Locals getting a chance to give their opinions about the Cringleford neighbourhood development plan. Photo:Steve Adams

Residents give their views on future of Cringleford

Monday, January 14, 2013
6.30 AM

Residents of a village near Norwich have been giving their views on a plan being created to help determine the future of the area.

A team from Cringleford Parish Council has spent about 18 months working on a neighbourhood development plan as part of the government’s Front Runners Projec,t which aims to give people more of a say about the area in which they live.

The plan looks at Cringleford to 2026 and at its heart is a map proposing where the 1,200 new homes allocated to the village under the Joint Core Strategy – in addition to the 1,000- home Round House Park development – could be built while retaining the area’s existing character.

The proposed area runs north to south between Round House Park and the A47, and the plan suggests about 1,017 new homes north and about 162 south of the A11. Other proposals include a second school, an extension to new community building the Willow Centre, and new link roads.

An exhibition of the neighbourhood development plan took place in Cringleford’s Patteson Room on Friday and Saturday, when more than 100 people found out more and shared their views. While some had concerns about future development, many appreciated a chance to voice their views, and felt the parish council had done the best it could with the plan.

Terry Mobbs, 76, of Armitage Close, said: “I think the council are representing the needs, to a great extent, of the area and trying to condition the future plans to blend as much as possible with the existing parts of Cringleford – the danger is having two separate communities because Cringleford is divided by the A11.”

Angela Pearce, 70, of Patteson Close, was “quite impressed” with the plan. She was pleased sheltered housing and a residential home was included in the plans, and with the proposal for a link road between Cantley Lane and the A11, and a second school.

Averil and Graham King, 64 and 60, of The Ridings, said: “I think our people have done an excellent job. The 1,200 homes are going to happen and it has got to happen in as controlled a way as possible. At least this gives us a little bit of control.”

In particular they were pleased the plans did not seem to overdevelop the land near Brettingham Avenue and the Cantley Lane area, and it was important Thickthorn roundabout was improved.

Gemma and Mark Adams, 34 and 37, have been living in Cantley Lane since July.

Mrs Adams said: “We are not overjoyed that 162 houses are planned to be built near us, but I understand the need for extra houses. The thing I am bothered about is the access road (between Cantley Lane and A11) that will be near our house and will make the area a lot busier. I also worry how the drainage is going to work.

“Obviously there is some stuff we are worried about but it is great that we have this opportunity where we can put our views across, and they are taking them very seriously.

“I like the fact they are listening to what we think. The challenge will be how much the developers listen.”

Jennifer and David Wanford, both 65, live in Dragonfly Lane. Mr Wanford said he was pleased to see scope for some shops and said the new community centre and school would be a real focal point of the community.

He said: “This (the extra housing) is going to happen because if you have got a research park, a university and a hospital nearby, more people will want to live in the area.

“There will be a higher density of housing but I think people have to accept that is the way forward. I think it is really good to be able to have to have your say – people do not often get the opportunity to do that so we are very pleased about it.”

Sue Mackinnon, chairman of the parish council, was pleased with the amount of people that had come to the exhibition, and said residents gave some interesting comments.

Malcolm Wagstaff, chairman of the neighbourhood development plan team, said one of the main concerns people had about the increased development was the potential increase in traffic on the roads and the capacity of the village’s medieval bridge.

He said people were also concerned plans for the development of the nearby Norwich Research Park were too focused on Colney, and were not considering the impact on nearby neighbourhoods including Cringleford.

He stressed that, if adopted, the neighbourhood development plan for Cringleford would have real authority when planning decisions were made by South Norfolk Council.

“Under the new legislation, if this plan is accepted and approved it will be part of the planning framework and it will have statutory authority. It will be the first of its kind in Norfolk,” he said.

Residents have the opportunity to comment on the plan until February 13. For more information and to see the plan visit www.cringlefordparishcouncil.gov.uk. Comments will be used to finalise the plan that will undergo an independent inspection before being voted on by parishioners in a referendum. If 51pc or more vote in favour it will be adopted by South Norfolk District Council as part of the district’s planning framework.

Do you have a story from Cringleford? Email reporter Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk