'Working for the conservation and preservation of Thorpe's woodlands as a haven for wildlife and a green space for the local community'.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Councillors Renew Opposition to Loss of Thorpe Woodland

The Friends are please to report that local councillors for Thorpe St Andrew have once again stated their complete oppostion to any development proposals that would affect Thorpe Woods.

We understand that the owners of Thorpe Woods are once again promoting plans to build houses and possibly some form of Centre Parcs tourist attraction on the site currently covered by the woodlands.

The councillors have issued the following press release and an article covering it should be appearing in the Eastern Evening News early next week.

A consultation which will allow local people to state their views on whether Thorpe Woods should be protected as a greenspace is expected to be published by Broadland District Council in March next year.

Council Press Release :

At a full Council Meeting of the Thorpe St Andrew Town Council on Monday evening (3rd December 2012), Deputy Mayor and County Councillor for Thorpe St Andrew, Ian Mackie, as well as Town Councillor and County Councillor for Woodside, Nigel Shaw, restated their public opposition to any moves to develop the Thorpe St Andrew woodlands (Racecourse, Belmore and Brown's Plantations).

The two local councillors for Thorpe St Andrew have once again made clear their opposition to any development proposals that would destroy these much loved and valued woodland, and have backed the Friends of Thorpe Woodlands.
Thorpe woods are a 200 acre woodland on the eastern fringe of Thorpe St Andrew. They are recognised as an important site for wildlife by organisations such as the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, The Woodland Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). The woods are a designated County Wildlife Site.
In July 2010 the owner, the Thorpe and Felthorpe Trust, came forward with plans to fell much of the woods and build up to 800 houses on the site. The proposal raised wide spread opposition from local residents who marched through the woods to demonstrate their opposition. Local County Councillors Ian Mackie and Nigel Shaw have worked closely with local residents and groups such as The Friends of Thorpe Woodlands to oppose the proposals and to safeguard the woods. 
On Monday evening the Councillors restated their opposition ahead of any new proposals from the owners for the felling and development of the woods, Ian Mackie said:These woodlands provide a vital green lung and are home to hundreds of species of wildlife.  In addition, they are home to ancient woodlands, once part of a wedge of woods and heath which stretched from Thorpe to Mousehold Heath.  This area is reputed to have been home to Robert Kett during his fight for just conditions in 1549, as well as his final battle at Dussindale, so the whole area has enormous scientific, social and historical value."
The woods will form part of a growth consultation that will be published by Broadland District Council in March next year. The consultation will consider which sites to the east of Norwich are suitable for housing and commercial development.  Local people and interested bodies will have an opportunity to tell the council whether they would like Thorpe Woods to be saved from development and preserved as a green space for local people.
County Councillor Nigel Shaw said: "Our renewed public opposition to development or inclusion in a growth plan is an early indicator to residents and interested bodies that we are determined to protect this rich environmental heritage.  For far too many years we have lost ancient woodlands and given we already have considerable development planned in Thorpe St Andrew and further beyond, the need for develop on this special site is wholly unnecessary.  We are urging residents to join the Friends of Thorpe Woodlands and make their voices heard when the consultation begins in earnest next year."

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