Anger over plans to re-route A47 through Norfolk countryside
- Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017
A recommendation to re-route part of the A47 through the Norfolk countryside has been met with fierce backlash by campaigners.
Highways England is proposing to dual a section of the road between Blofield and North Burlingham, east of Norwich.
Earlier in April, it presented Broadland District Council's cabinet with four options for the new dual carriageway as part of a 'high level' consultation.
During the meeting, cabinet members agreed to support option three - to build a new route across fields south of the existing A47.
MORE: 'Now get on with it': Norfolk County Council gives its verdict on all the proposed improvements to the A47But Catherine Blaiklock, whose guest house on Lingwood Road would be affected by the scheme, said it would have a 'catastrophic' impact on the countryside.
'Route three is the worst out of all of the options,' she said. 'It is going to destroy hundreds of acres of wildlife and farmland.
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There is also a vast area of footpaths that Lingwood [parish council] paid to put in, and this route will smash them to pieces.'
Ms Blaiklock has formed a local action group opposing the route, and claims to have collected 100 signatures objecting to it.
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She also claimed people living in the village of Lingwood did not receive any leaflets about a public consultation for the plans.
But Highways England said people had been invited to a public event at Lingwood Village Hall on March 29.
Cabinet members were presented with four different options for the route between Blofield and North Burlingham.
Parish council representatives speaking at the meeting expressed concern about the first two routes, which they felt would 'split' Burlingham in two.
Instead, they asked members to consider options three and four, which would see a dual carriageway built to the south of the A47.
But Ms Blaiklock said parish councillors were only meant to suggest option four, which she said was less invasive.
Highways England said route four would follow an alignment running 'just to the south' of the A47.
However Broadland cabinet members were told that a gas pipeline to the south of the A47 was a 'constraint' for the route.
They chose option three as members felt it would retain the integrity of the existing rural network of roads.
Highways England said it will be announcing its preferred route 'mid 2017'.
A spokesman said: 'Highways England's options consultation into the dualling of the A47 from Blofield to North Burlingham ran from 13 March to 21 April 2017.
'Four options were put forward for people to have their say. We were pleased with the level of responses, which will inform our preferred route for the scheme. We plan to announce this in mid-2017.
'In the meantime, we will continue to survey the area and engage with local authorities and stakeholders as the scheme progresses.'
The organisation stressed there would be future opportunities for people to have their say in the future.