A47 junction improvements could be scrapped after Highways England resist roadworks

The proposed changes to the Cucumber Lane roundabout on the A47

The proposed changes to the Cucumber Lane roundabout on the A47 - Credit: Archant

Brakes may have been put on plans to make improvements to the A47 Cucumber Lane roundabout to mitigate the impact of a new 175 home development at Blofield as Highways England has resisted the roadworks.

Works proposed as part of the scheme included widening the western and eastern approach arms of the A47, new white linings to improve lane discipline and white line hatching on the southern arm of the roundabout to reduce the entry width of traffic leaving the roundabout onto Cucumber Lane.

Members of the Broadland District Council planning committee approved the outline plans for 175 homes to the north of Yarmouth Road in October, adding a condition that improvements to the roundabout were carried out.

It came as residents and three local parish councils raised concerns about the added pressure on the junction.

Highways England did not object to the condition being imposed, but made clear they did not support the changes.

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In a report to members, head of planning at Broadland Phil Courtier said: 'Since planning committee on October 12, officers have been in contact with Highways England.

'In responding, Highways England reiterated that it would not seek the work to be carried out. It stated there is no benefit to it, and does not support it. The proposed works would not make any difference to traffic flows or the carriageway and the amount of disruption, traffic management and delays would be more detrimental than carrying out the suggested works.

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'If a planning condition was imposed Highways England would still not require the works to be carried out and as landowner, could prevent the works from being carried out.'

The application will return to committee tomorrow as officers seek to remove the condition, otherwise 'it would be open to the developer to appeal'.

Chris Harrison, district councillor for Blofield with South Walsham, said the lack of infrastructure to cope with numerous developments locally is a rising concern for him.

'I am pretty much opposed to all these big developments going ahead in the absence of infrastructure locally,' he said. 'That includes school places and doctors surgeries, which are at breaking point. 'Of course people locally are talking about the impact on the roundabout. We have already had a fair bit of development, and the concern is that what we are seeing is pressure building up from sequential development.

'Arguably each in their own right may not make an enormous contribution, however we are now talking about at least 500 homes over a relatively short period of time. 'It seems obvious to me and a lot of people locally eventually what is going to happen is we have big problems there, when in an ideal world we would start planning for those problems now.

'The plan should start now, and not wait until the pressure is so bad we have serious disruption on a trunk road in the region.'

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