Frustrations grow over funding stalemate for pedestrian crossing
- Credit: Aldi
Frustrations are growing as the stalemate continues between who pays for a pedestrian crossing on a busy road near the A47 and a retail park.
Norfolk County Council highways has insisted a signalised crossing needs to be introduced from Next on Costessey's Longwater Retail Park across William Frost Way to Sainsbury's.
The crossing, which is key to a new Aldi store being built near Next, was originally due to be funded by section 106 money from Persimmon Homes Anglia, which has started building 890 homes off Dereham Road in Easton.
But during the debate in which planning permission was granted by South Norfolk Council for the store in April 2021, a council officer said the crossing would have to be built by whichever developer comes forward with their project first.
After planning approval was given a holding objection was put in from Norfolk's lead local flood authority over Aldi's "piecemeal approach" to managing flood risk and has asked for a full report.
Dan Burrill, chairman of Costessey Town Council, said: "The current crossing on William Frost Way is inadequate and dangerous. It is frustrating. I first joined the council four years ago and the crossing was an issue then.
"We want the Aldi to open both as a facility for residents and to provide employment.
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"The council has no preference who pays for it - as long as it gets done as quickly as possible."
Gary Blundell, vice-chairman of Costessey Town Council, who has campaigned for years to get a safer crossing, said: "Norfolk County Council says they want a crossing for safety reasons. We are relying on contributions from developers.
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"It beggars belief that the county council gives pots of money for city centre projects but areas on the edge of the city are put on the back burner.
"The crossing should have gone in when Next was built around six years ago."
Peter Milliken, a member of Easton Parish Council and former chairman, described the scenario as "ridiculous" and one that "has not been thought through".
Vince Muspratt, director of growth and development on Norfolk County Council, said: “The crossing of William Frost Way is a planning requirement for both Aldi on William Frost Way and the Persimmon development at Easton. To date, neither has come forward with regards to its delivery. We will be engaging with either Persimmon and/or Aldi when they are required to deliver the scheme to ensure there are safe walking and cycling routes to the new developments in the area.”
Aldi and Persimmon Homes were approached for comment.