May Gurney and Deal Ground Site update 18 May 2023

I attended the public consultation presentation at the Forum on Tuesday. The consultation at Manor Rooms Trowse has been reported in the EDP today, where locals expressed their opinions about the extra volume of traffic the new development will attract. The destruction of the riverbanks was not mentioned in the report, but you can read an update from South Norfolk Council below.

The final consultation is today via Zoom 6-8pm visit the Deal Consultation website to register. If you haven’t already taken a look at the plans, please do so via the above site and make your views known.

The following information has been obtained from South Norfolk Council.

Point 1

Outline permission was granted in July 2013 (application ref: 2011/0152)  for the redevelopment of the Deal Ground & May Gurney for 670 dwellings, local centre, access bridge over the River Yare, roads, landscaping, flood risk management measures, landscaping and biodiversity enhancements. Equivalent permissions were granted by both South Norfolk Council and Norwich City Council as the site crosses the district boundary although May Gurney is wholly within South Norfolk. While the outline permission includes conditions relating to tree protection, no detailed plans have been approved and so the planning permission has not yet been implemented. This means that there has not been any breach of the outline conditions relating to tree protection etc.

Point 2

While the May Gurney site is outside of any conservation area and there are no tree preservation orders (TPO) in place, there are TPOs on the Deal Ground which is within the City Council’s boundary. It is now known that at least one tree covered by a TPO was felled on the Deal Ground and the City Council is separately considering enforcement action in response to this.

Points 3 & 4

Our officers’ site visit has confirmed that there is Japanese knotweed on the May Gurney site (it is also present on the Deal Ground). The landowner has now provided the knotweed management plan that was produced by their licensed contractors. Our environmental protection team confirm that the methodology set out is in line with best practice. However, it is noted that this methodology does not include the need to remove any nearby trees but recommends the chemical treatment of JKW plants in situ. The information submitted confirms that this treatment regime is ongoing.  

Point 5

We have had discussions with wildlife officers from Norfolk Police regarding the removal of these trees during the nesting season. While it is likely that the removal of so many trees and bushes at this time of year would have destroyed active nests, the Police can only take further action where they have direct evidence of nesting birds. Our own tree officers inspected the site during their visit but, unfortunately, it had been so extensively cleared that this evidence was not present. The police are now considering the licensed contractors initial site surveys and have advised me that they will be contacting them separately to discuss further.

Point 6

The Forestry Commission visited the site on 28 April with tree officers from South Norfolk and Norwich City Councils. They confirmed that the volume of trees removed well exceeded that which would have required a felling licence and they served a Stop Felling Notice covering Deal Ground & May Gurney on the same day. The Commission are now carrying out further inspections to calculate the volume of trees removed and will advise us of any further action that they may take as a result. .

And finally, this statement from Lanpro’s website who are planning consultants for the Deal ground site.

“Lanpro provided specialist advice to secure a reduction in affordable housing provision.”

Author: Petra Kidd

Norfolk UK is my home, I live in Norwich by the River Wensum where everyday there is something different to see and learn. I feel a big affinity with the river as I grew up in Cambridge, another great river city. My childhood and teens involved many walks along the Cam where we would watch 'The Bumps,' raft races and as we grew older we enjoyed adventures on our punting pub crawls. Growing up in a multi cultural university city definitely influenced my reading choices, I am a big fan of Japanese fiction, love French literature and enjoy Shakespeare. As a young teen I entertained myself with Jilly Cooper and Dick Francis and then became quite obsessed with Henri Charriere's Papillon. At school all I cared about was English, Art and French, in that exact order. When I finished with school I went to live and work in Greece for a wonderful year before returning to study English Literature and Sociology. At this point I read more classics like the Wyf of Bath, Wuthering Heights and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man plus poets such as Wilfred Owen. My first UK full time job was with Heffer's Paperbacks where I devoured several books at a time, excited by the fact I could borrow what I liked. Bizarrely for me I remember reading The Zurich Axioms, I have no interest in the stock markets but it had me gripped. I can't remember why I picked it up but I have never forgotten it. Heffers introduced me to so many authors, via their books and sometimes in person. It was here I learned about all the genres, it fascinated me that science fiction and horror were so popular, I tried reading it all. Aside from writing letters, it didn't really ever occur to me to write anything myself for many years as I worked my way through a variety of interesting and varied jobs. Then on a visit to the London Aquarium I became struck by an idea so powerful I sat down and wrote my first novel. It went nowhere as really I wrote it because I wanted to. I wrote another novel and again, didn't have the persistance or determination to take it further, I simply enjoyed the process of writing and my characters. Then years later another idea struck me and during a severe bout of Pleurisy where I couldn't do anything physical for months, I wrote the Eight of Swords and The Putsi. This time I published them as ebooks and they became pretty popular. When I fully recovered, I had to concentrate on my business and looking after my mother who has various health issues and the writing went adrift again for many years until 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world. March 2020 I moved to my apartment alongside the Wensum to live alone for the first time ever. During the first lockdown I began to write a diary and then the idea for a new set of short stories came to me and in February 2021 they will be published. The Covid-19 Pandemic is not simply a scary virus, it is a historical time and here we are trying to live through it. To many it will feel like a punishment but to me as a writer, in some ways, it came as a gift. Please stay as safe and as well as you can. I hope to entertain you with my stories as we all try to get through this together, even though we are apart. Petra

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