was designed to give people their say on a potential site.

Tony Goldson, chairman of (HPFA), right, said: "It was extremely well supported. From our point of view it is an absolutely superb site. People have started to get excited.

"What we need now is the go-ahead for permission to buy it, which is going to be the next stage."

The 27-acre site is made up of two separately owned fields, off Brick Kiln Farm and Fair View Road.

Mr Goldson added: "I think we need to give better sporting facilities to the teams we've already got, then go on to other sports, such as rugby, hockey

and cricket, but we've got to

get more grass

for the football club."

He said the land would be big enough for at least five football pitches with space for other sports.

Halesworth Town Football Club currently runs more than 10 teams, including two senior teams at Dairy Hill playing fields, using only one full-sized and one smaller pitch.

HPFA owns the land, that also includes tennis courts, bowling green and pavilion, as well as an outdoor swimming pool, which Waveney District Council will give up running in April.

The football club's chairman Adrian Waters said: "We desperately need something because we just haven't got the grass.

"Most of the big clubs like Bungay have got floodlights and play midweek matches and under-18s which keeps the boys playing football.

"We can't do that. We've got a postage stamp - about 40 yards wide by 60 yards long where all the teams have to train."

Secretary Arthur Ling, who has been involved in the club for 25 years, said: "Why we can't stop where we are and develop it I don't know.

"There's a field to the right of our sports field which could quite easily be used. I can't see the point in spending money on two sites when we could develop the existing one."

A council document on future development states that the Dairy Hill cannot meet the needs of the town's sports teams.

The public consultation on future development in Halesworth, including sports facilities, ends on Monday.

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