Struggling to cope! Town Council to develop masterplan for North Walsham to accommodate up to 2500 new homes

North Walsham town centre.

North Walsham town centre. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE - Credit: Archant

Business owners and councillors are hoping to boost business and infrastructure in a traditional market town ahead of a predicted house-building boom.

North Norfolk District Council is working on a local plan for the whole district in terms of where new housing developments will be built over the next 20 years.

To help improve future developments and town planning for North Walsham, the town council wants to find out through public consultation with residents and businesses what issues need to be addressed to prevent future problems.

It is hoped these findings will then be documented and used for major town projects.

Nick Clancy, North Walsham Town Council clerk, said between 1,000 and 2,500 new homes were expected to be built in the town in the next 20 years.

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But he, along with business leaders and town mayor Barry Hester, said the town's infrastructure including roads and sewage systems could not cope with new homes on top of existing businesses.

Mr Clancy also said there were local concerns that the town's two primary schools and medical services could not cope with extra people.

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He said: 'We want to know what local people want North Walsham to be like in 10-20 years time so we have got that overarching vision.'

He believed a document explaining what people in the town wanted in terms of infrastructure and town centre improvements could be drawn up in a year.

Major issues which he believed should be tackled included building a bypass to stop bridge strikes on the Cromer Road railway bridge which has become a victim of lorry strikes.

Large vehicles travelling down narrow, windy roads was also a problem raised to the council.

Barry Hester, North Walsham town mayor, said: 'The town's future vision is something we need to get a grip of. With the local town plan in action, we want some input. We want to grab this opportunity by the horns, start afresh and speak to people.'

He added it was key the town centre was looked at in terms of future development.

Rob Scammell, chairman of Regenerate North Walsham business support group, said: 'We are very pleased about the consultation on the town's future. It is something that is sorely needed.'

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