Council agrees to proceed with allotment plans despite concerns

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

Contentious plans for a nature reserve at an allotment near Norwich are due to proceed despite a range of opposing views being voiced this week. 

Thorpe St Andrew Town Council launched a consultation asking the public for their views for a 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. 

Allotment holders in Thorpe St Andrew

Allotment holders and other local people are unhappy at Thorpe St Andrew Town Council's plans for Churchyard Close. - Credit: Richard Blackburn

But during a town council planning meeting on Monday evening, 13 people and allotment holders spoke in opposition to the plans with one in support. 

Among the issues raised were the loss of existing habitat, removal of beehives, disturbance to bat roost, potential anti-social behaviour and the loss of disability access at the allotments. 

Privacy issues for bordering houses were also mentioned with some neighbours failing to receive the newsletter outlining the consultation. 


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A comment within the consultation from someone living in Elizabeth Avenue said: "Most of the gardens along this side do not have fences at the back and will make us more vulnerable to unauthorised access to our homes and a greater risk of theft.

"Elizabeth Avenue also has a large proportion of elderly residents and it is not uncommon for ambulances to come down this road."

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

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Neighbours believe the proposals could cause the road to be blocked due to increased parking.

The council committee unanimously supported the project progressing, but with changes included to reflect the feedback received. 

Councillors are available at the town council's Community Day in Sir George Morse Park on Wednesday, as well as at the church fete on Saturday to receive feedback. 

The town council has said it will continue to work with stakeholders including a beekeeper who they are looking to welcome back in the autumn. 

John Fisher, chairman of the committee, said: "I am pleased we have decided to progress with the project as this is a unique spot with views over the river valley which should be enjoyed and accessible to all residents.

Broadland district councillor, John Fisher. Photo: Broadland District Council

Councillor John Fisher - Credit: Archant

"I welcome further engagement with allotment holders and residents and their positive input. We know there is a lot of work to do before the area will be opened but this is a good start

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