Police safety concerns over bid for footpath near Marriott’s Way

A photo of Mariott's Way. A new footpath could be created on the Thorpe Marriott estate, linking to

A photo of Mariott's Way. A new footpath could be created on the Thorpe Marriott estate, linking to Marriott's Way. Picture: Stuart McPherson - Credit: Archant

Police have raised safety concerns over a bid for a new mile-long footpath on the edge of Norwich.

Broadland District Council has applied to its planning department to create a footpath to link the Thorpe Marriott estate, Marriott's Way, Nabour Furlong, Pendlesham Rise, Littlewood and the Broadland Northway Green Bridge.

It would be created in the tree belt that skirts around the Thorpe Marriott estate, planning papers released ahead of Wednesday's meeting, where the bid will be approved or refused, say.

Nine access points would be created along the path, which would stretch roughly one mile, and it would see 'a minimum of' 123 trees removed.

Taverham Parish Council has objected to the plans, sharing concerns over security of the rear gardens of people who live nearby.

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And Norfolk police's architectural liaison officer raised concern over the potential impact on crime.

'Communal areas may have the potential to generate crime, the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour,' the report says. 'They should be designed to allow surveillance from nearby dwellings with safe routes for users to come and go.'

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They warned that while cul-de-sacs, such as those on the Thorpe Marriott estate, are generally safe, crime can creep in when they become linked.

MORE: Rough sleeping and syringes in the woods on scenic Norwich riverside walk

The officer advised the footpath be as straight and wide as possible, near overlooking buildings so it is 'devoid of potential hiding places'.

But in the report, council planning officers say the area is already used, and that more use would only increase surveillance of the site, while 'defensive planting' would take place in areas where the backs of properties were deemed to be vulnerable.

'A significant point to note is that the footpath will be no closer to the rear of properties than the situation that currently exists on the nearby Marriott's Way footpath which is well used and hasn't resulted in significant levels of crime and anti-social behaviour,' they said.

Police said last week they would investigate drug crime in Train Wood, just off Marriott's Way, after a Friends group who litter pick in the area said they regularly find syringes and rough sleepers.

The application is recommended for approval by Broadland planners.

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