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Residents’ anger as church parks the bus on Norwich street

PUBLISHED: 23:49 18 January 2018 | UPDATED: 23:49 18 January 2018

Residents on Armes Street in Norwich are angry about a bus being parked outside the Alive Church. Left to right, John O'Connor, Anthony Steward, Jane Gardiner and Frank Vincent. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Residents on Armes Street in Norwich are angry about a bus being parked outside the Alive Church. Left to right, John O'Connor, Anthony Steward, Jane Gardiner and Frank Vincent. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A parking row is blowing up over an “eyesore” double-decker that a Norwich church is converting to offer community play sessions for children.

Residents on Armes Street in Norwich are angry about a bus being parked outside the Alive Church. Picture: ANTONY KELLY Residents on Armes Street in Norwich are angry about a bus being parked outside the Alive Church. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Alive Church is revamping the bus to create a soft play and adventure area for primary school children to boost social skills and youngsters’ mental health.

The church is based on the corner of Armes Street and Nelson Street, Norwich, and parked the bus on its private land, previously used by Armes Street residents, on the evening of January 14.

But some of those residents have raised concerns about the bus being an “eyesore” and creating safety problems.

They said they were not told about the bus arriving and the new addition meant some residents had to park several streets away.

This is also due to Orwell Housing Association building flats on two former car parks for Armes Street residents.

Johanna Thorne, Alive Church pastor, said the bus would be used by children of families who could not afford parties.

Mrs Thorne said: “One of the things that is important to us as a church is providing for the community.

“We want to look at the services we offer to children. We are looking to provide play opportunities.”

She added it was not yet known when sessions would start and if the bus would remain at its current location.

Mrs Thorne added the church told the nearby corner shop the bus was coming to Armes Street.

She added it was in a safe area away from the Nelson Street and Armes Street junction, which “was not busy”.

“The bus does not obscure anyone.” The pastor wanted to speak with residents about the play sessions, which she said could not take part in the church hall.

Jane Gardiner, 49, from Armes Street, said: “For 23 years parking has been fine. You cannot go out at night now for fear of losing your space the second you leave it.”

She said she did not want to walk along several streets in the dark to her home.

She and other residents have labelled the bus as an “eyesore”.

“It is out of character with properties. The bus is on a busy junction which is not safe.”

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