The 8 projects that aim to improve Norwich in £1.5m drive

Norwich Castle gardens.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich Castle gardens.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A £1.5m drive to rejuvenate green areas of Greater Norwich and create better footpaths and cycleways has been revealed.

The eight proposed projects, including a new footbridge over the River Yare and work to give Castle Gardens a new lease of life, aim to benefit the community.

Also among the raft of suggested improvements are a riverside footpath to give better access to the Deal Ground, more lighting along the city end of Marriott's Way and cash to ensure improvements for pedestrians after a city centre traffic shake-up.

Outline details have been produced by officers, with the fine detail to follow at a later stage.

Funding would come from a £6.5m pot of cash pooled across Greater Norwich - from the city council, Broadland and South Norfolk - from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

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The CIL is a planning charge introduced by the government under the Planning Act 2008 as a way for local authorities to help deliver infrastructure.

It came into force in 2010, and authorities can seek to charge developers.

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The city council agreed to pool CIL cash across Greater Norwich last year, and cash has already been used to help projects in the Fine City.

The draft annual business plan went before last night's full council meeting at City Hall.

River Wensum Parkway - £100,000

Enhancements to the link network between the River Wensum and Ber Street would include improvements to the wooded ridge path between Thorn Lane and Carrow Hill and measures to improve river access for pedestrians from King Street.

Also included in the £100,000 vision is enhancement of the setting of the boom towers and city walls between the river and Ber Street, including repairs and tree work.

This would aim to encourage greater use of the link from the river.

Officers say it is needed to serve development currently underway in the King Street and Riverside areas.

Carrow Bridge - £100,000

A £100,000 section of path for pedestrians and cyclists would provide a key 'missing link' in the route from Norwich railway station to Whitlingham Country Park, officers have said.

The riverside path - from Carrow Bridge to the Deal Ground alongside the north bank of the River Wensum - would form part of overarching vision to improve links between Norwich City centre and Whitlingham Country Park.

Funding would top up £250,000 from charity Sustrans, and would complement a new bridge across the River Wensum to be delivered through development of the Deal Ground and utilities site.

Colney river crossing - £150,000

A new footbridge across the River Yare from Norwich Research Park to Three Score would be part of a £150,000 package of improvements.

This would also include improvements to the existing right of way and improvements to the existing footpaths.

It would provide a direct link between housing in Bowthorpe, the Bowthorpe southern park and the major employment locations at the research park and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

It would allow many Bowthorpe residents to get to work on foot, enable attractive circular walks and complement the development of Three Score.

Yare and Wensum valleys link - £65,000

The River Wensum and River Yare run close together in west Norwich but are poorly connected by paths, officers have said.

So £65,000 is proposed to be spent to 'weld the disparate parts together' between Marriott's Way and the Three Score development site.

The project would include improvements to paths and landscaping, specifically path improvements to Marlpit wood, andcycle and landscape improvements in the green space between West Earlham and Bowthorpe.

Funding would top up £59,000 for Bunker's Hill Wood secured as part of the development of Three Score.

Marriott's Way improvements - £275,000

A £275,000 vision to improve the Norwich end of the Marriott's Way has been put forward.

The path provides a traffic-free connection allowing residents of Drayton, Taverham, Thorpe Marriott and Mile Cross and Wensum wards good access to the city centre and to the Broadland countryside.

But it is narrow and poorly surfaced in parts and some access points are obstructed.

The cash would fund surface and lighting improvements from the stretch of route between Anderson's Meadow and Sloughbottom Park, to improve the route from Mile Cross to the city centre, completing an ongoing project.

Castle Gardens - £150,000

A comprehensive £150,000 restoration of Castle Gardens and Castle Green is in the pipeline.

It is hoped this would complement the planned revamp of Norwich Castle's indoor exhibition spaces, for which around £850,000 of Heritage Lottery Fund cash is being sought.

Officers hope that 'ambitious design changes' to the gardens would improve the likelihood of securing this grant, noting they were currently in a 'shabby' state and not as well-used as they could be.

Officers state the gardens are a 'precious area of green space within the city centre' and should be well used.

Contingency cash for Golden Ball Street traffic changes - £500,000

Officers want to reserve £500,000 as a contingency fund, in case there is any shortfall from an already-planned £3m traffic shake-up.

The scheme - part of a long-term effort to reduce city centre traffic and promote cycling, walking and use of public transport - would remove through traffic from All Saints Green and Westlegate, making Golden Ball Street and Farmers Avenue two way.

Extra funding is being sought from the private sector for improvements to Westlegate and All Saints Green for pedestrians.

The £500,000 may be needed to supplement any shortfall.

Contingency cash for pink pedalway - £150,000

Officers have requested £150,000 for a section of path for cyclists and pedestrians in case already-allocated cash runs short.

It would be for a 3m-wide, lit path between Heathgate and Gurney Road at the junction with Britannia Road, near to Mousehold Heath.

The link would provide a more direct route on the pink pedalway, which runs from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and UEA, through the city centre, to Heartsease and Broadland.

It is hoped that the £150,000 will not be needed, but would supplement funding already allocated for the project if it was not sufficient.

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