Residents asked for their views on Cringleford’s future
People living in a village on the edge of Norwich are being asked for their opinions on a new plan to help shape the area's future.
Sites for more homes and the need for a second school are among the ideas put forward.
A team from Cringleford Parish Council has spent about 18 months working on a neighbourhood development plan as part of the government's Front Runners Project which aims to give people more of a say about the area they live in.
Now the council is asking local people for their views on the plan which, if voted for in a referendum, will be taken into consideration by district councillors when planning decisions affecting Cringleford are made.
Malcolm Wagstaff, chairman of the Neighbourhood Development Plan Team which also includes several other councillors and parish clerk Anne Barnes, said the plan was important for the future of the whole village and urged people to take a look and share their opinions.
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A parish council statement said councillors felt the plan - which incorporates views from a residents' questionnaire - addressed an array of issues about Cringleford's future to 2026.
The statement said: 'Cringleford's location alongside the A47 and astride the A11 giving access to Norwich means that it is under considerable pressure from developers.
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'While Cringleford residents agreed in 2011 to accept the 1,200 dwellings allocated to the parish under the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) produced by the Greater Norwich Partnership (Norwich City Council, and Broadland and South Norfolk District Councils), they also wish to preserve and enhance the environmental setting of the village.
'When consulted in 2012 parishioners said that the Yare Valley wetlands, which form the eastern and southern boundary of the parish, must be protected and the protection zone along the Norwich Southern Bypass (A47) should be retained. 'The existing 'green gateway' to Norwich should be enhanced. Ancient hedgerows and trees should be retained as far as possible. At the same time, parishioners wish new residents to feel part of a single community.
'The parish council believes that its Neighbourhood Development Plan sets out the way in which these different interests can be accommodated.'
At the heart of the plan are proposals for where 1,200 new homes - w in addition to the 1,000 home Round House Park development - could be built while also retaining Cringleford's existing character.
The proposed area runs from north to south between the current edge of the village as defined by Round House Park and the A47, with a landscaped protection zone maintained alongside the Southern Bypass and a landscaped tree belt on the A11 approach to Norwich from the Thickthorn roundabout. The plan suggests about 1,017 new homes north of the A11 and about 162 homes south of the A11, and asks no more than 20 to 25 homes are built per hectare and any affordable housing is dispersed in small groups throughout the area.
The plan says the 420-pupil school being built on Dragonfly Lane will be at full capacity once the Round House Park development is completed, and a second school will be needed. It states an extension to new community building the Willow Centre will be needed along with other communal facilities, and space should be set aside for allotments and a community orchard.
It says building extra business units is desirable but should be limited to 'micro level' for businesses employing less than 10 people.
In terms of transport links, it says improvements to the Thickthorn interchange should be brought forward as a matter or urgency, and improvements envisaged by the JCS must be provided, including a Bus Rapid Transit system connecting Wymondham, Hethersett and Cringleford to Norwich, and potentially the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, University of East Anglia and Norwich Research Park.
A new road around the edge of land west of Round House Way and running to the hospital and research park is suggested as well as link roads connecting the new development sites to Round House Way and Cantley Lane, and walking and cycling routes linking different parts of Cringleford.
The plan has been distributed to everyone in Cringleford, and there is now a consultation period until February 13 for people to submit comments.
To help people understand the plan there will be an exhibition, with councillors on hand to explain the plan, in the Patteson Room, Newmarket Road, from 2pm until 8pm on Friday, January 11, and 10am until 1pm on Saturday, January 12.
Comments received will be used to finalise the plan that will undergo an independent inspection before being voted on by parishioners in a referendum. If 51pc or more vote in favour of the plan it will be adopted by South Norfolk District Council and become part of the district's planning framework.
• To see the plan visit www.cringlefordparishcouncil.gov.uk
• Do you have a story from Cringleford? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email email@example.com