New fishing lakes planned

Aura Sabadus Councillors are poised to approve a controversial application for two commercial fishing lakes.Ian Monson, Norfolk County Council's environment portfolio holder, wants to create the fishing lakes, a wildlife pond and a car park on his land at Church Farm, Oxborough, near Swaffham.

Aura Sabadus

Councillors are poised to approve a controversial application for two commercial fishing lakes.

Ian Monson, Norfolk County Council's environment portfolio holder, wants to create the fishing lakes, a wildlife pond and a car park on his land at Church Farm, Oxborough, near Swaffham.

But last month, environmentalists from Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) criticised the scheme, claiming part of the 12.5ha site proposed for the fishing lakes is wet grassland, a priority habitat within the UK's Biodiversity Action Plan. The Highways Agency is also concerned about restricted visibility in an easterly direction.


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NWT is currently raising no objection, providing the applicant submits an ecological management plan to include the remaining areas of marshy grassland and areas of land also within the applicant's ownership.

Mr Monson had commissioned a number of studies surveying existing protected species as well as assessing potential flood risks, and insists the site would considerably enhance the biodiversity of the area and help create new jobs.

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Officers at Breckland Council are recommending the application be approved subject to the same conditions raised by NWT, as well

as the submission of a construction method statement to ensure that damage does not occur to areas

of ecological value during construction.

In addition, development should be carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the submitted flood risk assessment and ecology reports.

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