A vision of a tree-lined quayside is back on the agenda after 20 years of failed attempts
PUBLISHED: 17:19 06 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:19 06 March 2019
Archant Norfolk © 2015
A bid to “green-up” Great Yarmouth is reviving interest in a leafy quayside after earlier efforts failed spectacularly.
Six years ago the council was forced to give up on its hopes of a shady avenue lining the riverside at South Quay.
Some 48 trees were dug up after several costly plantings - all of which failed to flourish amid much head-scratching over what went wrong.
Now, Hugh Sturzaker, chairman of the town’s civic society, wants the issue to be looked at again.
The former consultant surgeon is asking Great Yarmouth Borough Council to revisit the project and hand over its papers on the saga and possibly commission another study into soil conditions.
He said more plants and greenery would lift the town, look attractive, make people feel happier and improve health outcomes.
Getting charities involved in providing plugs and making planters would help drive down costs he said, and bring in a community garden element.
Meanwhile he said he was keen to look again at putting trees along South Quay and that the Woodland Trust was keen to help.
MORE: Letter: Council should use Google to find which trees will grow near salt water
He wanted to properly explore ways round the issue of salt water and pollution said to be at the root of earlier failures even looking at removing the soil and putting new material in.
The £1.2m renovation of South Quay - famously described by Daniel Defoe as “the finest in England” - began in around 1998.
The scheme involved sweeping away free parking and giving over the northern part of the quay to trees and “a public garden”.
It also involved the renovation of some of the quayside museums, helping to elevate the South Quay area into a heritage quarter and visitor destination in its own right.
In the port’s heyday there were trees, but on the other side of the road close to the houses, where they would not have interfered with the activity of the bustling quay.
The Civic Society is also launching a town centre awards scheme across four categories in a bid to recognise businesses that make an effort and reward them for “a job well done.”
It also wants people to roll up their sleeves and help with a giant litter pick on April 13 with two sessions at 10am and 1pm.
A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said: “We’re in the early stages of planning for a Transport for Great Yarmouth scheme on Hall Plain.
“Part of this has involved looking at the trees along South Quay and whether anything could be done as part of the project.
“No decisions can be made yet since the full scope of work and budget has not been established but we will make sure residents and local stakeholders are kept informed as things progress.”