Fresh concerns at 'country town' plan
Local people have voiced fresh concerns at plans to build a new country town south of Norwich as they attended a public exhibition giving details of the proposals.
LOCAL people have voiced fresh concerns at plans to build a new country town south of Norwich as they attended a public exhibition giving details of the proposals.
Residents living in Mangreen and the surrounding villages are worried that plans to develop 6,700 new homes on land situated between the A47 southern bypass and the Ipswich Road will destroy large swathes of countryside and the character of the local area.
A public exhibition on Wednesday and Thursday last week aimed to give people an opportunity to see details of the proposed new sustainable community.
The exhibition showed concept plans defining Mangreen as a distinctive new country town with enough households to justify a range of community facilities, including schools, health and sports centre and a state of the art public transport system.
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The land has been identified as an optional growth area as part of Norwich's long term housing growth plans in conjunction with the government's Sustainable Communities Plan.
But the scheme is highly controversial, and a local campaign group has been launched to fight the plan, which has also seen council chiefs from the Greater Norwich Development Partnership (GNDP) at loggerheads over the issue.
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Ian Francis, a member of Mangreen Action Group, launched to fight the plans, said: "It is not just that it would be unpleasant to have this development here, but we regard it as being completely misnamed and misplaced.
"It calls itself a country town, but it could never be anything more than a suburb of Norwich because it is so big and so close.
"We are just amazed that South Norfolk Council think it is in any way worth pursuing."
The project, proposed by landowners and a team of professional firms, would include three new primary schools, a 1,000-place secondary school, a fully integrated health centre, high quality sports facilities, and the restoration of some gravel workings.
While further work is still required to establish if a new railway station could be built and connected, consideration is being given to the idea for a parkway station which could serve a wider rural area.
One key aspect would be a traffic-free cycle route through the development that would link up to the A140 to the north of the development near the Tesco supermarket and with Mulbarton in the south. The route would also link into existing cycle routes in Norwich.
Land agent Michael Falcon, who
is part of the Mangreen team, said:
"We are taking people's concerns
very seriously. These plans are at
a very early stage. We have got
a feedback form which we are
asking people to fill in and this will be looked at by the planning consultants RPS.
They will be feeding back to us and we will take this on board. There has also been a lot of verbal comment, some of it constructive, which we have taken on board and there will be changes to the masterplan. It will evolve through the process."