No decision on when Norwich’s Plantation Garden will open following discovery of sinkhole

The hole which has opened up causing subsidence to the MJB hotel on Earlham Road, Norwich.PHOTO BY S

The hole which has opened up causing subsidence to the MJB hotel on Earlham Road, Norwich.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

The Plantation Garden will remain closed after a 20ft sinkhole opened up nearby with any decisions on when it will open to the public.

Roger Connah, chairman of Plantation Garden Preservation Trust puts up a closed sign.Picture: ANTONY

Roger Connah, chairman of Plantation Garden Preservation Trust puts up a closed sign.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The leisure gardens had to be evacuated just before 2pm on Friday afternoon after what is thought to have been the collapse of an old mining tunnel beneath the adjacent Plantation Hotel, in Earlham Road.

Police were called to the scene and five people in the gardens, including a family of four, had to leave.

This morning the garden's own engineer assessed the damage done to the garden but no decision has been made about when it will re-open to the public.

Roger Connah, chairman of the Plantation Garden Preservation Trust, said: 'The cracks in our garden do not look too serious but we need to give it 48-hours to see if they get any greater or are linked.'


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Over the weekend the hotel and gardens remained closed after they were cordoned off by police over safety concerns.

Surveyors from CNC Building Control found the cracks from the hotel had extended across the car park and into the medieval wall of the Plantation Garden.

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The hole appeared just yards from a notorious spot on Earlham Road when a double decker bus fell into a sinkhole in 1988, prompting global headlines.

The road surface had fallen away from the rear wheels, leaving it stranded at a 45 degree angle while passengers scrambled clear.

An old chalk mine beneath the section of road, dating from the 11th century, had given way.

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