Council chiefs have been accused of turning their back on residents after a petition against proposals to open a restricted Lynn road to all traffic was rejected.
The plea not to relax the current restrictions on Hardings Way was made during public question time at Thursday night’s West Norfolk Council meeting.
Officials said they could not accept the petition because it did not meet the authority’s minimum requirement of 250 signatures to be considered, or 5,000 to be debated at full council.
But county councillor Alexandra Kemp, who presented the petition, said afterwards: “The residents of the Friars and South Lynn will think the borough council turned its back on them when it refused to accept their petition, signed on the community walk on Hardings Way.
“It would have been the right thing to do to accept the petition. But not one of the councillors had the courage to speak up. We were not asking for a debate, just respect for local residents.”
The recommended scheme is part of wider plans for the multi-million pound regeneration of the town’s waterfront area, and includes plans for 436 homes and more than 7,500 square meters of new commercial space.
The authority’s ruling cabinet has been urged to allocate £350,000 of funding for further testing of the work when they meet later today.
And, although they say a majority of participants in a public consultation supported the proposal containing the full opening of Hardings Way, council leaders maintain more work is still needed to progress the project.
Alistair Beales, cabinet member for corporate projects and assets, said: “This council seeks the views of local residents and the wider population of the borough whenever a major project is planned or is being planned.
“However, and importantly, the recommendation of the cabinet endorses option three and refers extensively to the need to test this further and to progress to investigation and testing these options.”