A new planning application, 23/00082/D, is a revision of improvements to part of the Yare Valley Walk from the present improved path near the Strawberry Field to the Flyover. At the flyover the improvements will link with the recently completed Cringleford Meadow paths. The work is to satisfy a condition laid upon Phase 2 of the McCarthy Stone development. The application is a modified form of the original application, which was announced in the News page on August 2022, and now replaces it. The plans are to be found by searching using the reference number at the Norwich Planning Portal.
It was with great sadness the committee learned of the passing of Andrew Salisbury. Andrew was a Stalwart of the Society for many years and a past Chair. John Thurman, also a past Chair, knew him well and writes:
“Andy Salisbury, who died last August aged 91, was a prominent figure in the Yare Valley Society during six decades. He was part of a small group who founded the Society in the late 1960s in response to the threat of building a large cinema and car park on a site between Bluebell Road and the river. With that development fought off, the Society became dormant until it was re-formed in the late 1980’s after an application by Tesco to build on the same site. Andy became Chairman for a short time in 1993, and again for almost 10 years from 2007. He was a robust defender of the valley and represented us at countless events; saw our membership grow to over 400 and, as an early user of I.T., brought greater professionalism to our newsletter and membership records, with able help from his wife Val, who pre-deceased him.
Andy was a mathematician who taught maths and trained teachers at Keswick College and, later, UEA. He was also an enthusiastic bell ringer and sailor. His organising skills and leadership were of great value to us, and his good humour and friendship continue to be missed by his many neighbours and friends.”
The Yare Valley Society continues to strive to mitigate the impact on our green space of the development between the Bluebell Road and the River to which Andy devoted so much effort.
Planning application for hole in the ground “Pond” reduces public green space
Another application, 22/01567/F, has been made relating to the McCarthy Stone phase 3 development on Bluebell Road. The application is for enlarging the attenuation pond constructed for water runoff of phases 1 and 2 to cope with phase 3. The use of “pond” although not technically incorrect may give a misleading picture of what is being proposed. Attenuation ponds for developments can be unsightly and potentially dangerous. An attenuation pond in a public access green space linked into the projected Yare Valley Parkway should be more than a hole in the ground. It should be safe and add to the amenity of the open space rather than detract from it.
The Yare Valley Society has several concerns about the proposals:
Restriction of public green space
The pond extension as positioned would further restrict the Public Access Green Space being made available under phase 2 of the development (now under construction). It should be a separate pond contained within the original Phase 3 development area.
Insufficient attention has been paid to measures that could reduce the size of the attenuation pond e.g. by a greater use of water permeable surfaces of drives, roads and parking areas etc., and by use of rainwater harvesting (e.g., rainwater tubs, rain gardens) within the site.
Design and Planting
Insufficient attention has been given to its design and planting. It is a large feature in a public green space and so itshould be sculpted to create a natural setting. It should then be planted with trees, shrubs and other plants to improve visual appearance, provide safe public access, and provide habitats for wildlife.
It is not clear what steps are to be taken to ensure the water entering the pond is of sufficiently good quality to avoid hazard to wildlife or to the public.
A Management Regime will need to be put in place to maintain and improve biodiversity, amenity, and water quality of the attenuation pond into the future.
What is possible?
The attenuation pond is a SUD (Sustainable Drainage System), and modern designs for SUDs in public green spaces maximise the potential for SUDs to contribute to the ecology and amenity of their surroundings. Key design principles for SUDS can be found on p 11 of the RSPB publication “Sustainable Drainage Systems – Maximising the potential for people and wildlife” . The publication shows what is possible with foresight and planning.
If you share the YVS concerns, please respond to this application by going to the Norwich Planning website, and inserting the reference 22/01567/F for details. Please make clear in your response why a properly designed and sited attenuation pond is important to you personally. Please act ASAP.
The Yare Valley Society’s submission on the application is here.