Norwich punting plan given go-ahead

Plans to introduce punting along the River Wensum in Norwich have been given the go-ahead.

The city council's planning committee backed the building of a ticket office, pontoon and river access at St George's Bridge, near Norwich Playhouse.

The scheme was put forward by Ashley Dalton and the Canterbury Punting Council.

The Broads Authority has already granted permission for the pontoon on the river.

Cally Smith, from the Broads Authority, said the river had been "under-used as a recreational resource" and the punts would bring a "completely new visitor experience to Norwich".

The punts are expected to be 21ft (6.4m) in length and able to carry 12 passengers.

Ashley Dalton, owner of the Canterbury Punting Company, said Norwich seemed an ideal place to expand his business because of its high number of tourists and interesting history.

He said the tours would run during the day and night. He expects to employ about 14 part-time workers.

The scheme had been opposed by the Broads Angling Strategy group which expressed concerns it would result in the "loss of valuable angling access along this stretch of the river".

But a report to the committee said the lower bank of the river could still be accessed by anglers.

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