‘An accident waiting to happen’ - Road safety concerns drive out plans for 200 new homes in North Walsham

Locla resident Berni Marfleet said Aylsham Road in North Walsham was 'an accident waiting to happen'

Locla resident Berni Marfleet said Aylsham Road in North Walsham was 'an accident waiting to happen'. Picture: David Bale - Credit: Archant

Revised plans to build 200 new homes in North Walsham have been refused - despite the latest proposals including plans for 90 affordable homes.

The original plans, submitted by MLN (Land and Properties) Ltd, to develop land between Aylsham Road and Greens Road on the western edge of town were refused by North Norfolk District Council's development committee in March amid fears it could jeopardise the future growth of the town.

A new application, which no longer proposed a gift of land to help North Walsham FC relocate, was discussed by councillors at their meeting in Cromer on Thursday, August 3.

A letter from the applicant offering to again consider the offer of land to the club, and calling for deferment of the plans, was read out at the meeting.

But councillors again turned down the plans, on the grounds that it was on land designated as 'countryside' and therefore represented a departure from the development plan.

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Concerns over traffic on Aylsham Road was also cited by councillors who said that pedestrians had no footpath to walk on.

Councillor Richard Shepherd said: 'There were lots of carrots with this application, including the affordable homes. But that does not detract from us still being stuck with Aylsham Road. I cannot understand highways not objecting to this.

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'And if the club again featured in future applications, I don't think it would make any difference. This application should go on the backburner until the Local Plan is further advanced.'

Fellow councillor Barry Smith added: 'Aylsham Road is a nightmare at times. You cannot widen that road. Pedestrians have to take refuge in people's gardens and drives.'

North Walsham Town Council also continues to object to the application.

Local resident Berni Marfleet said: 'This does not deliver the infrastructure we need in the town. I've no objection to growth in the town, just how it's done. Over 30pc of the pedestrians that use Aylsham Road are children. This is an accident waiting to happen.'

Ward member Virginia Gay said: 'Aylsham Road is still quite scary on occasions. I have walked it and motorists don't slow down for pedestrians.'

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