Norwich Rugby Club Development on UEA Playing fields Rethink

The following news item appeared today (8/8/2020) on the Norwich Rugby Club website:

“RELOCATION PLAN IS OFF

This message from Bob Annable:

At the AGM I advised that the University of East Anglia had expressed an intention to withdraw from the Colney Lane development and the Club’s relocation project. I can now tell you that the University has formally confirmed its intention to withdraw by issuing us with an appropriate notice to that effect. A press release has been issued today.
 
Since being made aware of this likelihood, the Development Committee has been considering the alternative options that are open to us and continues to do so. Once we have assessed these options the intention is to share them with the Membership for formal feedback and views.

There is also a need to manage any financial liability this decision leaves us with. We will be starting discussions with the University next week but can tell you the relationship remains amicable and collaborative and that we have the University ‘s assurance to work with us in finding an acceptable proposal that does not leave the club in an any more challenging financial position than we currently face as a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic.
We therefore see this very much as ‘business as usual’ at Beeston Hyrne, for the foreseeable future and once the current constraints imposed on us by Covid 19 are behind us.”

Further background details are available in the Eastern Daily Press for today (8/8/2020) on page 12, and on-line here

The Yare Valley Society comments: The proposed relocation of the Rugby Club and the building of a new Club House and parking area was a serious intrusion into the Yare Valley Green Infrastructure Corridor, seemingly contradicting its protected status. Some parking space for the Rugby Club, by Colney Lane, has already been constructed, covering green space with asphalt. As the Yare Valley Society warned at the time, the nature of the planning approval permitted a car park to be constructed for a facility that may not exist. What a mess!

The Yare Valley Society will be reviewing the changed situation and what it might mean for the Yare Valley green space in the future.

Plans resubmitted for Bartram Mowers Site

McCarthy and Stone have put forward revised plans. They include 32 bungalows, 18 apartments, a resident’s pavilion, and an area of Public Open Space, along with new pedestrian links from Bluebell Road to the Yare Valley Walk.

You can view the plans and submit your own comments at https://planning.norwich.gov.uk, under reference 19/00911/F. Comment should be submitted by Thursday 6th August.

In terms of general layout and how it might impact on the Yare Valley, a starting point is the document Revised Landscaping details dated July 16 2020. A Management Plan states: “To the south western edge of the scheme, areas of woodland copse with standard trees set in wildflower meadow are proposed as part of the Open Space proposals which lie to the west of the development. These form part of a transitional landscape between the proposed built development and the valley of the River Yare. Informal groups of parkland trees within the open space allow a vista along the main vehicular route of the development and out across the open space to the river valley beyond. A metal estate rail is to form the boundary between the residential development and the open space beyond, with an edge of bulbs within grass.”

As with the earlier plans for this site the Yare Valley Society committee will submit its comment. The committee consider “A metal estate rail” with “an edge of bulbs within grass” to be totally inadequate to minimise the impact of the built development on the adjoining public space and the valley, and it is concerned about the failure to link the space with the existing footpath on the south east edge of the development.

A copy of the Yare Valley Society comments on this application are now available here.

Whitlingham Broad, Marston Marsh and Eaton Common on B-line

Agriculture and urban expansion have put pressure on some of the most valuable habitats for pollinators in our region. Many of the remaining wildflower-rich habitats are small and increasingly isolated within the landscape. A new B-Lines project by the Invertebrate Conservation Trust, Buglife, and funded by Defra, aims “to create an interconnected web of potential and existing wildflower habitats across the UK, aiming to help restore populations of insects”.

On the B-line.                  Photo: Lynda Clarkson

Norwich is at a B-lines crossroads. One of the B-lines follows the Yare Valley from Whitlingham Broad through Lakenham wetlands, Marston Marsh and Eaton Common, before turning south towards Diss. The B-lines will help link the saltmarsh and coastal habitats to the region’s inland wetlands, heathlands, flower-rich grasslands and brownfield sites. The B-lines will benefit a whole host of species, including important pollinators.

If you live, work, own land or go to school on a B-Line, Buglife gives guidance on how you can help with the project. Buglife quotes Richard Attenborough:

‘If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world’s ecosystems would collapse.’ 

Covid19 and the Yare Valley Walk

The Yare Valley continues to be heavily used for healthy recreation, and it has become increasing important for people to spread around as much as possible to reduce wear on the paths and maintain social distancing. The number of hard copies of the Yare Valley Walk guide are now running low, although a few are still available by post. To encourage exploration of the less used paths and spaces in the valley network (e.g. Eaton Common), we have decided to make the Yare Valley Walk Guide available as a pdf document online.

Welcome to a quiet spot

Now in its third edition, the guide does need some updating, such as incorporating the Strawberry Field on Bluebell Road, and the “Bridge of Dreams” at Colney. We are looking at ways in which this might be done. Please email us with any comments or suggestions you may have regarding updating.

Enjoy walking in the Valley!

