September 22 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, August 14, 2014
A controversial bid which could see vehicles blocked from a historic right of way in Attleborough has been dubbed a “disaster waiting to happen”.
Plans from Norfolk Homes would see 91 houses built on Bracken Drive, and would pedestrianise neighbouring Carver’s Lane.
The secluded lane, which dates back to the 1700s, is often used by emergency services avoiding town centre congestion.
Andy Heginbotham works for Norfolk Fire and Rescue service, and moved to Carver’s Lane earlier this year.
He said: “Part of the reason I moved here was because it was easy for work - it’s quick for me to get on to the A11 if I’m called out.
“The route saves minutes for us - which in this job can be the difference between life and death.”
Sarah Seaman, of West Carr Road, said that the closure of the lane could “cost lives”.
“The closure of this lane will increase travel time for ambulances attending 999 calls, who will either have to go through town which is regularly gridlocked or weave their way through cars parked on narrow housing estate roads,” she said.
The picturesque lane is also enjoyed by dog walkers and families - a luxury which will be removed if an application is successful.
Councillor Tony Crouch said: “This could affect so many people. I don’t know what gives them the right to close off a historial right of way. This could affect emergency services, families - everyone. There is no need to close this road down to build the houses.
“We understand that development needs to happen but it needs to be in the right place at the right time.”
Concerns over floodwater drainage and traffic issues for those living on Bryony Way, West Carr Road and Honeysuckle Way were also raised.
Mr Crouch added: “There has just been too much development. People are worried.”
Norfolk Homes has asked Norfolk County Council to prepare a draft Traffic Regulation Order to allow the closure.
The council is currently preparing the TRO for public consultation, where residents are encouraged to share their objections.
A spokesperson for the council said: “When the consultation does take place it will provide people who object or wish to comment on the proposed changes with an opportunity to make their views known. Norfolk County Council will take account of all comments before deciding whether or not the TRO should be sealed.”
The final decision on the housing development will be made by Breckland District Council.
At an Attleborough Town Council meeting, councillors stated their objections to the plans - but added they could not provide an official comment until an application has been submitted.
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