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Sell-off of woods and land at start of Marriott’s Way in Norwich greeted with opposition

Jon Batley and a team of volunteers excavated the old City Station site.
Photo by Simon Finlay

Jon Batley and a team of volunteers excavated the old City Station site. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant Norfolk Copyright

Campaigners are calling for a woodland at the start of Marriott’s Way to be sold off cheaply to the public, rather than being sold to private bidders at auction.

Train Wood at the start of the Norwich end of Marriott’s Way is set to be sold off by Norfolk County Council at auction in May.

The council will look to get the best possible price for the five hectares of woodland and riverbank which includes the site of the old Norwich City Station, which was destroyed by bombing during the second world war.

But campaigners fear a private owner may restrict access to the woods and not manage them properly.

Richard Bearman, Green county councillor for Mancroft ward, said: “This site is of vital importance as a city green space and should remain in public ownership.

“This path, the nature and the heritage are too important to lose. “I am calling on them (the county council) to make it available to the city council for a nominal fee.

“There are various voluntary organisations who will be able to help undertake the management of this site, to preserve its rural and historic heritage, but the city council are the logical owners.”

But Cliff Jordan, county council cabinet member for efficiency, said: “The sale will be subject to the continued free use of the Marriott’s Way path through the site for the benefit and enjoyment of walkers, cyclists and horse riders and will be conditional on the purchaser maintaining the existing path to a standard to allow the passage over it by its users.

“We have had contact from community interest groups about the site and intend to give all interested parties the chance to bid on the property in an open and transparent manner which can be achieved by taking the property to auction.”

•The Friends of the Marriott’s Way group will meet on Saturday March 9 at 10.45 at the beginning of the route, next to Train Wood.

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