Outcry over builder's plan to run an access road to homes across a popular park
PUBLISHED: 10:03 06 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:22 10 April 2018
Archant © 2018
A bid to run a road across a recreation ground has triggered anger and disbelief in Gorleston.
The proposal has come from Badger Building as it tries to work out an acceptable way in and out of its planned estate off East Anglian Way.
It comes after a borough council planning committee deferred a vote on a scheme for 71 homes at the site behind St Mary and St Peter Catholic Primary School.
Access was among the sticking points for residents already coping with jams at peak school-run times in the bottleneck cul-de-sac.
Instead the developer has come back with a revised plan which sees the number of homes leap from 71 to 96 with access off Church Lane via a new road across Gorleston Recreation Ground.
MORE: Gorleston homes plan for East Anglian Way are deferred again over traffic safety fears.
Stephen Pope, 64, of Recreation Road, said the plans had come as a complete shock.
He said he was worried about traffic, safety, and noise, especially being so close to East Norfolk Sixth Form College where hundreds of students already jostled to park.
Running a road down the side of the park would change the area’s character and spoil it for children playing on nearby swings or on the basketball court, he added, saying that he would be objecting as would his neighbours.
For some people it was a huge concern causing upset and worry, he said.
MORE: New Gorleston homes plan leads to fears of road congestion
One man writing to the borough council said he “strongly disagreed” with the new road aspect of the plan.
He said: “The need for new housing is obvious. But if they cannot use the existing roads perhaps the area should be made into a park which would increase the facilities for Gorleston not take them away?”
A campaign page has been set up on Facebook by Gina Albon, 36, also of Recreation Road.
The mother-of-two said: “I have seen that park ever since my childhood and there is no way I will allow anything to happen to it.”
Ed Gilder, of Badger Building, said they intended to swap a patch of housing land in return so there would be no loss of green space overall.
He said the aim of the plan was to satisfy people who were worried about traffic in East Anglian Way.
An earlier application tried to address traffic worries by providing a 60 space car park for the school.
Under the new plan that was not needed and had been taken back for homes.
The borough council land has been earmarked for housing since 1998, he said.
Badger Building have been trying for seven years to make the site work.