Congestion concerns delay latest Queens Hills plans at Costessey

Doubts have been raised over whether a housing estate can cope with further expansion after plans were deferred for more than 250 new homes near Norwich.

Proposals for more houses at Queens Hills in Costessey would breach a 1,650 home threshold set out for the development, South Norfolk Councillors heard.

Members today put the plans for 142 homes by Taylor Wimpey and 115 by Bovis Homes on hold over concerns about the extra traffic caused by the two projects.

Councillors called for an independent highways expert to examine proposals for a Queens Hills travel plan, which will aim to reduce the pressure on the Longwater road junction.

Norfolk County Council is set to draw up a plan for the estate, following developer funding of more than �250,000, to help reduce the amount of cars that drive in and out of the estate every day.

A question mark has also been raised as to whether the current sewage pumping station can cope with the extra housing. Planning officers had recommended approval of the scheme providing it funded a travel plan and improvements to Ringland Lane to open up a bus route to the site.

Local member Tim East said: 'How can a piece of paper called a travel plan realistically resolve the gridlock, tailbacks and congestion at the one and only exit available to residents?'

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However, councillors did approve plans for 323 homes off Norwich Common in Wymondham after the Persimmon Homes scheme had been previously deferred for changes to the design and amendments that will stop Downham Grove being used as a cut through. Colin Foulger, local member, said he welcomed the improved designs, but was 'a bit disappointed' that there were no plans for bungalows on the site.