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Norwich’s Plantation Garden remains shut due to 20ft hole

PUBLISHED: 14:30 15 April 2016 | UPDATED: 15:24 15 April 2016

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

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

Archant Norfolk 2016

It remains unclear when Norwich’s historic Plantation Garden will re-open, a week after it was forced to close when a 20ft sinkhole opened at a neighbouring hotel.

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

But the chairman of the garden’s trustees said he was optimistic the attraction would open before its summer season starts next month.

The gardens, off Earlham Road, were evacuated just before 2pm on Friday last week after what is thought to have been the collapse of an old mining tunnel beneath the adjacent Plantation Hotel.

Police were called and five people in the gardens, including a family of four, had to leave. Surveyors were concerned that cracks from the hotel had extended into the medieval wall of the Plantation Garden.

Roger Connah, chairman of the Plantation Garden Preservation Trust, said: “The engineers have advised us and the thinking is that we do not open to the public until the hole at the Plantation Hotel has settled.

“The garden is not threatened or damaged and the structures are fine. We just need confidence that the problem next door is under control.

“We are continuing to maintain the gardens and are able to take people in there to do jobs, so long as they are under supervision, but we cannot just leave it open every day, which is a great shame.

“It’s obviously a very difficult process to sort out, but we have no indication of the timescale for re-opening at this time.”

The gardens are due to host outdoor cinema shows in July and August. Mr Connah said he was “optimistic” they would re-open long before then and in time for summer events starting next month.

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