Plea for derelict community garden near drug den to be saved

Green Party councillor Ash Haynes is calling for the community garden between Rose Lane and St Johns Street to be reinstated

Green Party city councillor Ash Haynes (pictured) is calling for the former community garden between Rose Lane and St Johns Street in Norwich to be reinstated - Credit: Sophie Wyllie/Dan Grimmer

An urgent plea is being made to bring a community garden back from the brink with antisocial behaviour running rife.

The overgrown green space between St Johns Street and Rose Lane has attracted people at night - causing concern from people living nearby due noise, antisocial behaviour and littering.

And, as previously reported in the Evening News, the spot is close to where evidence of drug taking was caught on camera in the toilet block in the fenced-off former Rose Lane car park.

Ash Haynes, Green Party city councillor, who represents the St Johns Street and Mountergate area, said the community garden and allotments were previously looked after by peopel living nearby but they moved away around two years ago.

It is now littered with drinks cans and bottles and is easily accessible.

Rubbish in the former community garden between Rose Lane and St Johns Street in Norwich

Rubbish in the former community garden between Rose Lane and St Johns Street in Norwich - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

She said: "I want it to be a really good community space. There is potential to reopen the garden. People have not got a lot of green space in that area."

Ms Hayes added that because it was not well-managed it became a "magnet" for antisocial behaviour.

She added that to improve the situation in the short-term would be to make the area more secure and cut back hedges and trees around the footpath between the green space and derelict car park.

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"It would make such a difference," Ms Hayes said. "The anti-social behaviour is having quite a significant impact. People living nearby are being woken up by the noise regularly. A lot of women feel unsafe around there because they don't know who they are going to come across."

Insp Dan Cocks, from Norfolk Police, said: “Officers from the safer neighbourhood team are aware of the issues, some of which were identified during a recent community walkabout.

"We will be increasing foot patrols in the area and working with the local community and council towards longer term solutions and increased reassurance to local residents.”

A person who lives nearby and asked not to be named, added:  "There have always been issues of drug taking in the garden and anti-social behaviour. There is always a lot of rowdy behaviour."

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