Turf wars: Parking signs in community spark row

A no parking sign in Thorpe St Andrew which has been put up by the town council 

A no parking sign in Thorpe St Andrew which has been put up by the town council - Credit: Marcus Moore

Parking signs have divided opinion in a Norwich suburb after motorists were asked to respect wildlife. 

Thorpe St Andrew Town Council has installed around 50 signs within the town including in Thunder Lane and Gordon Avenue. 

The signs state: "Please refrain from parking on verges in this area." 

A recent picture of a verge in Thunder Lane in Thorpe St Andrew 

A recent picture of a verge in Thunder Lane in Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Contributed

Areas of Thorpe are being left uncut as part of a rewilding initiative to encourage wild flowers and wildlife with an online consultation taking place earlier this summer. 

John Fisher, county and district councillor for Thorpe St Andrew, who also sits on the town council, said: "This is a new initiative that we introduced to see what affect it might have as part of our rewilding scheme.

"Obviously we cannot enforce non-parking. It's an appeal for sensible cooperation." 

John Fisher Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Councillor John Fisher - Credit: Norfolk County Council

Marcus Moore, who lives in the neighbouring town of Sprowston, said the signs have not made much difference in his opinion.

Some living on Thunder Lane and Gordon Avenue have also voiced complaints about the length of the grass. 

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The impact on visibility for those driving in Thunder Lane are among the complaints raised. 

Ian Mackie, county and district councillor for Thorpe St Andrew, said: "I think there has been a lot of support for the rewilding project in Thorpe to encourage bees and other wild insects.

"However this has got to be managed in a sustainable way which ensures the continued support of all residents." 

During the town council's consultation, one person questioned why the verges were so long at the Skippon Way junction at the top of Dussindale Drive where two children were previously knocked over.

The junction of Yarmouth Road and Thunder Lane.

The junction of Yarmouth Road and Thunder Lane. The contributor believes the verge was neatly cut by a neighbour from an adjacent property - Credit: Contributed

Shelagh Gurney, district and county councillor for Hellesdon, said her parish council has recently held initial talks over whether rewilding is viable. 

She added: "I personally think we should cut grass verges. Our communities should look nice and tidy but other people will not agree with me and they are entitled to that view."

'A frustration for years'

Thorpe St Andrew mayor Sue Lawn said the issue of parking has been impacted by the government creating new powers to introduce byelaws to prevent verge parking in communities. 

Mrs Lawn said parking on verges has caused frustration for years, but the town council considered the option of requesting parking bylaws following the consultation. 

"We would always prefer to get a positive change through a polite request, rather than using the legislative route as a first-option," she continued.

"There has been a mixed response to this request, but we are hoping that as people see the signs, they will park differently and give our verges a chance to recover." 

Mrs Lawn said the council has maintained the visual splay in areas they are responsible for.

The council will be considering feedback when making a future decision.

The coming weeks will also see strimming in areas before the debris will be racked and removed.