Mystery of beach boardwalk is discussed by councillors

Library photo of members of Centre 81 using the new boardwalk in North Denes. Picture: DENISE BRADLE

Library photo of members of Centre 81 using the new boardwalk in North Denes. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A new boardwalk caused confusion for councillors after it to seemed to appear from nowhere in Great Yarmouth.

The wooden structure in North Denes starts opposite Salisbury Road and runs halfway down the beach, past Munchies cafe.

It was put down by Norfolk County Council's Trails and Projects team as part of the new National Coastal Path, which eventually will link up the whole of the UK's coastline.

However it was a surprise to campaigners from the People of North Yarmouth group who had been lobbying for one for many years.

At a meeting of the Yarmouth Area Committee on Tuesday night Cllr Paula Waters-Bunns said: 'It was like Tommy Cooper had come back to life, because 'Just Like That' it had just appeared.'

'Talking as PONY, the group had done a lot of work trying to get one and then it just appeared.

'We had not heard anything about it and councillors didn't hear anything about it.'

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She said PONY would now like to work on building opposite Sandown Road, near the Waterways.

John Langley, from PONY, said a council officer contacted him to ask if he knew who laid the boardwalk down after a woman got in touch with the borough council after she said she injured herself on the wooden structure.

He said there must be people in the council who knew.

Cllr Michael Jeal asked for a letter to be sent to the chief executive about the situation to ask what was going on and this was seconded by Cllr Waters-Bunn, however the motion was not voted on.

Cllr Jeal said: 'It's appalling that no-one in the council knows who put this down.'

The idea of the boardwalk is to direct foot traffic off of the dunes Site of Special Scientific Interest and the little terns colony and onto the beach to mitigate erosion.

A further boardwalk is set to be built at the northern end of the dunes near Caister, opposite the Seashore holiday park.

The wooden structure provides a level surface ideal for wheelchairs to get down to the beach at North Denes.

Centre 81 skills and activities centre manager Julie Charles accompanied three members of the charity in wheelchairs.

At the time of going to press neither the county or borough council had responded to a request for comment.

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