Bold new broads
PUBLISHED: 11:21 13 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:30 05 July 2010
THE Journal's front page headlines, "Bold New Broads" (October 3) announce new plans for the long overdue tidy up of what was once Robinson's Boatyard, in Oulton Broad.
THE Journal's front page headlines, “Bold New Broads” (October 3) announce new plans for the long overdue tidy up of what was once Robinson's Boatyard, in Oulton Broad.
But is this what the good folk of Oulton Broad want? Will it be good for Oulton Broad? On both counts I feel that the answer is probably “no”.
The article suggests that the area could be restored to its former glory and transformed with waterside homes.
Robinson's was a progressive boatyard; for many years a major player in the holiday industry, a builder of numerous “little ships” for Britain's coastal forces in the second world war. Now the yard is simply a target for unnecessary, high-rise, saturation development with little more than a token nod to its boat building heritage.
Over the next decade we will see seemingly countless houses being built at Carlton Colville, Oulton and on the redundant industrial land bordering Lake Lothing. One thing that Lowestoft is not short of is building land. Houses can be built just about anywhere but Broadside boatyards can only be beside the Broad. If only a small percentage of the incomers to our area take up boating then the demand for a boatyard and moorings will subsequently increase.
Yes, I know, the present Pegasus site is an eyesore, something needs to be done. But it is probably only in that state because of a lamentable lack of imaginative management, and an eye to a fast buck as building land.
I'm not saying that there should be no housing on the site, but let's look for moderation. The planning authority for the area, the Broads Authority, have wisely suggested that the emphasis for the site should be boating. I think that most of us can live with that, especially if provision for the lifeboat station is maintained and that the owners of smaller, less humble boats are also accommodated.
Above all the public should be able to use and enjoy the facilities. Perhaps a base could be provided for a Broads based “heritage fleet”, a tourist attraction for the southern rivers, along with a thriving boatyard a long-term provider of desperately needed employment.
It is often claimed, rightly, that Oulton Broad is the unappreciated jewel in Waveney's crown. The Pegasus site is a focal point for Oulton Broad. We must not waste it. It is far too valuable as a waterside facility. We do not need high-rise, saturation development.