A new strategy is needed to regenerate North Walsham

Residents' protest agains plans for 550 new homes in North Walsham: Pictures: David Bale

Residents' protest agains plans for 550 new homes in North Walsham: Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

The case has been well made for more homes in north Norfolk, in particular ones deemed affordable for local people. North Walsham is a growing town and land has been allocated for hundreds of new houses over the coming years.

A new business park is being considered which will go some way to providing jobs but, like many other towns in north Norfolk, the infrastructure is still lagging behind and the pressures will become an even bigger problem the more North Walsham expands.

While the business park might be on the cards, our town centre itself still hasn't truly regenerated. We need more jobs in the town and more high street shops - yet rather than growing we're losing familiar names.

Moreover, the transport infrastructure has not kept up with the building of new houses, and for years there has been talk about relieving the pressures on our poor roads and sorting out the low bridges - but sadly there has been no real action.

Now with the plans for an additional 200 houses on top of those already earmarked, it's vital we get the assurances we need to have confidence in these planning applications.

MORE: Residents march in protest over new homes in North WalshamThere has been some talk of road improvements but I'm not convinced they will be enough. Our population is increasing and traffic is still going to be funnelled around narrow residential streets.

This is already a problem without new properties.

North Walsham needs a long-term plan for growth and I don't see any sign yet of our local authorities considering it.

Most Read

As well as looking at transport we need the funding for our schools, our doctors surgery and healthcare, open spaces, and utilities like phone signal and broadband as well as jobs and business.

With the cuts in local services being passed down from government, we already are feeling the strain.

It's no good waiting until the new houses are built and the residents have moved in to think about all this — we need this strategy in place now so we have the confidence in the authorities' assertions that our town can take the strain.

David G Spencer, Antingham Road, Antingham.