Video: Plans for sports facilities in Halesworth

THE people of Halesworth are being given a chance to have their say on a “once in a lifetime” opportunity for the town.

Halesworth Campus group is inviting people in the town and nearby villages to attend a public meeting later this month to vote on whether they support a move to sell the town’s existing sporting site to allow improved facilities to be built where the middle school currently is.

The school, off Harrisons Lane, is due to be closed in the summer, following a Suffolk-wide reorganisation of education, and the Halesworth Campus group is proposing to take over the site and transform it into a major complex for the town.

However, to do so, the group needs the current adjacent Dairy Hill Playing Field to be sold for a housing development and the Halesworth Playing Fields Association’s 1952 constitution states a vote from Halesworth residents aged over 18 must take place.

To fully understand the local viewpoint, the two groups have asked Suffolk ACRE to independently run this and also include surrounding villages.

Group chairman and Suffolk county councillor Tony Goldson said that this site is the only one in the local area that offered a chance for development.

He said: “The vacated site provides an outstanding opportunity for the community to regenerate the space in order to provide improved educational, sporting and other community facilities for the town and its surrounding parishes for many years to come.”

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He said the first stage will include an indoor swimming pool, gym and more football pitches and tennis courts, with a vision for the development to expand the health care facilities at Health Village and education at the North Suffolk Skills Centre.

He added: “It is not just a quick fix for sport, but a long term plan to make a valuable asset for the town.”

Outline planning permission for a combination of residential and affordable housing has been secured for the Dairy Hill site and the building development would happen simultaneously.

The open public meeting will take place at Halesworth Middle School on Saturday, January 21 from 11am to 8pm.

Voting can also take place online at