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Anger as cabinet members support option to re-route A47 through Norfolk countryside

PUBLISHED: 17:45 28 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:45 28 April 2017

Residents of Lingwood campaigning against the re-routing of the A47. Left to right, Colin and Sandra Brister, Amanda Wilkinson with her son Charlie (8) and Catherine Blaiklock. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Residents of Lingwood campaigning against the re-routing of the A47. Left to right, Colin and Sandra Brister, Amanda Wilkinson with her son Charlie (8) and Catherine Blaiklock. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

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A recommendation to re-route part of the A47 through the Norfolk countryside has been met with fierce backlash by campaigners.

Residents of Lingwood campaigning against the re-routing of the A47. Left to right, Colin and Sandra Brister, Amanda Wilkinson with her son Charlie (8) and Catherine Blaiklock. Picture : ANTONY KELLYResidents of Lingwood campaigning against the re-routing of the A47. Left to right, Colin and Sandra Brister, Amanda Wilkinson with her son Charlie (8) and Catherine Blaiklock. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Highways England is proposing to dual a section of the road between Blofield and North Burlingham, east of Norwich.

Earlier in April, it presented Broadland District Council’s cabinet with four options for the new dual carriageway as part of a “high level” consultation.

During the meeting, cabinet members agreed to support option three - to build a new route across fields south of the existing A47.

But Catherine Blaiklock, whose guest house on Lingwood Road would be affected by the scheme, said it would have a “catastrophic” impact on the countryside.

“Route three is the worst out of all of the options,” she said. “It is going to destroy hundreds of acres of wildlife and farmland.

“There is also a vast area of footpaths that Lingwood [parish council] paid to put in, and this route will smash them to pieces.”

Ms Blaiklock has formed a local action group opposing the route, and claims to have collected 100 signatures objecting to it.

She also claimed people living in the village of Lingwood did not receive any leaflets about a public consultation for the plans.

Cabinet members were presented with four different options for the route between Blofield and North Burlingham.

Parish council representatives speaking at the meeting expressed concern about the first two routes, which they felt would “split” Burlingham in two.

Instead, they asked members to consider options three and four, which would see a dual carriageway built to the south of the A47.

But Ms Blaiklock said parish councillors were only meant to suggest option four, which she said was less invasive.

Highways England said route four would follow an alignment running “just to the south” of the A47.

However Broadland cabinet members were told that a gas pipeline to the south of the A47 was a “constraint” for the route.

They chose option three as members felt it would retain the integrity of the existing rural network of roads.

Highways England said it will be announcing its preferred route “mid 2017”.

There will be further consultations next year.

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