Hayrick style pavilion at Wicken Fen will house a temporary art exhibition depicting the East Anglian and Fens landscape

PUBLISHED: 15:48 22 October 2019

Impression of what the hayrick pavilion will look like at Wicken Fen. Picture; WICKEN

Impression of what the hayrick pavilion will look like at Wicken Fen. Picture; WICKEN

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A hayrick style pavilion to be erected at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve has worried parish councillors who fear extra visitors could pose a traffic danger.

The council said they were not against the scheme but would have liked the National Trust to put a footpath along Lode Lane for pedestrians and cyclists.

The issue was put to East Cambs Council when considering - and approving - the pavilion that would be used for art exhibitions for a short period of time.

The timber built pavilion with thatched exterior will provide a circular footprint with a total of 5.8m in width.

The National Trust pointed out that the purpose of the temporary pavilion is to raise awareness of the history of East Anglia and the unique landscape of Wicken Fen.

"The structure is unusual in appearance but would retain the rural character of the area given its timber and straw construction," says a report by East Cambs planners

"The structure would be tall in height but the historical nature and rural appearance of these structures within the wide Fen landscape means that it would act as a feature within the site."

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The pavilion has been designed to replicate historical hayricks at the Wicken Fen site.

Planners were told the installation itself will only be accessible to the public by foot meaning the integrity of the Wicken Fen site is maintained

Parish councillors were assured that given the small nature of the structure it was not expected to result in "multiple HGV trips to and from the site" and it was therefore unreasonable to request a footpath in this instance.

The planning officer's report says visitors to the site would be restricted by the availability of car parking and although an uplift of 10 per cent in numbers was expected that this would not impact on highway safety.

Wicken Fen gets around 20,000 visitors annually and with publicity and marketing an extra 2-3,000 are expected.

Cambs Wildlife trust says the pavilion is "unlikely to have significant negative impacts on ecological features of interest".

Wicken Fens says the proposed hayrick would not be connected to services or utilities and would be a standalone temporary structure.

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