Plantation Garden in Norwich reopened to the public for the first time in six weeks

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Posted:
14:55 March 15, 2017



Update:
10:56 am October 10, 2020

People can soak up the sun in the Norwich Plantation Garden today after it reopens to the public for the first time in six weeks.

The picturesque Victorian Garden, off Earlham Road, has been closed since January due to concerns about sinkholes in the area.

Tony Burlingham, owner of three nearby MJB hotels, has barricaded access to the site so that underground assessments can be done.

An investigation has since revealed the garden to be safe, but a test has yet to be undertaken on the main driveway leading to the site.

Despite this, the Plantation Garden Preservation Trust announced today that the garden is once again open to the public.


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Roger Connah, chairman of the trust, said: “It makes good sense [to reopen] because the access reader shows no signs of a problem. We will only enter on foot, and we will not use vehicles so there will not be a lot of weight [on the access route].

‘Six weeks sounds terribly long, but it disappeared very quickly and that didn’t stop us from maintaining the garden.’

Mr Burlingham, owner of the driveway to the site, closed access due to what he called “health and safety” issues.

It comes after a 20-foot sinkhole opened on the side of his Plantation hotel last April.

Two of its other hotels, The Beeches and The Governor’s, had also suffered from subsidence.

The first underground studies had suggested that a chalk mine was responsible and that it could pass under the gardens.

However, further testing by Norwich City Council found the garden to be safe.

Mr Burlingham is now due to stress test the main driveway leading to the site on March 24, according to Mr Connah.

But until then people will be able to enter the gardens from the entrance to Earlham Road.

A statement on the Trust website said: “We may have more closures in the next few weeks, so please watch this space, just in case.

“The heartwarming response from so many and the incredible petition signed by 11,200 people has certainly put us back on the right track.

“We are looking forward to seeing many more visitors to the Garden and possibly more members, as that is where our base of support comes from.”


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