Have your say on plans for new nature reserve on edge of Norwich

Hillside Allotments in Thorpe St Andrew have been earmarked for a new nature reserve 

Hillside Allotments in Thorpe St Andrew have been earmarked for a new nature reserve - Credit: Thorpe St Andrew Town Council

Proposals for a new nature reserve on the outskirts of Norwich have been put to the public. 

Thorpe St Andrew Town Council has been running a consultation for the potential new facility at the top of the Hillside Allotments. 

The scheme, known as the Churchyard Close, Open Spaces Project, intends to re-establish a revamped pond area and the planting of a new wildflower meadow. 

Under the plans, there would also be a new security gate with vehicle and pedestrian access, as well as a new vehicle turning circle and disabled car parking. 

Thorpe St Andrew Town Council has been asking the public about a new nature reserve at the Hillside Allotments 

Thorpe St Andrew Town Council has been asking the public about a new nature reserve at the Hillside Allotments - Credit: Thorpe St Andrew Town Council

Some concerns have been expressed by allotment holders and the public with regards to car parking space and site security. 

But others have praised the plans and encouraged the town council to reopen the historic access which linked Elizabeth Avenue and Hillside Avenue.

A spokesman for the town council said: "During the first lockdown last year, there was widespread acknowledgement of the importance of open spaces to residents.

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"To improve health and general wellbeing, the council sought to increase access to open spaces on our sites; with the site of the old St Catharine’s Church being a prime example of an orchard area with views of the river valley not seen anywhere else in Thorpe St Andrew.

"These plans are based on the 1999 nature reserve proposals, with the added benefit of improved site management and public access."

The analysis of the consultation results are expected to take some time with the Neighbourhood Plan consultation being a priority. 

Town councillors will consider the results at a committee meeting in the future, with the final decision being taken at full council meeting. 

The council spokesman added: "We have received a variety of views by phone and during site meetings, with everyone encouraged to complete the online survey for us to gather as much detail as possible." 

The consultation, which finished on Monday afternoon, also included proposals for verge maintenance rewilding and whether the council should invest in LED streetlight lamps and become more bat-friendly.

A statement by the town council on its Facebook page described the consultation response as "fantastic". 

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