Residents fear community will not cope with 1,700 new homes
- Credit: Denise Bradley
Residents of a Norwich suburb have said more amenities and school places must be created to keep up with the number of new homes being built there.
Cringleford is set to double in size in the next decade with 1,700 new homes in the pipeline – 1,300 of which have already been approved.
But, as always, with such population growth comes more strain on services in the area such as schools, healthcare provision and recreational facilities.
When asked whether they believed Cringleford had enough amenities to support more housing, several residents cited concerns over education provision.
The village has one voluntary-aided primary school, which has in recent years expanded to accept more pupils but is still described as "oversubscribed".
To lighten the load and create places for new families moving into newly-built homes, a new 420-place school is set to be created.
Norfolk County Council's 2020 Schools' Local Growth and Investment Plan said development in the area "has generated far more primary age children than anticipated, resulting in [the existing] school being oversubscribed in every recent admission round".
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It added that a site for the new primary education facility has been secured through a Section 106 agreement with developers, and that construction is pencilled in to begin in 2022/23, at an estimated cost of £8-11m.
Cringleford resident Kelly Fox said she wants to see that new school created, as "after three years, I am still driving my children to their original school in Wymondham as there are no places here".
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Zoe Morley added: "Its great that houses are being built on spare land in Cringleford. However, more amenities and schools are a must to be built along side it, which I'm sure have already been put to consideration."
As well as a new school, more shops are likely to be needed, residents said – the sole supermarket is a Tesco Express, with the nearest alternative being the Waitrose in neighbouring Eaton.
And more sports and leisure facilities will be needed, though an outline recreation strategy created by Cringleford Parish Council aims to address this.
In the plan document, a new sports hall, multi-use games area, skatepark and a woodland area are all mooted, the capital costs for which could top £1m.
To pay for such projects, the council has received "a significant amount" in community infrastructure levy and Section 106 money, ringfenced for such purposes.
But the issue of parking has yet to be fully addressed.
Cringleford's proximity to the A47 and A11 trunk roads, as well as the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, has created a "concerning" increase in traffic, according to Mrs Fox.
"With the Thickthorn improvements on the cards. I feel the next few years will be a nightmare until the work is completed," she said.
Mrs Morley added: "Parking is the main problem on Roundhouse Park. Too many cars park at the roadside when the owners have driveways."
Last month, the parish announced residents living on roads affected by parking issues would be consulted over proposed road improvements in the area "after several years of working with Norfolk County Council and South Norfolk Council".
The parish encouraged people to respond to the consultation, warning that "if enough support is not achieved then the problems with on-road parking will continue indefinitely".
That consultation closed on March 16. The outcome is yet to be announced.
Resident Jose Mateo said he was "not surprised how the city is growing this way", adding hospital traffic already makes the village's roads busy.
He said: "Honestly, I don't criticise the development of the area, but how things are done. Using the human anatomy, for example, the body develops veins and arteries first, to feed the growing muscles and organs, not the other way around."
"It’s scary given the numbers of properties being built," he added."