Cromer safety campaigners want proposed crematorium developer to pay towards A148 roundabout

Steps to Safety campaigners on the A148 rail bridge. They now want the Cromer crematorium developer

Steps to Safety campaigners on the A148 rail bridge. They now want the Cromer crematorium developer to pay towards a roundabout at the road's junction with the B1436. From left: Brian Ridd, John Andrews and Diana Meggy.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Road safety campaigners want the developers of a proposed crematorium on the outskirts of Cromer to chip in towards the cost of a roundabout at what they believe is a dangerous nearby junction.

The Steps to Safety group believes local parish, district and county councillors should seize the initiative and insist that a cash contribution towards a roundabout is a condition if planning approval is granted for a crematorium.

Last month it was revealed that the Westerleigh Group wants to construct a £3m crematorium behind Cromer cemetery, on the A148 Holt Road between its junction with the B1436 Felbrigg Road and the rail bridge on the edge of Cromer.

Campaigners who live on the same stretch say a crematorium would generate even more traffic and they have stepped up their seven-year campaign for a roundabout at what they claim is already a busy, urban junction with a high accident record.

The move comes as some progress is made on another of the group's campaigns, to improve pedestrian safety on the rail bridge.

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Steps to Safety had demanded a footbridge but Norfolk Council Council said that would be too costly and is instead carrying out work to drop the kerbs and create a marked walkway across the rail bridge.

But disappointed campaigners, who also want a 30mph speed limit, are not satisfied with the solution.

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And they are frustrated that the stretch of the A148 is shared by three parishes - Cromer, Felbrigg and East Runton - making it harder for them to persuade parish councillors to take action on their behalf.

Now they are calling on all three councils to join forces and speak out, before the crematorium application is lodged and decided.

Campaigner John Andrews said he thought a Section 106 agreement could be attached to planning consent - cash paid by developers of large schemes to help lessen the impact on the community of their projects.

'If we carry on with 'softly-softly' the opportunity will be gone. We need the councillors to do something now,' he said.

Hilary Cox, a Cromer town, north Norfolk district and county councillor, said the idea was good, but unlikely to succeed as she did not think the crematorium was large enough to warrant a Section 106 agreement.

Instead, Mrs Cox said the district council had listed the roundabout scheme for a share of the new 'cil' - community infrastructure levy - funding pot.

The levy could be charged on significant developments, of which there were a number in the Cromer area, she added. The cash could then be used to improve local infrastructure.

Both Mrs Cox and the campaigners strongly reject Norfolk County Council's assertion that a roundabout at the junction would cost as much as £1m.

She said Cromer Town Council would shortly hold a further meeting with the other two parish councils affected to discuss Steps to Safety's concerns.

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