Approval of plans to improve Broomhill Lane, Reepham, could prejudice the outcome of a future planning application for housing and should be included in a single proposal for the development, according to members of lobby group Realistic Reepham, who warn that the current proposal assumes that housing will go ahead.
Founder Mark Bridges, who lives on Broomhill Lane, believes pressure should be brought to incorporate all the elements of the development – improvements to the road, the housing site and changes to the high school – into one proposal.
He said: “We have been in close discussion with Broadland District Council planners about this.
“They tell us that they can only take into account the current traffic and usage of the Broomhill Lane junction when assessing this application – despite the fact that it clearly is intended to facilitate the future housing development and potential changes to access at the high school.”
The current application has been submitted by Norfolk County Council highways, although the work will be carried out and paid for by the site developers, Lovell Homes.
“We understand that the work may take place before the full planning application for the housing goes in,” Mr Bridges said.
“The roadways and junctions will be evaluated during assessment of this second planning application, but the developers will surely expect their work on Broomhill Lane to be seen as a fait accompli.”
The application currently before the planners includes extending Broomhill Lane beyond the current housing with a junction that will ultimately become the access to the proposed housing site.
“Norfolk County Council is proposing creating a road to nowhere,” said Mr Bridges. “The one and only driver for the application to improve the road is the proposed housing development.”
Realistic Reepham said it is pleased that District Councillor Stuart Beadle has “called in” the current application to be discussed by the full planning committee of Broadland District Council.
However, the group is concerned that residents will not have the opportunity to discuss the plans in public under the current coronavirus lockdown.
It has lobbied district and county councillors as well as local MP Jerome Mayhew to ask for assurances that residents will have a chance to have their say when the application is discussed.
Realistic Reepham believes that, as not all residents are able to access the planning process online, use online meeting technology or have the ability to understand technical documentation, collective collaboration between residents is essential.
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