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Councillor urges for solution to be found as conservationists halt work around old city train station on Marriott’s Way, Norwich

The conservationists dredged a pond near the site before they were stopped.

The conservationists dredged a pond near the site before they were stopped.

Archant

Conservationists have halted work on Marriott’s Way amid fears over cyanide and asbestos contamination at a former train station.

The site of the old Norwich City Station near the roundabout on Barn Road is thought to be contaminated around the former engine shed and platform.

As reported in the Evening News on September 10, Norfolk County Council asked volunteers the Friends of Norwich City Station to stop excavating the platform while tests were carried out.

And conservation group, the Norwich Community Green Gym has also stopped cutting back undergrowth around the area.

Ernie Woodrow from the green gym said: “We were disappointed because we love that site. It is a nice site to work on, but if there is a health risk, we don’t want anything to happen.”

The volunteers were clearing the footpath by the river from the start of Marriott’s Way to Dolphin Bridge before they stopped. Green Party county councillor for the area, Richard Bearman, urged the council to reach an agreement with the volunteer groups.

He said: “Stopping the Community Green Gym, when they are working nearby and not excavating, seems to be something of an overreaction. While it is vitally important to protect people against any contamination, there are many post-industrial and railway sites that are re-used successfully and not simply concreted over.

“Protecting and productively using Norwich’s industrial heritage is vitally important. So is supporting these volunteers, who do so much. Norfolk County Council must produce a full report which details what could be done in the future in this area, and give every assistance to the groups concerned. It’s just not good enough to simply stop them.”

A spokeswoman for Norfolk County Council said the volunteers had been asked to stop amid concerns they were disturbing the contaminated ground.

She said: “It is a sensible precaution to review it. I think everyone recognises the history of the site.”

Plans are now being put forward to deal with the contamination.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Tom Bristow on 01603 772313 or email tom.bristow@archant.co.uk

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