Council's concerns about Broads Authority could be submitted to government parks review
PUBLISHED: 08:31 06 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:23 06 November 2018
Archant Norfolk 2017
Concerns about how the Broads Authority handled a council's complaint could be submitted to a government review into national parks.
Thorpe St Andrew Town Council said a £12,000 report commissioned by the authority last year had “undermined” its ability to manage River Green off Yarmouth Road.
The report, which has not been officially published but is available online, claims the stretch of river bank is a public staithe and that its ownership was unclear.
Town clerk Thomas Foreman said such claims could leave the council having to defending its position in court, despite it having evidence showing its legal ownership of the land.
He said the council had asked the authority to amend the document, but it had initially failed to do so before allowing it to be viewed publicly.
The issue led to the council making a formal complaint to the authority, which has since said there are no grounds for one to be made.
Mr Foreman said the matter will be discussed by councillors in December, alongside the government’s Glover Review, which looks at how national parks support and work with communities.
He said: “It is unfortunate they [the authority] found there were no areas they could learn from.
“This may well be reflected by instead of any further reviews with the authority, we are likely to just put it to the [Glover] review body as an example as to what is happening with the authority and our concerns with the way matters such as this are governed.”
The Broads Authority said the report was commissioned to obtain an academic analysis of historical evidence relating to staithes.
It said the original draft was not incorrect as it stated that from the documents studied, no owner of the staithe was identified.
It said all councils in the Broads were consulted, adding it was “unfortunate” the town council had obtained a copy of the initial draft.
The authority said the report, which was by a professor at the University of East Anglia, had been changed to show the council owns the land and has the right to charge for moorings.
A Broads Authority spokesman said: “We do not agree that their ability to manage the staithe has been compromised.”