Safety concerns over proposed large housing estate off the A47
- Credit: Steve Adams
Affordable homes and safe spaces for pedestrians, cyclists and cars are being demanded by a parish council ahead of an imminent planning application for a major housing development.
Peter Milliken, chairman of Easton Parish Council, said the deadline for a reserved matters application for 890 homes on land north and south of Dereham Road in Easton from Persimmon Homes was imminent.
Mr Milliken said the parish council and national developer, which will build the hundreds of homes over 46 hectares if plans are approved, were in discussion after safety concerns over three so-called shared roads on the estate.
These areas would have no footpaths and be used by pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
An outline application, put forward to South Norfolk Council by the Easton Landowners Consortium Joint Venture in December 2014, was approved by councillors in 2016 despite around 600 objections.
Mr Milliken said: "We as a community don't like it but we have to accept it and move on. Housing needs to be more affordable because at the moment I don't believe it is."
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Speaking about the shared roads, he added: "Developers say people will drive at 20mph but we all know that is not going to happen. If a metal box hits a child that could cause problems."
He was also worried about the safety of people with disabilities in these areas because of a new special educational needs school which will be built on the site of Easton and Otley College.
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"Parents of disabled children may be buying the local houses. We want to make it a safe site for everyone," Mr Milliken added.
The chairman said other community concerns included open drains, parking and safe access to the Longwater Retail Park across the A47 southern bypass.
"Before a house is lived in a suitable route across the A47 has to be in place. We push for infrastructure before development."
It is hoped that Section 106 money from Persimmon will go towards that.
The homes would be built over five phases, the first phase would consist of 290 homes and the development could take 10-12 years to complete. Easton currently has 630 homes and if built the new development would increase the village by 150pc.
A spokesman for Persimmon Homes Anglia said: "We are currently in the process of purchasing the land and submitting a reserved matters application to South Norfolk Council by mid-March 2020. Highway safety for all is a paramount concern. The Easton development aims to create a low speed environment which will encourage sustainable travel modes, including walking and cycling, with a central spine road catering for a future bus route.
"The proposed shared surfaces are designed to improve pedestrian movement and comfort by reducing the dominance of cars. They will be limited to a small number of residential side roads.
"An element of the development is the creation of a dedicated shared use footway/cycleway along the southern side of Dereham Road, over Longwater Interchange, and connecting into Longwater Retail Park and existing facilities on Dereham Road, including a medical centre and school.
"Designated pedestrian islands and traffic light-controlled crossing points will be installed, and we believe these new highway facilities will provide much-needed improvements to the area."