Government seeks more time on Broadland homes and road schemes

A decision over whether the government will call in two schemes to build hundreds of homes and a gateway for the Northern Distributor Road on the outskirts of Norwich has been put on hold.

Broadland District Council last month agreed to give its officers permission to approve two major schemes in Thorpe St Andrew – the Broadland Gate business park development and plans for 600 homes at Brook Farm, along with an extension to the nearby Broadland Business Park.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) was due to decide by the end of this week whether those applications needed to be called in by the secretary of state.

But because extra representations have been submitted about the schemes, the department has served notice on Broadland District Council that they need more time to consider those submissions.

Opponents of the Northern Distributor Road are keeping an especially close eye on the Broadland Gate development. Put forward by Norfolk County Council and Ifield Estates, the application includes changes to the junction with the A47 at Postwick.

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Those changes, which would create what has been dubbed the Postwick Hub, are needed, according to the applicant, to serve the new business park because the current junction is working to capacity.

But the junction is also, effectively, the starting point for the �112.5m NDR – an 8.7 mile dual carriageway linking the A47 to the south east of the city.

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Denise Carlo, from Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group, which has been a long-standing critic of the NDR, said she believed the DCLG's action was 'significant'.

But a spokesman for Broadland District Council said the action was purely a means of giving department officials more time to consider additional representations, and was unlikely to significantly delay a decision on whether to call in the Broadland Gate and Brook Farm applications.

The county council is hoping the government will deliver on its promise to fund the Postwick Hub changes to the tune of �21m and recently resubmitted a bid to the Department for Transport for �67.5m towards the NDR itself.

The plans for Brook Farm and Laurel Farm have been put forward by The Lothbury Trust. It would see the development of 57 hectares of farmland on the edge of Dussindale, with 600 new homes, an extension to Broadland Business Park, a railway halt, a link road and a local centre.

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