Analysis: Could 1,875 new homes finally bring the long-awaited Long Stratton bypass
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
There have been calls to re-route the main Norwich - Ipswich A140 around Long Stratton for more than 50 years.
Back in the 1990s, it looked as if the road could be built as part of planning permission for the then new Churchfields estate, but that fell through.
Since then, a Long Stratton bypass committee, campaigning for an alternative route around the village, has come and gone.
In 2008 South Norfolk Council sent questionnaires to householders asking if they would back major housing expansion in return for the bypass.
But the results proved inconclusive, with respondents split broadly down the middle.
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However the Joint Core Strategy which earmarked Long Stratton for 1,800 new homes brought new hope for those who want the bypass.
The scheme for land to the east and west of the A140 would include a £5m western relief road and new roundabout, a £3.5m primary school and bring hundreds of new jobs for the area.
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Alison Thomas, county councillor for Stratton ward, spoke of her delight at the news.
'Now we have a planning application it is time for residents to get involved and say how they want things to look. Please get involved and please be patient because it will take time to get it right.
'If there are things residents don't think are right or safe then they need to get involved now.'
Mrs Thomas moved to the village in 1995 and in 1997 travelled to London to speak to the then transport minister about the bypass.
'I am really pleased. My view is we have a lot of work to do to make sure the proposal agreed is the right one which brings the road and the infrastructure the village needs to deal with the number of people.
'I am a county councillor not just for Long Stratton but the villages and I have to make sure they are not impacted negatively by the road and that they can still get into Long Stratton for their services.'
District councillor Des Fulcher expressed his concerns about the village's infrastructure.
'I am pleased to see that some progress is being made but I am also concerned about the need to improve the infrastructure in Long Stratton which has been woefully neglected for a great number of years.
Mr Fulcher said there were issues with parking in the town and on developments, the lack of a community centre and the need for a doctor's surgery.
He said there is land on the plans which could suggest use for a community centre and sports fields.
'A multi-use community centre which perhaps had a doctor's surgery built within that would make great sense.'
'The village needs the bypass and the development to improve the infrastructure.'
He added: 'Hopefully the long term plan might be to duel the road eventually at some point in the future.'