New Gorleston homes plan leads to fears of road congestion
PUBLISHED: 06:00 19 March 2016
(C) Archant Norfolk 2016
A plan to build around 80 homes off a Gorleston cul-de-sac already clogged by school-run cars is drawing concerns.
After years of vague proposals from various companies, Lowestoft-based Badger Building looks set to come forward with firm plans for a development off East Anglian Way.
Residents, however, say their lives are already blighted by the nearby primary school with traffic causing problems at peak dropping-off and picking-up times, and that adding 80 homes will only make the problem worse.
John Bebbington, who lives in the street, said the land had been earmarked for housing for more than a decade but nothing had ever advanced very far, because of the difficult access and the state of the land.
Badger’s plan for the site, now an overgrown area and a haven for wildlife, seemed reasonable except for the access, the 81-year-old former RAF officer said.
Over the years efforts to tackle the school traffic problem had yielded little improvement with altercations between householders and parents not unknown.
But because St Mary’s and St Peters was a Catholic school whose pupils came from miles around there was little that could be done, with traffic plans and walking buses having little impact over the years.
Badger had held a consultation meeting with residents last month telling them about the scheme.
Mr Bebbington understood some efforts had been made to alleviate the school problem as part of the scheme with Badger giving over some land for a dropping off point.
He said the highways department had not raised an objection.
Residents who staged their own meeting on Tuesday night had resolved to write individual letters to both the borough and Norfolk County Councils to make their feelings known.
While he considered the available access was too narrow for the volume of traffic that would be using it, there was also an issue about how building traffic would access the site with some thought being given to take it over the recreation ground.
Dean Minns, the borough council’s senior planning officer, said an application had not been submitted although he was aware that one could be coming forward.
He said the land had been identified as available for development since 2001 but that access had always been an issue.
However more recently the highways department had changed its standards, reviving interest in the plot.
Badger Building said it was aware of the concerns.