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Blackwater Carr Ordered to Dismantle Yurt in Norfolk Broads

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Blackwater Carr Ordered to Dismantle Yurt in Norfolk Broads

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A couple spearheading a wildlife sanctuary in the Norfolk Broads must dismantle a yurt they erected for research purposes following a lost skirmish with the Broads Authority.

Steve Hooper and Mary Alexander encountered legal turmoil after constructing the modest structure at Blackwater Carr, a rewilding enclave in Postwick by the River Yare.

The duo envisioned the canvas-clad space as a repository for documents and a hub for conducting research and educational activities at the nature reserve. They aspired for the site to attain the prestigious Site of Special Scientific Interest designation. Additionally, the yurt could serve as temporary lodging for personnel when necessary.

Nonetheless, upon notification to the Broads Authority (BA), officials decreed the yurt’s removal, citing a "deleterious impact" on the Broads’ scenic landscape and apprehensions over potential flooding, given its location in a floodplain. This decision came despite broad support from the local community and Henry Cator, chair of the Norfolk Strategic Flooding Alliance (NSFA), who lauded the couple's efforts in fostering wildlife at Blackwater Carr.

He implored, "Let prudence triumph and approve this application." Despite his plea, the BA rejected the yurt, prompting Mr. Hooper and Mrs. Alexander to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, the governmental body overseeing planning disputes.

However, their appeal was ultimately dismissed.

Inspector James Blackwell recognised the yurt's various potential advantages for the couple's conservation endeavors but concluded that these benefits were overshadowed by the "possible flood risk detriment" and the conflict with the area's development plan.

Consequently, Mr. Blackwell’s decision to deny the application necessitates the yurt's likely removal from the site.
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