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Plans to breathe new life into River Wensum nears completion

PUBLISHED: 08:31 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:14 15 March 2018

River Wensum reflections on a bright but cold winter's day.

River Wensum reflections on a bright but cold winter's day.

(c) copyright newzulu.com

Plans to breathe new life into the River Wensum are nearing completion following a positive response to the draft strategy.

Councillor Mike Stonard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCouncillor Mike Stonard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Around 260 residents and groups submitted responses on the draft strategy consultation, which ran from July 26 to September 15 last year.

Over 600 individual comments were made in relation to a range of issues including improved access for walking and cycling, encouraging greater use of the river by small craft, enhancing heritage, ecology, and biodiversity, and the importance of voluntary and community involvement.

Councillor Mike Stonard, chair of the River Wensum strategy partnership, said: “We’ve been really impressed with the level of response to our draft River Wensum strategy.

“Once it is rolled out and subject to successful funding bids, residents can expect to see improved riverside walks, events celebrating the river, and new initiatives to protect and enhance the natural and historic environment, as well as a plethora of other activities.

Roland Gurner pictured on his paddleboard on the River Wensum in Norwich.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY
COPY:
FOR:EDP NEWS
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010 (01603 772434)Roland Gurner pictured on his paddleboard on the River Wensum in Norwich. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY COPY: FOR:EDP NEWS © ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010 (01603 772434)

“Such improvements also have the potential to contribute to the city’s regeneration by attracting private sector investment as well as making it an even better place to live, work and spend leisure time.”

The views and ideas expressed in the consultation will go before the sustainable development committee on March 21 before being considered for approval by cabinet on June 13.

Norwich City Council is leading on the project, working in partnership with the Broads Authority, Norfolk County Council, Environment Agency and the Wensum River Parkway Partnership.

The Wensum played a crucial role in trade for Norwich as the city grew in the early years, but during the last century the city slowly turned its back on the river and it remains an under used resource.

Norwich views. Foundary Bridge on Prince of Wales Road crossing the River Wensum.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYNorwich views. Foundary Bridge on Prince of Wales Road crossing the River Wensum. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The River Wensum Strategy was formulated to look at a series of improvements which could be implemented in the next 10 years.

The plans look to enhance the waterway through Norwich and encourage more people to use it.

One of the issues the strategy aims to address is unlocking the river’s tourism potential, which many believe is undervalued.

To see the revised strategy and consultation responses visit: The River Wensum Strategy

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