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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.


  • Currently there is access to the river bank and the woodland therefore access to the path only would be a significant loss to those walking, cycling, exploring our industrial heritage etc. Meanwhile the Norfolk Big Society fund is handing out grants to community projects from a pot of some £400,000.00. How 'efficient' is this ? And where is the transparency when the community is faced with what appears to be a fait accompli ?

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    Thursday, March 7, 2013

  • You know, Norfolk County Council really does have the public's interests at heart. These people who are complaining need to remember that come May when it's time to vote.

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

  • It's hard to know where to start with the County Council on these matters. Cnllr Jordon is not familiar with the benefit these areas and community assets bring so his ability to weigh short term and longer term gains is not great. He tends to think only in terms of money into the council's coffers (evidence the Silver Rooms). Firstly, I would ask, is this land the County Council's to sell? Don't assume that it is, as a lot of original deeds and agreements have been lost. Secondly, what is the cost-benefit of selling it as opposed to the community benefit in maintaining it as open land - has this been assessed and if so, by whom and how? Thirdly, we hear a lot about the tax payers of Norfolk and their need to be served well by the political leaders. Well the people of Mancroft Ward are tax payers too - it is unfortunate that their needs can only be supplied by one County Councillor's voice which is clearly drowned out by the vast majority of Norfolk-wide Councillors who happen to be of a different political persuasion. Perhaps the Cabinet Member for something that looks like communitysustainabilityenvironment could be asked to comment.

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    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

  • This outrageous decision to stifle future uses of Marriotts way, possibly even sharing it with tracked transport in future it is sabotaging planning to access the whole of the Marriotts way. Maybe Cllr. Jordan spent a little too much on the Coltishall site for which he yet has to present a planning brief or plan.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

  • Cliff Jordon, would sell his grandmother if she was still alive, but seriously who would want to purchase such an area which is contaminated and also has to remain open to the public?

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    John L Norton

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

  • Of course, this is a wrong and short sighted decision made by a handful of people with no empathy or thought about safeguarding the heritage and public green space of our city for future generations. So Cliff Jordan's title is, 'county council cabinet member for efficiency'. I think that is all we need to know. Perhaps a better title would be '..cabinet member for desperate measures'. The council are clearly desperate to bring in some extra cash. They know they have to sell with conditions about keeping a public footpath to prevent serious public opposition, but I'm sure once sold off we can expect building development in the area even if it's in 100 years time, once it's been sold off, the future looks bleak. What's next on the agenda ? Mousehold Heath ?

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    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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