Yare Valley Society responds to “Planning for the Future”

The Yare Valley Society response to the consultation on the Government’s White Paper on the future of Planning can now be read on the Consultation Page.

Do not leave it to the Society alone. Please make your personal response to the consultation. More information on how to do this is on the Consultation Page.

Don’t forget to sign the Council for the Protection of Rural England’s (CPRE’s) petition

 

Look before you Leap – what the divers found

Cringleford Bridge has been a popular place for some young people to take a jump into the river. This is not a practice to encourage, and a recent underwater exploration has revealed some of the hidden dangers.

A team of scuba divers, limited in their activities by the lockdown, ventured into the depths of the river Yare below the bridge and over a few hours successfully retrieved eight shopping trolleys, three bicycles, a single bed frame, two road traffic cones and an assortment of metal and scaffolding poles. The team reported that their haul was only a quarter of the rubbish in the river, and that the river bed was strewn with rubbish.

From the depths

Some of the objects were at a depth of only two metres and so could present a serious hazard to anyone entering the water unwarily.

A big thank you to the diving team for bringing this hazard to the attention of the public, and for their work on improving the river environment. Pictures and more about their work can be found here.

CPRE says “Don’t let the government deregulate planning”

Sign the Petition

The Council for the Protection of Rural England is calling on all of us to take action on the Government plans “Planning for the Future”

 “The government has devised some new plans that could pose a huge risk to the countryside and the communities living and working within it. 

Ministers want to take decision-making powers away from communities and local councils, handing it over to housing developers and central powers in Westminster.   

Under these new proposals, our ability to shape the future of where we live – a right communities have had for 70 years – could be lost with the stroke of a pen.” 

The Government plans are a serious threat to our ability to protect the Yare Valley from development in the future. The Yare Valley Society Committee urges you to sign the CPRE Petition to be found here.

This is only a tiny step to expressing opposition to the Government’s proposals. Please respond to the current consultation on the proposals. See Consultations for details.

Donkey Detour

Closed Footpath

Hoping to take a quick walk round the University Broad? It will take longer than you think. The section of boardwalk at the south east end of the Broad has been closed. A diversion has been signed which, from the University side of the Broad takes you along the lower edge of the donkey fields as far as the recently opened Strawberry Field Meadow. The return is along by the river.

Diversion Map

To give you a better idea of the extra distance we have marked with a star the point at which you reach the Strawberry Field Meadow. Children will enjoy seeing the donkeys.

Rabbit Goddess and Sun’s Roots Sculptures proposed for Sainsbury Sculpture Park

The two sculptures, by LEIKO IKEMURA and PHILLIP KING respectively, are proposed in planning applications 20/00933/F and   20/00934/L. To get the overall picture the best document when starting any search is the “Heritage Impact Assessment”

The sculptures can be expected to add interest, fun and novelty to the Yare Valley Walk and the Yare Valley Society committee have no plans to object to the applications. If you would like to make a comment you should contact Norwich Planning Department using the references above before 1st September 2020.

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!