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Plans for 380 homes deferred to ensure council not ‘held to ransom’ over land needed for link road

PUBLISHED: 08:35 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:22 02 November 2017

Part of the development, as marked on the map,  will occupy a field next to Thorpe End Village. Photo: Google

Part of the development, as marked on the map, will occupy a field next to Thorpe End Village. Photo: Google

Archant

Councillors have deferred plans for 380 new homes to ensure the local authority is not “held to ransom” over land needed for a link road.

Developer United Business and Leisure is proposing to build on two fields between Salhouse Road in Sprowston and Plumstead Road East.

A proposed road through the site will eventually form part of a larger link road scheme joining Norwich airport industrial estate to Broadland Business Park.

But the developer’s plans show its section of road ending 50m before connecting to another site owned by Broadland District Council.

And at a planning committee meeting on Wednesday, Andrew Wilford, representing the developer, said there was no policy requirement to complete it.

Instead, he said the application did not “prejudice the [completion of the] link road in the future.”

Once complete, the section of link road will run from Salhouse Road through the 380-home development and into land owned by the council.

From there it will connect to Plumstead Road.

Broadland’s head of planning, Phil Courtier, said the council was willing to pay the construction and land costs if the applicant delivered the road.

He said it could cost between £50,000 to £100,000.

The meeting also heard how the developer sought to reduce the level of affordable housing from 33pc to 17.5pc.

A report said the 33pc target - as set out in Broadland’s planning policy - was not viable.

Ian Moncur, planning committee chair, said: “I think with this road, it is give and take. If we are giving this reduction in affordable housing and we are not getting 50 metres of road, I don’t believe there is give and take there.

“I don’t think I can make a decision on this reduction to affordable housing until we know the link road will be completed without us, as a council, being held to ransom.”

Acle ward councillor Lana Hempsall also raised the concerns about the proposed buffer between the development and Thorpe End.

The application shows the village would be separated from the scheme by a single row of new houses.

Members voted unanimously in favour of deferring the decision.

Council officers will continue negotiations regarding the buffer and unencumbered access to secure the delivery of the link road.

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