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Norwich Rugby Club’s move to UEA sparks fears over Yare Valley

08:14 04 March 2016

Picture by Mike Page.
Picture shows:UEA Sports ground

Picture by Mike Page. Picture shows:UEA Sports ground

©Coypright Mike Page, All Rights Reserved Before any use is made of this picture, including dispaly, publication, broadcast, syn

A proposal to build a new sports facility on a green space has met with criticism, but organisers defend the scheme and believe it will benefit the community.

Artist's plan for the new home of Norwich Rugby Club. Picture: SuppliedArtist's plan for the new home of Norwich Rugby Club. Picture: Supplied

The chairman of community group Yare Valley Society said members are “up in arms” about the plan for Norwich Rugby Club to share new pitches with the University of East Anglia on land off Colney Lane.

Andy Pott, secretary of the rugby club, accepted there would be some change to the area, but said there was room to accommodate the wishes of all interest groups.

An online petition objecting to the scheme has been signed by more than 1,500 people.

The rugby club chose the Colney Lane site after searching for a new home, as it sold its current base at Beeston Hyrne, near Spixworth, to a housing developer.

Its plans, submitted jointly with UEA to South Norfolk Council, include new sports pitches, with an artificial grass pitch that has fencing and floodlighting, a new pavilion/club house, which would include a café, changing room, club room and bar, and a 284-space car park.

But Andrew Salisbury, chairman of the Yare Valley Society, said there were a number of reasons why the club should move elsewhere.

They included:

There should be no developments on river valleys.

The facility would destroy the rural aspect of the area.

Concerns over the regulation of the planned car park, and the safety of cyclists using a proposed two-way access road.

Currently the site consists of playing pitches and a pedestrian/cycle path.

“Our members are up in arms about this, and many people have objected to the scheme to the council,” Mr Salisbury said. He claimed UEA were acting in contrary to their environmental policy by planning to build on a green space.

But Mr Pott, of the rugby club, said: ”It’s not an area of natural beauty at the moment as there are some large pylons stretching across the landscape.

“We need the car park to stop people parking along Colney Lane, and it would be managed the same way as UEA’s other car parks.”

The petition can be signed at www.change.org/p/south-norfolk-council-save-the-wildlife-habit-at-earlham-park-from-developers

A UEA spokesperson said: “Norwich Rugby Club and UEA have now submitted a comprehensive planning application which addresses many of the issues raised by the petition. Comments can be made via the normal process to the planning authority, South Norfolk Council.

“This is an important project for the University, the club and the community, and we have had a number of discussions with the Council Planning Team throughout the process, who have provided advice and guidance.

“The application is supported by technical reports and survey work explaining how such things as traffic generation, ecology, archaeology, flood risk, landscape impact, trees and hedgerows have been taken into account and informed the design process.

“In light of some early feedback, the University & NRFC have also had further discussions with the Norwich Cycle Campaign and representatives from the UEA Bicycle User Group (BUG) and the NRP BUG and are in the process of updating plans for cycle and pedestrian paths to address these comments. The Council will consider all comments made before determining the planning application later this year.

“The University has a Sustainable Travel Plan which is available here: https://portal.uea.ac.uk/documents/6207125/6492864/UEA+Travel+Plan+2016/470d57ec-a2be-4e0b-be02-febe61c6fc23.

“We can confirm that the land will continue to be owned by UEA.”

16 comments

  • UEA continue to use the propaganda slogan "for the community " will this bar , cafe at the pavilion be open to the general public , because you will be aware the student union have just brought in a no public policy to the union bar except concert nights because of so called trouble from the public even though the community have to put up of drunken students causing anti social behaviour going to and from from campus and they have just been granted a 24 hour licence even after objections from the local community

    Report this comment

    Norwich

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • No, for heaven's sake no. The Yare valley is a priceless green gap between the city and research Parkhospital growing suburbs to the west of Norwich. This plan with bring floodlights, extra traffic, chemical sprays on the pitches and provide a backdoor way for UEA to build a road across the valley. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty which the city has always been keen to safeguard. If this happens it will be gone forever.

    Report this comment

    NR23Derek

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • Yare valley !!! Wot next Blackdale wood and the ultimate goal Earlham park , the UEA has already slowly started encroaching on Earlham park -- pay & display car parking , extensions to Earlham Hall , large enterprise building replaced green houses Rugby playing field development like for like !!! don't think so -- flood lit artificial fenced playing fields , Tarmac car park for 300+ vechicles , large pavilion , road ? University ward councillors, mp and Norwich city council have not commented on this development because they say it's out of the city boundaries even though the development is encroaching the Yare valley and the knock on effect of traffic passing threw Eaton , Bluebell rd , The Avenues, Earlham rd !!!!!!

    Report this comment

    Norwich

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • When have the UEA done anything for the community except causing Anti Social Behviour

    Report this comment

    Norwich

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • It is not going near the park!!! It is going where there are sport pitches I think it will be great there it won't be in anyone's way to be fair you shouldn't walk your dogs on the pitches anyway there are woods there and the park where you can take your dogs why do people have to go kick off about anything new!!!

    Report this comment

    J J

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • Nimbyism at its most blatant. It's a rugby club not high rise flats.

    Report this comment

    a fine city

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • Go for it Norwich RUFC & UEA, it can only help expand sporting interests of thousands of people in all sorts of different sports, nimby's are everywhere and wouldn't exist if others weren't looking to change and improve life for the majority.

    Report this comment

    brereton

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • What a non-story! The whole area is already given over to UEA's sports pitches. The new pavilion will replace the current ramshackle one near Colney Lane and there will be some more parking. There is no encroachment on Earlham Park. Stop panicking over every change that is proposed. Change is good!

    Report this comment

    JSmith

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • It's NOT Earlham park !!! nimbys please read it's Colney Lane away from the river on UEA land - I Repeat not the park.

    Report this comment

    Jbone

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • It's NOT Earlham park !!! nimbys please read it's Colney Lane away from the river on UEA land - I Repeat not the park.

    Report this comment

    Jbone

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • This is another massive area of green land to be fenced off from the general public (whether with dogs or without). A huge area was fenced off when the department studying rabbit behaviour had to move as the UEA wanted to build there some 30 years ago. This area has remained closed ever since and appears derelict with rubbish laying about and there surely can't be anything to learn about rabbits after 30 years. Last year fences went up all along the river banks either side of e narrow road leaving just a narrow piece to walk along. Not to mention the eco building and takeover of the earlham park car park. As Jamie Knights says the UEA is creeping ever closer to Earlham Park and fencing everywhere off on its way! Disgusting.

    Report this comment

    smithy

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • please see chnage.org "Improve sports facilities at Earlham Park UEA grounds with wildlife fully considered" for a balanced approach

    Report this comment

    Jbone

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • This is not going to be built on the park !! also why would anyone want to block improvement of sports facilities for the community ? perhaps they are worried they may be spotted not picking up their dogs mess more easily

    Report this comment

    Jbone

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • https:www.change.orgpuea-improve-sports-facilities-at-earlham-park-uea-grounds-with-wildlife-fully-considered?recruiter=501115898&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

    Report this comment

    Jbone

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • HOW DID UEA COME BY THIS AREA OF NATURAL BEAUTY. WAS IT PART OF THE GOLF COURSE GIVEN TO THEM BY THE CITY?

    Report this comment

    No to tory boy

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • This is the uea creeping ever closer to Earlham park,this should not be aloud to go ahead.

    Report this comment

    Jamie Knights

    Friday, March 4, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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