 

New Signposting on Yare Valley Walk

More help to guide you along the main line of the Yare Valley Walk. Look out for the new signposts and way-marking posts that have appeared at key points. They carry the new symbol of a dragonfly to signify the walk.

Way Marking Post beside the river at Eaton

The signs will help people follow the main line of the walk, but you will need to refer to the various guides that are available in order to find many of access points, and circular walks that connect with the main line.

Where to turn off the road for Marston Marsh

The sign to “Cringleford Meadow” might be misleading. It gives the correct  line of the walk, but the Walk remains firmly on the Norwich Bank of the River until the end of the University Broad, only then does it offer the option of crossing to the Cringleford bank for a short distance.

Covid19 Enjoy the flowers in the Yare Valley

A striking array of flowers in parts of the Valley at this time, some obvious:

Field of Ragged Robin

some more hidden away:

Purple Orchid with Yellow Rattle

June Gentle, who sent in these photos writes:

“The Yare Valley has been of paramount importance to many people during this time of isolation and restrictions of movement.
I have met many people walking the valley to whom it has been a place of calm and peace, and have enjoyed the unfolding of nature in this lovely Spring weather.
We have watched the gold of dandelions give way to yellow buttercups and the deep blue of bluebells. Later the scent of the May trees and flashes of butterflies, dragonflies and damsels .
I met one couple carrying the YVS Walks Guide, telling me that they had just completed them all; and others who have been grateful to find such a landscape available to them in these difficult times.
We have come to realise, even more, how important the natural world is to us all, and how vital it is to safeguard it for the future.”

Keep hunting.

 

Covid19 Enjoy the open spaces in the Yare Valley

Tomorrow (Monday 1 June) sees some relaxing of the lock-down with the attendant dangers. Strict observance of social distancing continues to be of utmost importance. It is wonderful to see great use being made of the Yare Valley Green Corridor, and the benefit it has been to so many; but parts of the riverside walk are becoming crowded, and in places, social distancing can be difficult.

Wide Paths on Marston Marsh make distancing easy

Many of us are avoiding the narrower paths, and turning instead to the wide open spaces of Marston Marsh, Eaton Common, Earlham Park and the Bowthorpe Marshes. Marston Marsh looks particularly lovely at this time, with an air of remoteness. There is plenty to see.

Flowers on Marston Marsh

Eaton Common is missed by many. A circular walk allowing plenty of distancing space in most places. The walk includes a tranquil stretch of the river with passing places.

Circular walk on Eaton Common

Bartram Mowers submit revised Bluebell Road Plans

Bartram Mowers Ltd have submitted a revised set of plans for their site adjacent to the McCarthy and Stone development on the Bluebell Road (NR4 7LG). They include the demolition of existing buildings and erection of 32 bungalows, 21 apartments, a residents pavilion, access and ancillary development.

The Application Number is 19/00911/F. Much remains the same as the previous application for this site, and so most of the comments made on that application continue to apply to the present one. You can view the application using the Norwich Planning Public Access system available here. Comments to the City Council should be in by 24th March 2020.

Welcome to Strawberry Field

A colourful and attractive information panel has appeared at the Bluebell Road gated entrance to the Strawberry Field. It shows how the paths in the field link with the newly resurfaced Yare Valley Walk beside the river, as well as providing other guidance.

Dog owners are asked to soften the impact of their dogs on the wildlife habitats, e.g. of water voles. A dog swim point is marked, and dog owners should restrict their dog’s swimming to this area only, and in all other places to keep dogs out of the river and ditches.

An addition that could be usefully made to display map would be to show the new (unsurfaced) path that runs along at the foot of the Cringleford fly-over embankment and links the south corner of the new McCarthy and Stone Daisy Hill Court development with the river walk. The approximate line of the path has been added in the photograph below as a thick dark red dotted line. More opportunities for circular walks!

Welcome to Strawberry Field

KEEP OUR VALLEY GREEN

Yare Valley Society is saying KEEP OUR VALLEY GREEN in a campaign to promote participation in the latest Local Government consultation on the Greater Norwich Local Plan. The consultation will run from the 29 January to the 16 March 2020. It will be available on line, but you can make a paper response if you wish. A number of CONSULTATION ROADSHOWS will take place. The Yare Valley Society has put up Posters on Noticeboards in the Yare Valley area to ask those who care for the valley to:

Say what you like, say what you don’t like in the

Visit a CONSULTATION ROADSHOW*

Question the intrusion of building development into the Yare Valley Green Space adjacent to Bluebell Road, Norwich.     (Site GNLP 0133 – E) 

Find information at the GNLP website, and Yare Valley Society comments on the consultation.

Tell your friends.

*Consultation Roadshows local to the Yare Valley are at:                            Cringleford Willow Centre, Tuesday 4 February 2 – 8 pm                              Costessey Centre, 13 February 2 – 8 pm                                                                    Norwich, The Forum, 26 February and 5 March 2 – 8 pm                                      North Wymondham Community Centre, 14 February 2 – 8 pm                             

For a full list of the roadshows go here.