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Business owners fear six years of disruption as work begins on estate

Staff members and business owners from Meteor Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Staff members and business owners from Meteor Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

Business owners in Norwich fear they could face six years of disruption as work gets underway on a nearby housing estate.

Meteor Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodMeteor Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Taylor Wimpey is seeking permission to make temporary alterations to land at the end of Meteor Close at the Norwich Airport industrial estate.

Those alterations would see the cul-de-sac opened up to allow up to 30 HGVs to access a 328-home site every day to begin construction work.

But businesses along Meteor Close claim the increase in vehicles will impact their trade and staff wellbeing.

Matthew Woodford, one of the directors of Catton Windows on Meteor Close, said: “It will be a nightmare for all of our staff getting in and out [of the industrial estate].

Meteor Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodMeteor Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

“It would not have been so bad if three months ago Taylor Wimpey approached all the businesses and offered to have a meeting about this. But they have just steam rolled ahead.”

Mr Woodford said Hurricane Way, which is the only entrance and exit onto the industrial estate, already suffers from extensive queuing during rush hour.

Taylor Wimpey's application to Broadland District Council states staff travelling from its site will be arriving between 7am to 8am and leaving between 5pm and 5.30pm on weekdays.

The company has put forward three options for the routing of its excavation and construction vehicles.

Staff members and business owners from Meteor Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodStaff members and business owners from Meteor Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Option one would see vehicles use Meteor Close, while option two and three would require them to use Repton Avenue.

However, a second application seeks permission to make alterations to Meteor Close.

Taylor Wimpey said work on the new estate is expected to begin in June this year and take six years to complete.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: “As a considerate, responsible housebuilder, we do everything we can to minimise disruption and inconvenience to local residents and businesses while our developments are under construction.

Staff members and business owners from Meteor Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodStaff members and business owners from Meteor Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

“In our application, we have proposed that construction traffic should access the site either via Meteor Close or via Repton Avenue.

“It will be to the discretion of the local authority to consider which route is most suitable.”

The company claimed local business owners were notified by the council as part of the application to discharge the condition.

Andy Knights, deputy general manager at Mr Fruity on Meteor Close, said: “It is not just us on Meteor Close who will be affected, it will be the wider estate.

The site where 328 new home will be constructed close to Meteor Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe site where 328 new home will be constructed close to Meteor Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

“The roads are bad enough now because cars have to park on the roadside as there is not enough proper parking.

“It will become a nightmare.”

A Broadland council spokesman said the applications have not yet been called in to go before a planning committee, however members and residents have until April 25 to do this.

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