Fears over impact of 1,800 homes on Norfolk village’s road system

The cost of building a single lane bypass to reduce the volume of traffic flowing through Long Stratton would be �20m, a public meeting has heard.

Tim Horspole, South Norfolk Council's planning and housing manager, revealed the figure as he answered villagers' scepticism that plans to build 1,800 homes in the village would not provide enough money for a bypass and the schools and doctors surgeries to cater for the new homes.

The meeting on Friday night at Long Stratton High School also heard parish council chairman Andrew Lansdell reveal the village's existing schools would not have enough capacity to cope with demand from the new houses and a new primary school would have to be built.

A 50-strong audience grilled South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon and parish, district and county councillors at the meeting to discuss where the planned new houses and bypass should be located.

The village has been earmarked for 1,800 homes over the next 15 years as part of the Greater Norwich Development Partnership's Joint Core Strategy, with developers providing funding for the bypass.

But many villagers were concerned a single lane carriageway would not itself have the capacity to take much traffic away from the village, notorious for its congestion at morning and evening rush hours.

Schools were another concern and calls were made for a more 'strategic and holistic' approach to developing them rather than building them 'willy-nilly' with developments.

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County councillor Alison Thomas, who represents Long Stratton, said the county council would meet some of the cost for schooling.

Job creation, noise pollution and slow broadband speeds were also discussed, while some villagers wanted more development to the west rather than the proposed sites to the east of the village.

Mr Bacon said: 'We have discussed a broad range of issues here tonight.'

The results of the meeting will be collated on November 18 before further consultations.