Long Stratton bypass moves a step closer
- Credit: Archant
A scheme to relieve one of the region's major traffic chokepoints has moved into the fast lane after it secured approval from an inspector
The A140 in Long Stratton is infamous for heavy congestion as frustrated motorists are caught up in long queues and slow moving traffic travelling to and from Norwich and Ipswich on the single carriage road.
But those scenes of impatient drivers and long lines of vehicles are one step closer to disappearing thanks to a successful examination of a master plan for the south Norfolk village.
A document called the Long Stratton Area Action Plan (AAP) has been given the seal of approval by a government appointed inspector.
It has been drawn up by South Norfolk Council for the period up to 2026 and includes plans for a bypass, 1,800 homes, 12 hectares of land for job creation and an enhanced village centre.
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The conclusion that the AAP is 'sound and compliant' barring technical changes by inspector Louise Nurser means the document can now go ahead to be approved by the district council next month - paving the way for developers to put in planning applications.
If approved by a full council meeting on May 23 the AAP is said to then give developers more certainty and a clearer picture of what will be required and likely to be approved.
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It is hoped the next stage could begin next year on the bypass, which is estimated to cost £20m, and the council has also forecast that 420 homes could be built by 2020.
Discussions are still ongoing with landowners about purchasing land for the proposed schemes.
Welcoming the inspector's report, council leader John Fuller said: 'This is the successful culmination of years of work involving the public and other interested parties.
'It gives us a positive framework for delivering the required growth in Long Stratton.
'Crucially it brings the long-awaited bypass another step closer, with all the benefits that entails for the village and the wider Norfolk and Suffolk economy.
'The council looks forward to working with developers to help deliver, at the earliest opportunity, the vision of a reinvigorated settlement which maximises the benefits of removing the daily congestion on the A140.'
It had been recognised the bypass can only be achieved with the building of the 1,800 homes to unlock private funding.
The inspector's report states there will be a 50/50 split in funding from the private and public sector for the bypass and adds funding could come from the £440m Greater Norwich City Deal.