Residents’ concerns over improvement of Broomhill Lane

Reepham Town Council has made no objections to the improvement of Broomhill Lane linked to the proposed housing development.

Looking along Broomhill Lane, Reepham. cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Ian Robertson -

In respect of planning application 20200469: “Widening of carriageway with traffic calming, revised junction configuration with Whitwell Road, shared use cycleway/footway and surfacing footpath to Park Lane”, the town council did, however, raise the following concerns made by residents.
Given the current situation regarding the coronavirus (Covid-19), residents are encouraged to put their comments directly to Broadland District Council’s planning department for consideration.
Residents’ comments
Objections have been made to the construction of a shared cycle/footpath on the south side of Broomhill Lane on the grounds that it creates an unacceptable safety hazard caused by cyclists to pedestrians entering and leaving the high school, also to the creation of the cycle route along the present byway on the grounds that it does not form part of a safe cycle route.
On entering Park Lane from Broomhill Lane a cyclist using the cycle path would have the options of turning into Sun Barn Road, which effectively takes them back to School Road/Whitwell Road, or continuing to the Dereham Road junction, which is already considered by many to be dangerous owing to poor sight-lines for anybody trying to cross Dereham Road from Park Lane.
There is concern that the creation of the vision splay will lead to the closure of the original main entrance to the high school (as detailed in the access statement) so that service vehicles will use a new entrance to be created on Broomhill Lane. This means service vehicles will turn into Broomhill Lane and cross the newly created foot/cycle path to enter the high school.
There are objections to the proposal to impose a 20 mph speed limit and build speed bumps on Broomhill Lane on the grounds that there is no evidence that there is currently, or has been, an unacceptable risk to pedestrians or cyclists on the existing or proposed highway.
There are objections to the proposal to downgrade the “footpath” from Park Lane to the junction with Broomhill Lane from a byway open to all traffic. This is an ancient highway and, in the absence of a good reason for downgrading, should be retained as part of the local historic heritage.
Part of the proposal for the housing development includes an extension to the existing cemetery adjacent to the byway. The town council says it needs to protect the right of vehicular access across the byway from the existing cemetery to the proposed new cemetery or by some other mutually agreed access.
Concern has also been expressed about the increase in traffic in close proximity to both the high school and the primary school and an increase in traffic accessing Nowhere Lane and Whitwell Common, both of which are unsuitable for such an increase.
It is envisaged that cyclists will be using the byway from Park Lane, so barriers should be erected across the exit from the byway to prevent cyclists entering Broomhill Lane at more than walking pace.
It is envisaged that cyclists will be using the byway to leave Broomhill Lane so steps should be taken to prevent them from using the footpath between Ewing Close and School Road adjacent to the old people’s bungalows on Sun Barn Walk.
The residents of Sun Barn Walk must be regarded as vulnerable on the grounds of age and infirmity and the passage of large numbers of cyclists past their homes would be unacceptable, particularly as the footpath is their primary access to the town centre facilities.
There is concern that the proposed pedestrian crossings will be downgraded/removed following planning permission and the town council says it does not wish these to be removed.
Although the town council has not had the opportunity to consider this application at a full council meeting (views have been collected via email correspondence), it has been contacted by residents wishing to raise objections and encourages them to put any comments directly to Broadland District Council, as it is unlikely that a public meeting can be held for several months.
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