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Bold new Broads plan

PUBLISHED: 10:05 03 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:24 05 July 2010

RUNDOWN: The remains of the Pegasus Boatyard at Oulton broad.

RUNDOWN: The remains of the Pegasus Boatyard at Oulton broad.

ALMOST two years after the closure of a traditional working boatyard on the Broads, which has been the target of vandals and branded an eyesore, the area could soon be restored to its former glory and transformed with waterside homes.

ALMOST two years after the closure of a traditional working boatyard on the Broads, which has been the target of vandals and branded an eyesore, the area could soon be restored to its former glory and transformed with waterside homes.

Revised plans for the Pegasus Boatyard site, at Oulton Broad, are due to be submitted to the Broads Authority by the end of the year and a number of people who objected to the previous application are now looking favourably on the new scheme.

The previous controversial plans from Badger Building were withdrawn in December 2006 amidst local opposition and concerns about traffic and flooding.

But now 75 to 80 homes, a pontoon, around 50 moorings, zones so people can walk throughout the site and on the water's edge, an obelisk feature, small wind turbine and office building were all mooted by developers from Badger Building at a presentation to around 150 to 200 people, last week.

“We are aware this is a prominent site, and we have revised the whole scheme,” managing director of Badger Building, Stephen George, said.

“We hope that this dilapidated, rundown area of the former Pegasus site on Caldecott Road will be revitalised.”

When the previous scheme - totalling 151 homes, some seven storeys high - were proposed, petitions and major objections were raised. Traffic and flooding issues and the loss of a traditional boatyard were also among the concerns that sparked an outcry from locals. But in the past two years Badger Building has been working at addressing these concerns, and they have now satisfied issues raised by the Environment Agency.

Edward Gilder, the land and planning manager for Badger Building, said: “The scheme has now been substantially revised by a halving in the number of homes - proposed to around 80 - increasing the available space for the boatyard and introducing a prestigious waterfront office, which is hoped can be powered by a wind turbine.

“During the course of the past two years, much additional work has been done to model the impacts of flooding and to ensure that all new homes on the site are adequately protected,” he added.

By reducing the scheme in size, Badger Building are claiming that this should result in “no more traffic from the site” than what was previously generated.

At last Thursday's special meeting, which was organised by Oulton Broad Community Enterprise (OBCE), around 200 people descended on the Wherry Hotel for the presentation.

“While it is still very early days, I was very, very pleased with the turnout and complimentary responses we received,” Mr George said.

“Previously there were blocks of flats, but now there is a better mix of houses and the flats are more detailed and conventional than they were before,” he added.

Badger Building is now due to make another presentation to the Broads Authority - who the application will eventually have to be lodged with - in the next few weeks, ahead of a revised application by the end of the year.

“This is a completely new plan and they have taken people's concerns into account,” Penny Forrest, chairman of OBCE said.

“Currently it is a derelict piece of land, an eyesore and very dangerous - an accident waiting to happen - so this is an area that does need to be regenerated. And from what we have seen, my thoughts are that it looks very positive,” she added.

Speaking on behalf of the Friends of Pegasus Boatyard Group, Ian Northover-Smith, admitted there were still a number of concerns.

“The development that they are suggesting certainly reduces the number of houses on site, but they have not made any provision for the boating facilities,” he said. “They're more interested in the housing side. It is a fabulous site and it requires a great deal of thought and effort to decide what goes on the site.”

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