Distinguished UEA alumni Ian McEwan and Andrew Motion have attacked the University, which has an international reputation for environmentalism, for seeking to build a car park and rugby pitch on wildflower meadows.
Mc Ewan had described the University of East Anglia’s plans to the Guardian newspaper as “crude” and “thuggish”. Motion, the former poet laureate, said they were “scandalous” and “deeply destructive”.
The proposals will turn sports fields and wild grassland in the Yare valley, near Norwich, into parking for 218 cars, a floodlit artificial turf rugby pitch, a clubhouse and bar, and 30 further sports pitches.
UEA’s valleyside campus is richer in wildlife than many top nature reserves. It is home to 5,525 species, including water voles, otters, kingfishers, bitterns, the cetti’s warbler, pyramidal orchids, 935 species of moth and 23 species of dragonfly.
Students of Journalism at the University have conducted their own investigation.