Construction project accused of dodging negotiations over plans for controversial access route through Norfolk village

The Street, Trowse. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Street, Trowse. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

A construction project has been accused of dodging negotiations amidst plans for a controversial access route through the centre of a Norfolk village.

Permission has been granted for 75 homes to be built in the Arminghall Settlement, Trowse, however, the planned access route has changed.

Originally, access to the site was planned via White Horse Lane, where an access junction is currently being built by Norfolk Homes.

But as the junction is not yet complete, the Arminghall Settlement is now seeking permission to use the main road through the village, The Street, enabling them to access the site via Hudson Avenue.

During a recent heated parish council meeting, the Arminghall Trustees stated the route was not their preferred choice, but was a necessity.

However, Terry Harper, land and development manager at Norfolk Homes, has since disputed this claim.

He said: 'Access through our site will be built by May next year – well in advance of when they actually might need it. As such, their choice of such a 'non-preferred route' is wholly unnecessary.

'We have pushed for negotiations over many years, however, for reasons beyond our comprehension, they have never engaged in anything approaching meaningful dialogue.

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'In reality, they have consistently pursued, over several years, to maximise the amount of dwellings to be served via Hudson Avenue.

'Our position is, and always has been, ready and able to reach an agreement to deliver the allocation as the local plan requires.'

Arminghall Trustees have defended their stance and said they are looking forward to resolving the issue.

A spokesperson said: 'While we don't recognise or agree with the interpretation of events by Norfolk Homes, we are delighted that they are fully committed to completing the road within their stated timescales.

'As we have made extremely clear through the planning process, and at the recent parish council meeting, our strong preference has always been to use the newly built road to develop the site.

'We therefore very much look forward to further discussions in the coming weeks and hope that we can resolve the situation as soon as possible.'

Trowse Parish Council has said the onus is on the Arminghall Trustees to negotiate access via White Horse Lane.

In a statement, Trowse Parish Council said: 'The position of the Parish Council and most local residents has always been clear - the principal site access must come from White Horse Lane through the adjoining Norfolk Homes site.

'It became clear at the parish council meeting that the trust is looking for a back up because it has not secured any access rights from Norfolk Homes, despite having had years to do this. The trust has made numerous efforts to secure access along The Street, all of which have been unsuccessful.

'All the evidence points to the principal access on White Horse Lane being available and Norfolk Homes being prepared to negotiate.

'It is incumbent on the trust to secure those access rights and stop their repeated efforts to foist something on Trowse which is completely unacceptable.'