What do you think? Fears over �26m Norwich Research Park expansion

A parish council has criticised the �26m development of Norwich Research Park on its doorstep, describing it as 'speculative'.

In a letter to South Norfolk Council's planning department, Colney Parish Council said it was supportive of the research park, but feared the expansion could lead to the NRP 'losing it's enviable reputation'.

Parish clerk, Hazel Martin, wrote:

'Colney welcomes, in principle, plans to expand the NRP but has serious concerns about the detail of proposals supplied so far.'

The council fears that once built pressure would be on to fill the new buildings which could lead to 'lower calibre companies'.

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In May the Government announced it would invest �90m into research at the NRP North which includes the John Innes Centre, the Institute of Food Research and the Genome Analysis Centre.

In a separate planning application for NRP South which includes the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, the parish council described the plans as 'sketchy' and expressed concern over traffic.

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It said: 'The Thickthorn and B1108 interchanges are likely to be overwhelmed as a result of housing in the Bowthorpe-Cringleford-Hethersett-Wymondham corridor and access to the NRP and hospital compromised.

'Other parishes have referred to the lack of consideration being given to the cumulative effect of the NRP development.

'Colney Parish Council shares these concerns.

'It is essential that local communities are involved through the planning procedure, not just presented with what is seen as a 'done deal' between, planners, developers and landowners.'

Project Director at NRP Alan Giles said: 'We welcome continued comment from local parish council members who are supportive of our proposals.

'We continue to keep parish council members and planners from local councils fully up to date with new information as our plans develop that we feel will address many of the concerns that may be raised.'

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