Traffic counting blunder near controversial development sees work redone

People gather for a protest walk against plans for homes in Thorpe St Andrew.Byline: Sonya Duncan

Protesters walk to Henby Way to show their objections against plans for 725 homes in Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A red-faced developer has admitted a traffic survey for a contentious new development will have to be redone after it was conducted in the wrong place.

Those living near the Pinebanks site in Thorpe St Andrew noticed a traffic counter in Henby Way was placed too far up the road - thus missing all traffic travelling in nearby Blakestone Drive.

The traffic survey was taking place in response to plans for up to 725 homes across four vacant sites in the town. 

Residents on Hillcrest Road are concerned about what the Pinebanks proposals will mean for traffic

Residents on Hillcrest Road are concerned about what the Pinebanks proposals will mean for traffic - Credit: Philip Clay

The outline planning permission is for 575 homes across three Yarmouth Road sites - 105 on Langley North, 175 Langley South and 295 in Pinebanks - and another 150 homes on Griffin Lane. 

Campaigners and neighbours reported the counter positioning error to Broadland District Council. 

People gather for a protest walk against plans for homes in Thorpe St Andrew.Byline: Sonya Duncan

Henby Way, Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A spokeswoman for the district council confirmed the issue was brought to the attention of the council and the highway authority, and further traffic surveys will be submitted based on corrected traffic survey points.

She added: "This will be tested and validated by the council and the highway authority in any further transport work submitted by the applicant in support of their application.’’

Philip Clay, 52, of Hillcrest Road, was among those who reported the gaffe to the district council after spotting the traffic counters halfway down Henby Way. 

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

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

Mr Clay said: "We reported this to Broadland District Council. They have checked with highways and the developer and agreed this was incorrect that the survey is flawed. At least this counter will be repositioned at a more suitable location.  

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"It feels like we're being taken for fools." 

Broadland Councillor for Thorpe St Andrew, Ian Mackie (Cons), said: "Our campaign team were swift to identify the flawed nature of this traffic survey.

Cllr Ian Mackie, Broadland District Councillor, Thorpe St Andrew North West.

Cllr Ian Mackie, Broadland District Councillor, Thorpe St Andrew North West. - Credit: Ian Mackie

"With thousands more traffic movements predicted due to these excessive new plans it means that the current traffic data has to be presented correctly.

"I am glad that these surveys will be rerun and no corners will be cut.”

A spokeswoman for development firm Ocubis said: "We can confirm that new traffic count surveys have been carried out and are ongoing.

"Furthermore, no data has been collected during the School Easter holiday period."

A county council spokeswoman said: "The county council as highway authority is aware of the stated concerns regarding the planning applications for development at Pinebanks.

"We have also expressed concerns regarding the data collected and requested revised traffic information.

"The developer will need to demonstrate the suitability of any data submitted to the highway authority and it will be scrutinised with particular regard to timing and location of any surveys."