Long-awaited £20m bypass could be built with 1,800 homes and hundreds of new jobs
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After decades of campaigning, plans for 1,875 homes could unlock a long-awaited £20m bypass at Long Stratton and hundreds of new jobs for the area.
The scheme for land to the east and west of the A140 would include a £5m western relief road and new roundabout, and a £3.5m primary school.
Two planning applications from Norfolk Homes, submitted to South Norfolk Council, outline an ambitious scheme which would see a new bypass, campaigned for since the 1930s, finally achieved.
More than 150 hectares of land could be built on, which 'wraps around' the east, north and west of the village, according to a planning statement from Norfolk Homes.
The site is allocated to be built on in the Long Stratton Action Area Plan in May 2016.
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Hundreds of jobs are also expected to be created.
'It is estimated that the site might provide some 38,000 square metres of buildings and over 1,700 employees,' the planning statement continues. 'It is difficult to estimate with any accuracy the potential business rates that will accrue from the businesses that are likely to start up on the employment sites, but they could be in excess of £2m per year.'
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Around 29pc of the new homes built are expected to be affordable, and around 70 hectares of new public open space would be created.
The planning statement adds thousands of vehicles would be diverted away from Long Stratton following construction of the bypass.
'The bypass, which will cost some £20 million, will remove some 70-85pc of traffic from Long Stratton in the morning peak hour and 60-75pc in the evening peak hour and overall this equates to around 13,000 vehicles per day.
'A six figure sum will be spent on new infrastructure as part of the development to serve itself plus Anglian Water will spend notable amounts upgrading the waste water recycling plant that will be of considerable benefit to the local environment.'
The scheme, part funded by South Norfolk Council, is expected to cost in the region of £675m in total, with £302m on new homes and £390m creating new employment space.
Leader of South Norfolk Council John Fuller said they have 'never been closer' to getting the bypass built.
'The land owners live locally and they are clearly committed to this and they have worked with professionals to create the planning application.
'Councils are chipping in to the costs of the bypass but it is the housing development which will pay the lion's share of the cost of the bypass,' he said
'There is a lot of detail to grind through and going through the detail will take the best part of a year but at least we now have a proposal on the table and we've never had that before so we've never been closer.
'It's not just exciting for Long Stratton, it's exciting for South Norfolk and it's the right thing for Norfolk and Suffolk.
'It's our job now to have some tough negotiations and to make sure that the bypass is a bypass which meets people's expectations, not just a link road.'
Heather Green, the manager at The Tudor Bakehouse, in the centre of Long Stratton said the news was a double edged sword:
'It will be good for the village because it will be quieter and there won't be so much traffic and pollution.
'But Long Stratton is quite small and businesses have closed, it's a lovely little village but we need to get the shops back,' she said.
'We've been here before, about 60 years ago it was so close to happening, so I don't know if we'll get there this time, watch this space.'