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Village split over road deal

PUBLISHED: 20:11 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:30 12 July 2010

Residents of traffic-choked Long Stratton are broadly split down the middle over whether to back major housing expansion in return for the long-awaited A140 bypass.

Residents of traffic-choked Long Stratton are broadly split down the middle over whether to back major housing expansion in return for the long-awaited A140 bypass.

The results of a questionnaire sent to 3,200 householders in the Long Stratton area asking for their opinions revealed that out of 1,182 replies 49pc are against the idea of a developer contributing towards the cost of the road in return for major development and 48pc are in favour of the idea. There was no view expressed by 2pc of respondents.

Last night South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller said that despite the inconclusive results, the idea still remained on the table.

But he said residents would have to await the outcome of growth plans for the greater Norwich area to determine whether the scheme would be feasible.

He also said he blamed himself for the wording of the questionnaires, which he described as confusing.

“The questionnaires appeared more confusing than we would have wished,” he said. “But they had to be consistent with the questionnaires that were going on at the same time regarding the new local plan that covers not just south Norfolk, but also Norwich and Broadland.”

“The questionnaires talked about major development, which would mean 4,000-5,000 new homes for Long Stratton. It is hardly surprising residents rejected that option. I would have too.”

Mr Fuller said that most residents indicated they would support up to 1,500 new homes over the next 20 years instead of large scale development. He suggested that this may be enough to clinch the funds for the long-awaited new road, which would remove 20,000 vehicles daily from community.

He said: “We know the bypass would cost about £26m. The land has been acquired and the planning permission has been sorted out, so it is ready to go. If a developer built 1,300 new homes and contributed £10,000 per home towards the cost of the road, that would amount to £13m - half the cost of the road. The East of England Regional Assembly has already said they can't fund the whole amount but would be prepared to meet us half way, so it could still be on the cards.

“Long Stratton is still in the running, but there will now be a certain amount of horsetrading going on in the Norwich, Broadland and south Norfolk areas about where the 24,000 new permissions for homes will be granted over the next 25 years.”

Plans for the road have stalled because it has not been included in the East of England Regional Assembly priority programme for the next 10 years.

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