Breakthrough for Norfolk pedestrian crossing campaigners

Campaigners fighting for a new pedestrian crossing in a Norfolk village to keep their children safe have made a breakthrough after a council agreed to include the crossing in plans to redevelop a former care home.

South Norfolk Council has agreed to include the crossing across Swan Lane in Long Stratton as part of plans to build 56 homes at the nearby Cygnet House care home, which is next door to the council's offices in Swan Lane.

Parents of children at Long Stratton High School and St Mary's Junior School in the village have been calling for the crossing to solve any potential danger to the pupil from increased traffic levels associated with the Cygnet House development.

However, the council still needs to complete consultations with planning officers, the community and statutory agencies before submitting an outline planning application for the scheme sometime in the New Year,

which would then need the approval of the council's development management committee before the homes and crossing could be built.

Sarah Berwick, a governor and parent at St Mary's Junior School, is one of the campaigners for the crossing. She said: 'Obviously, I am very pleased. We already have the support of the district councillors for Long Stratton so it is good that the council itself is going to propose a crossing as part of the plan.'

She added such was the strength of feeling around the issue, a 1,400 signature petition had been collected at Long Stratton High School, St Mary's Junior School and Manor Road Infant School.

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Last week, she said as well as the Cygnet House plans, a further 120 homes were set to be built in nearby Chequers Lane, Tharston by Sunguard Land, which would create even more traffic.

Many of the pupils at the two schools live on the Churchfields estate at the Norwich end of the village and walk down the A140 Ipswich Road before turning into Swan Lane and crossing over to get to the schools at the bottom of Manor Road.

Cllr Garry Wheatley, cabinet member for finances and resources, said: 'I want to thank the parents and residents of Long Stratton for taking part in our consultation on this potential development of the centre of the village. In particular I want to thank the mums and dads of junior school children, and others, who took part, and made their case for a crossing over Swan Lane.

'We have listened and we will include this proposal in any planning application we put forward in the near future.'

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