Call for traffic study amid 725-home development fears

Steven Ford, town councillor Peter Berry, county councillor Ian Mackie and locals representative Mike Riches discuss concerns

Steven Ford, town councillor Peter Berry, county councillor Ian Mackie and locals representative Mike Riches discuss concerns regarding housing developments in Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Carolyn Ford

Homeowners and councillors have met up to map out their concerns over plans for up to 725 homes on the edge of Norwich.

Those living in Thorpe St Andrew, including county councillor Ian Mackie and town councillor Peter Berry, are calling for a new study of possible traffic movements and the full impact on local roads from fresh development proposals. 

Spread across four sites in the town, the plans for new homes include Pinebanks, Griffin Lane and the former Langley prep school.

An aerial view of the four sites which are being earmarked for development in Thorpe St Andrew

An aerial view of the four sites which are being earmarked for development in Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Submitted

A meeting took place this week for Thorpe representatives to spell out their bugbears with the project ahead of any revised planning permission being granted in the new year.

Mr Mackie said: "The developments proposed bear little resemblance to what was originally agreed.

"People have pointed out that these new plans are over 70pc greater in numbers than the original consent.

"They are rightly very concerned about safety issues and the impact these plans could have on the surrounding area, all at the very heart of Thorpe."

The former Pinebanks site in Thorpe St Andrew where it is proposed to build a development. Picture:

The former Pinebanks site in Thorpe St Andrew where it is proposed to build a development. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Concerns raised during the meeting include insufficient parking for the Yarmouth Road properties leading to parking along the road, drainage from the site and the lack of sporting and recreation space offered.

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Other points are highway and pedestrian safety in key entrance and exit locations, the need for a full transport survey and the lack of review into access.

Philip Clay, 51, of Hillcrest Road, is one of many concerned over increased traffic movements along his road.

Mr Clay said: "The transport assessment for Pinebanks in 2013 from their planning application for 231 homes stated 1,280 vehicle movements between 7am and 7pm. This is five per home.

"So now with 400 homes from Pinebanks and Langley North, and 400 times five vehicle movements in Henby Way and Hillcrest Road, then 175 homes in Langley South means another 875 vehicle movements. It's crazy."

Philip Clay, who lives in Hillcrest Road in Thorpe St Andrew

Philip Clay, who lives in Hillcrest Road in Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Contributed

Stephen Chatfield a director at Ocubis, the development firm behind the plans, said: “The issues raised, such as traffic and access, are often concerns around any development proposals. 

"However, these aspects have been covered in our public consultation and our planning application documents.”

Norwich housing boom 

Plans have been submitted to the government which would see 45,000 new homes built in the Norwich area by 2041. 

This forms part of the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP), which also covers parts of Broadland and South Norfolk, as well as the city. 

Planners have previously been exploring whether patients can be spread among the 68 GP surgeries or whether new surgeries are needed in the north and northwest of Norwich under the GNLP.

Another major development project within the city is the Norwich East Masterplan.

Local residents take a look at the East Norwich regeneration plans on show to the public at Carrow A

Locals explore the Norwich East Masterplan regeneration proposals at a public meeting at Carrow Abbey - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

This is a blueprint to guide development on major city sites including the Carrow Works factory, which used to be home to Colman's and Britvic. 

Council bosses say the redevelopment of the area, including the Deal Ground/May Gurney site at Trowse, the Utilities site between Thorpe Hamlet and Whitlingham and Carrow House, could create up to 4,000 homes and 6,000 jobs. 

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