Country park plans proposed for Bawsey Pits

Lynn News Web Site Fillers
Lynn News Web Site Fillers

The owners of Bawsey Pits are keen to identify a partner to evolve the site into a flagship regional country park, it has emerged.

Sibelco has looked over the 600 responses from the public consultation to decide the future uses of the popular beauty spot.

Although the park has remained open, due to planning conditions, the car park has been closed after the deaths in July last year of Ryan Pettengell, 41, of Lynn, and 16-year-old Umar Balogun.

Suggestions put forward in the survey include a cafe, open air theatre and a narrow gauge railway.

The firm will continue to develop its vision for the site, which will be outlined in a public meeting in the summer.

Resources Director Gary Stringer said the overwhelming message was that people wanted a range of improvements and were happy with the idea that funding was found through sensitive development.

He said: “The fact that so many people took the time and trouble to complete the questionnaire shows how important Bawsey is to them.

“Walking is by far and away the most popular activity at the moment but many people suggested that Bawsey should become a lot like other successful country parks with better facilities both on and off the water.

“Popular ideas included a cafe and visitor centre - that was supported by 78 per cent of those who took part - fishing, swimming, watersports, horse riding and cycle hire.

“Also supported was the concept of a local produce farm shop, a narrow gauge railway based on the former quarry’s old transport network, eco lodges, an open air theatre and even a hotel.

“What people also told us however, and most who took part in the survey live in or very close to Lynn, is that they wanted Bawsey’s rural and tranquil nature to be preserved or better still enhanced, well we agree, that’s the way forward.

“When we talk to potential partners from the private, public and voluntary sectors, they need to understand that central to our vision is the desire to create a landmark eco-orientated site that enhances West Norfolk’s reputation.

“Any thoughts of developing Bawsey as a brash theme park with fast food outlets and giant rides can be dismissed here and now.

“We’re talking about a country park truly worthy of the title, one where people can enjoy a range of activities in the great outdoors, safely and in comfort.”

Sibelco has now begun to respond to people who indicated via the survey that they might like to be involved in the park’s future and the survey responses will be on display.