River centre’s B&B plans

A PLAN to demolish old cowsheds in Burgh St Peter and replace them with five two-storey bed and breakfast buildings looks set to be approved, despite objections.

A number of changes, including a need for archaeological work to take place, have been made to the Waveney Inn and River Centre’s planning application but objections remain in place.

Neighbours and the Wheatacre Burgh St Peter parish council are against the proposal, with concerns focused on access difficulties and the impact on the local habitat.

The plan will see the boating and leisure facility demolish some disused barns and replace then with five two-storey bed and breakfast buildings.

These will be slightly larger than the existing buildings and this has caused some neighbours to complain. Last year the site welcomed 7,500 people overnight in its static caravans, apartments and camping pitches and a further six buildings are soon to be opened.

Norfolk County Council and the Highways Authority had objected to these new proposals but removed their protest when an agreement was made to provide three passing places along the narrow-approach Burgh Road.

However, Wheatacre Burgh St Peter parish council remains opposed to the plans.

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Clerk Simon Solomon said: “It does not address the fundamental safety issues of the road, notably traffic speed, poor visibility and whether the road can cope with the additional traffic, bearing in mind the effects of planning permissions already granted have yet to filter through.”

James Knight, managing director of the Waveney Inn and River Centre, said he didn’t think many of the residents were too worried about the work.

“People would prefer a speed limit down the road and we would have been quite happy to support this, but the Highways Agency wanted passing bays,” he said.

Other concerns have included the impact on bats and the site’s potential archaeological impact, as a human burial thought to date back to medieval times has previously been recorded nearby.

As a result, recommendations include the need to stop the demolition if any bats are found, install bat boxes and allow archaeological work and a photographical survey to take place.

The plans are recommended for approval with conditions and will be discussed at the Broad Authority’s planning committee today.

If approved the work is likely to begin in November with the buildings ready to welcome guests by Easter 2012.