Housing development – Norwich Road, Northrepps

Many people will have see of plans for a 300-home development on the outskirts of Cromer. The development – planned by Michael Gurney – is actually in Northrepps Parish so this week I canvassed the views of residents along Norwich Road and in Stevens Road.

The District Council decides on planning applications but the County Council has a say on issues like plans for school places and the impact on local roads. With such a large development there are bound to be significant issues to consider for both.

I have written to Mr Gurney, to Norfolk County Council and to North Norfolk District Council summarising what I found when I called on local people.

It is fair to say that I did not find widespread opposition to the plans in principal. Many people had real concerns about details of the plans, though, and about the impact on a range of services. These are the key points that I have raised:

– road safety. With a significant increase in traffic likely, residents are concerned about the road safety implications on what is already a busy and dangerous stretch of road. The 30mph speed limit currently ends by Stevens Road – will this be moved further out of Cromer to slow traffic? With a new roundabout planned, what are the plans designed to improve road safety on this stretch of road.

– the footpath over the rail bridge. At the moment the rail bridge can only be crossed by a footpath which is on the opposite side of the road to the planned development, Stevens Road and all of the existing houses on Norwich Road. It is very difficult to cross the road safely – will any changes be made to improve safety here?

– strain on utilities. There are often problems with water pressure in this area and there is currently no gas or mains drainage. What plans are there for these services as part of the planned development?

– the impact of the football club. There is understandable concern about use of floodlights and noise and the potential for broken windows and greenhouses from the relocation of the football club. There was no sense that residents were fundamentally opposed to the siting of the pitches here but just a concern that the Club will do its utmost to be good neighbours and will have the funds to commit to proper fences etc to protect houses. Have assurances been obtained?

– footpath at the rear of the properties on Norwich Road. A number of Norwich Road residents pointed out that there is currently a strip of land between their gardens and the start of the field. Will this be retained and perhaps improved?

– impact on local services. What calculations have been made of the impact of the development on local schools and GP surgeries – will they be able to cope?

I will report back when I receive replies. In the meantime, residents may want to note that the plans will be on display in Cromer Parish Rooms from 4pm to 7pm on 7th September. All are welcome to pop along and take a look.