'Totally unsatisfactory'- Anger over tree loss as roundabout approved

Newly elected Broadland district councillor is worried about the loss of trees through development plans in Thorpe 

Newly elected Broadland district councillor Eleanor Laming is worried about the loss of trees through development in Thorpe - Credit: Contributed

Plans have been approved for a roundabout and access roads to serve a controversial new development on the edge of Norwich. 

The link road will be located on land north and south of Plumstead Road between Green Lane North and Dussindale Drive in Thorpe End. 

A redesigned junction was drawn up by the county council to provide a four arm roundabout and access road through the land to the north of Plumstead Road.

The new junction will serve 300 new homes at Brook Farm and Laurel Farm. 

But concerns have been raised over the installation of the junctions resulting in the removal of trees and vegetation. 

Newly elected Broadland district councillor Eleanor Laming, who represents the Green Party, said: "It's totally unsatisfactory to be removing trees to put new homes in.

Green Party Broadland district councillor Eleanor Laming

Green Party Broadland councillor Eleanor Laming - Credit: Contributed

"An alternative brownfield could be used as the removal of woodland is not only reducing carbon dioxide but also the habitat including bats. Quite a lot of deer have been killed on the road since the woods came down." 

Environmental consultant Enims carried out a bat roost survey for the application which said bat boxes should be installed on retained trees and "adverse impacts on the local bat population are not anticipated".

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The development plans have been in the pipeline for nearly a decade with Socially Conscious Capital (SCC) winning an appeal in January 2019 to build the properties in the Racecourse Plantation.

At the time, the company insisted the scheme will not exceed 300 homes after figures as high as 700 were put forward in 2013. 

Mrs Laming said neighbours fear the approved £700,000 roundabout will open up the woods for future development. 

County councillor Ian Mackie said the scheme forms part of Broadland District Council's growth strategy for the expansion of Broadland Business Park and the new homes at Brook Farm.

Ian Mackie. Pic: Submitted.

Ian Mackie. Pic: Submitted. - Credit: Submitted

He added: "Hopefully this roundabout and road network will unlock the long anticipated development of new homes and deliver the new road to finally close Green Lane in order to make that a designated green travel route." 

Mr Mackie described the loss of trees as "unfortunate". 

Hundreds attend consultation

Dussindale Community Centre was packed out on Wednesday evening as a queue of people waited to hear about plans to build 300 homes off Plumstead Road East. 

Potential damage to the woodland was among the concerns raised as the developer Hill held a consultation event. 

Dussindale Community Centre

By 5pm, a queue of people had formed outside the community centre, with people anxious to learn about the plan for 300 homes. - Credit: Noah Vickers

More than 150 people attended during the four hour event. 

Hill's proposals for the Plumstead Road East site includes the provision of a "high-quality Community Woodland to promote healthy living and biodiversity".

But the loss of 12 trees as part of the Plumstead Road access plans highlights the concern for green spaces in the area.

Information boards about 300 homes in Thorpe St Andrew

A series of information boards about the plans were on show at Dussindale Community Centre - Credit: Noah Vickers

Mrs Laming added: "The felling of any trees for development needs to be avoided wherever possible particularly if they may support bats and felling these trees could damage potential bat roosts.  

"Trees remove carbon from the atmosphere and support a range of species, not only bats."