Residents of Reepham have been left puzzled after reading planning documents submitted for the proposed development for 141 dwellings to the west of Broomhill Lane.
A transport assessment, one of the “related documents” prepared by consultancy firm Rossi Long and submitted as part of the planning process, predicts that only 49 additional trips would be generated between 8 and 9 am from the planned residential development.
However, an estimated 200 working people could be living on the site when it is completed, said Richard Taylor, who lives on nearby Whitwell Road and is a member of lobby group Realistic Reepham.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, 70% of the working population travel to work using their own vehicle in the Broadland local authority area; a further 5% get a lift. This would indicate that about 140 additional trips could be generated by the Broomhill Lane development during the morning peak hour, said Mr Taylor.
“What becomes clear in reading the transport assessment is that Rossi Long has used the TRICS system to predict the number of extra trips generated, which uses a database of development sites, categorised by location and land use,” he said.
Mr Taylor pointed out that the Broomhill Lane site has been categorised as residential use and an edge-of-town/suburban location.
“Certainly, Reepham is technically a town and Broomhill Lane is at the edge of it,” he said. “And since many of its working residents commute between 12 and 15 miles to the Norwich area, it also qualifies as a suburb.”
One of the documents submitted with the application lists other sites with similar land use and location, which have been used as indicators of likely trip generation.
One of these is the development on Silfield Road, Wymondham – a town with a population of 13,600 in 2018, located about 10 miles from the centre of Norwich and containing three supermarkets and many employment sites.
This site is within walking distance of Wymondham Station, from which more than 20 trains a day depart for Norwich, a journey of 13-17 minutes. Regular trains also leave Wymondham for Attleborough, Thetford, Ely and Cambridge, and there are now nine trains a day to Stansted Airport.
In addition, three separate bus companies run regular services from Wymondham to Norwich and the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, Mr Taylor noted.
Many residents have commented that Reepham, with no train service within miles and a limited bus service – one bus a week to Dereham; last bus from Norwich on weekdays at 17.15 pm; a journey time to Norwich of just over an hour; and no service on Sundays – is no way comparable to Wymondham.
See our earlier story: