December 10 2013 Latest news:
Monday, August 12, 2013
They are two quiet cul-de-sacs, where families enjoy peaceful suburban life.
But Bradwell residents fear all this could be lost if a makeshift water crossing of broken tables and ladders is turned into a bonafide footbridge thoroughfare.
The splintered wooden stepping stones are used by teenagers to get over a dyke which separates Castle Green and a field behind Blake Drive, tucked within earshot of the Harfreys Estate.
And fresh proposals to build a £30,000 footbridge aim to make the crossing safer, giving Castle Green children access to the Blake Drive field to play in.
Cash would come from the developers of nearby Cotman Drive as part of a section 106 agreement.
The scheme, which would also see goalposts erected in the field, is spearheaded by Bernard Williamson, cabinet member for transformation and regeneration.
Mr Williamson’s Claydon ward includes Castle Green, which currently has no immediate access to play facilities for children.
While some are in favour, many fear the proposals would open the floodgates to anti-social behaviour, increase crime and put children at risk by drawing them to the isolated location by the dyke.
Christian Weihser, 44, lives in Blake Drive, backing onto the field.
He said of the proposals: “It will make life a misery.
“Teenagers sit here drinking and their noise just carries.
“They don’t think they’re making a nuisance of themselves, but it just carries and we can see the torches flashing around when we’re in bed.
“I don’t want the situation escalated.”
The father-of-two added the bridge could increase crime by attracting more people to the area.
When footbridge proposals were last raised in 2005 there were numerous objections, with police calling for CCTV cameras and street lighting to be installed if the scheme went ahead.
But it was dropped by the borough council.
Leslie Shepherd, 82, of Blake Drive, said: “My real worry is that putting a bridge in would bring danger to the young children.
“The dyke is a disgrace at the moment - it’s full of rubbish.
“The bridge would mean children would play on it and the hazards would become a danger for all to see.”
Julia Callaghan, also of Blake Drive, said: “I don’t want people to think we’re against the Castle Green residents, as it’s not just them coming across.
“It would be from Gorleston and the rest of the borough.”
Graham Plant, borough councillor for Bradwell north ward, said the owner of a car park on the Castle Green side is happy for the land to be developed as a playground.
And he said this would avoid the problems residents fear.
Two consultation events were held this week, but two further consultation events are now scheduled.
One will be held in the field by Blake Drive on Tuesday, August 20 from 5pm to 7pm and the second in the car park of the Little Acorns home on Castle Green on Wednesday, August 21 from 5pm to 6pm.
The final decision will be made by cabinet members at Great Yarmouth Borough Council.
Bernard Williamson, cabinet member for transformation and regeneration, said the move has always been on the cards, with original plans submitted by developers in 1999 showing the footbridge.
“This is the only suitable open space within walking distance of Castle Green,” he added.
“As such it is already used by children, who take unacceptable risks in order to access the large field.
“Naturally we are keen to create a safe access route before someone is seriously injured, and also install some goalposts so youngsters have somewhere to go for a kick-around but before anything is agreed, we want to hear the views of local residents.”
Comments can be sent directly to Valerie Cadmore, Play and Leisure Officer, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline is Saturday, August 31.
Are you in favour of the footbridge proposals, or against them? Write with your views to email@example.com