Illegal rave location to be turned into country park

PUBLISHED: 11:36 14 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:00 14 May 2018

Rubbish left behind at Bawsey Pits. Picture: Ian Burt

Rubbish left behind at Bawsey Pits. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Former sand workings where an illegal rave took place over the weekend will be turned into a family-friendly country park, their owner pledged today.

There was an illegal rave held at Bawsey Pits over the weekend. Picture: Ian BurtThere was an illegal rave held at Bawsey Pits over the weekend. Picture: Ian Burt

Revellers descended on Bawsey Pits, near King’s Lynn, in the early hours of Sunday.

Police are still investigating the unlicensed event, which was attended by around 30 people.

Steve Edwards saw the aftermath on Sunday when he visited Bawsey to walk his dog.

“There were cars with loud music playing and boats on the water,” he said. “Never in the 45 years have we ever seen boats or so much rubbish around the Bawsey pit. I was shocked to see a white van driving around the park also motorcycles racing up and down the hills and rubbish everywhere.

Safety signs at Bawsey Pits. Picture: Ian BurtSafety signs at Bawsey Pits. Picture: Ian Burt

“I don’t know who is responsible for the park but it’s becoming or should I say is a mess, it’s a shocking disgrace that this beautiful area is being ruined, this could be a fantastic asset for West Norfolk but it’s been left to turn into a dumping ground.”

Stephen Bacon, who owns Bawsey Pits, said roads around the site would soon be improved and regular litter patrols were being carried out.

He added a planning application would be submitted for the country park later this year, which would include sailing craft on the lake, an ampitheatre and picnic areas.

“I want it to be something I can be deeply proud of,” he said. “I want it to be a real asset for the region. We’re getting there but we’re not there yet.”

Parking restrictions are being enforced along the B1145 Gayton Road, which runs along part of the site, to prevent people parking on roadside verges.

Hundreds visit the lakes on hot summer weekends, with many ignoring signs warning them not to swim.

More than 600 people took part in a public consultation about the pits in 2014.

It came after a 16-year-old boy and a man in his 40s drowned whilst swimming in one of the lakes.

A Bawsey Lakes Futures Group was formed at a public meeting, which heard that people wanted to be able to safely enjoy walking and watersports like fishing or canoeing.

Businessman Mr Bacon bought the site the following year from minerals firm Sibelco.

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