New �250,000 centre for park given final go-ahead

Trustees of a historic city park hope to start work in the new few weeks on a new warden's office and education building.

The Catton Park Trust had secured planning permission in principle for the single-storey timber-framed building, but still needed the final say-so from English Heritage.

Now the trust has been told the heritage body is satisfied with the �250,000 building's design and its proposed location roughly 25m north east of the grade II-listed South Lodge near to the entrance off Oak Lane.

English Heritage wanted to be sure the development would not spoil or mar the parkland, which was designed more than two centuries ago by landscape architect Humphry Repton.

Ken Leggett, one of the Catton Park trustees, said the education building would enable schools to use the park, by providing the necessary facilities of a kitchen and toilets. He added: 'English Heritage were concerned, and quite rightly, because it will be new feature in the park.

'They flagged up that we must remember the importance of the historic existence of the park, which we are very focused on anyway.

'The site for the building means we will have to take out some old scrub bushes behind the lodge and it will be nestled there near to the picnic area.'

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Part of the area has now been cleared and work is hoped to start soon. The building will be constructed in sections off site and then put into position on piles in the ground so that there will be very little digging to disturb the park's trees.

The funding for the project has come from the Greater Norwich Development Partnership, which has also given �70,000 towards its restoration.

The building will be made using natural materials, including sweet chestnut cladding, and will be of highly sustainable construction.

It will also house a store and serve as a base for the park's warden.

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