Hopes crime will be reduced now adventure garden plan approved

An artist's impression of the new urban adventure garden for SYEP

An artist's impression of the new urban adventure garden for SYEP where Revd Simon Stokes, inset, is the chairman of trustees - Credit: SYEP/Brittany Woodman

A new urban adventure area will offer a range of activities for youth groups on the edge of the city amid a recent spate of anti-social behaviour. 

The Sprowston Youth Engagement Project (SYEP) has been given the go ahead for the facility by Broadland District Council to build on derelict land adjacent to the allotments in Church Lane. 

Among the facilities proposed are an archery area, a firepit, a half pipe skate ramp, a growing area and a pond.

There will also be outbuildings such as a multi-functional caravan and a compost toilet with trees being planted as a border.

The entrance to the allotments in Church Lane near where the SYEP urban adventure area will be located

The entrance to the allotments in Church Lane near where the SYEP urban adventure area will be located - Credit: Google Maps

SYEP's close links with Sprowston's churches enabled the group to take over stewardship of the church-owned land.

Revd Canon Simon Stokes, who is chairman of the trustees at SYEP, said: "It has taken longer to get the planning permission than we initially realised.

"But we are hoping to move forward as soon as possible. It will be a gradual use and build of that area." 

Reverend Simon Stokes at Sprowston's church

Reverend Simon Stokes at St Mary and St Margaret Church in Sprowston - Credit: Brittany Woodman

It comes as Sprowston has been hit with anti-social behaviour including the St Mary and St Margaret's Church being targeted by yobs during a 10-day rampage from Sunday, April 3.

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Revd Stokes said: "There is a hope that by engaging more with young people we can make a difference."

SYEP has been working in partnership with Ascend Adventure for the site.

Paul Wheeler, project manager for SYEP, said: "This is a very exciting time and is the next step in being able to provide intergenerational community based projects that will not only benefit young people but the wider community.

"We are hoping that we will be up and running by no later than the school summer holidays - if not sooner."

Sprowston Town Council has donated £6,000 to the project and are currently funding an SYEP outreach worker at £16,064.

The police have funded part of the development of the site too.

Sprowston mayor, John Ward, said: "This is very welcome news. It will give a space the youngsters of Sprowston can take ownership of and work to create something of value to themselves.

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. John Ward, Town

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. John Ward, Town Mayor. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

"It will surely help to deter anti-social behaviour by giving a legitimate outlet for their energies."