Developer sticks to his guns in row over footpath beside Swaffham main road

A developer planning 250 new homes in Swaffham has stuck to his plans to shield a footpath children will use from a busy main road, despite opposition from the county council.

Swaffham town councillors have supported Abel Homes' preference to place a footpath from its proposed Swans Nest development east of the A1065 on the other side of a hedge running beside the road.

Managing director Tony Abel said it would keep children away from traffic and ensure the new homes overlooked the footpath, increasing safety for pedestrians.

However, the highways department said placing the path beside the road would allow it to serve the wider town and not just the new estate, and make it more visible for personal safety reasons.

Now Mr Abel has submitted an application for outline planning permission for the estate which would keep the path away from the road, but said he would have to reverse the decision if the highways department insisted.

He said: 'We saw the ability of school children to be able to commute easily and safely as being paramount, and therefore morally it should go where Swaffham and Breckland councils want it to go, but if highways insist on having their way it's unfortunate.

'I think that would be unfortunate but if that's what has to be done we have to bow to the decision that's eventually thrashed out between the various interested parties.'

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No date has yet been set for Breckland planning committee to consider the application.

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