Letters: John Bird, August 30, 2016

Fuel or Oil slick on the A149 through Heacham to Hunstanton. www.lynnnews.co.uk/buyaphoto ENGANL00120121204134115
Fuel or Oil slick on the A149 through Heacham to Hunstanton. www.lynnnews.co.uk/buyaphoto ENGANL00120121204134115

I refer to the roundabout and road complex due to be built just south of Hunstanton to connect the proposed Hopkins Estate with the A149 and Hunstanton Road, Heacham.

If construction goes ahead in September this will close the A149 for at least seven months, and almost certainly more, and so seriously damage a fragile local economy when it is at its most vulnerable.

Moreover, once the 166-home estate is completed, yet more vehicles will be added to a stretch of the A149, often gridlocked in the summer. Indeed, so long are the queues getting as they trail from Heacham and Snettisham back towards Lynn that visitors may sooner or later, decide to turn round and go home. As a resident of Heacham, which probably has the most to lose from this development, I have watched small town democracy at work with due humility!

However I remain mystified at some of the council’s actions for they seem to offend commonsense. I would ask why the site chosen for the new estate at Redgate Hill was the one least preferred by the planners out of the three possible options of available building land? One of the other two could surely have better fitted the bill.

Why did Hopkins Homes, which originally wanted the sensible and cheaper northern access to the estate site either through Searle’s land or Harry’s Way, for no clear reason change to the much more expensive and environmentally disruptive A149 access route?

I would also ask why, with good reason, the county council’s Highways Authority totally rubbished the case for the A149 access route, on environmental and sustainability grounds, only to mysteriously ‘change tack’ and let it go through? We certainly need new housing but what I am suggesting is that serious mistakes have been made about where the estate is to be built and the road infrastructure that is to serve it. I believe there to be a strong case for reconsidering the entire project.

John Bird, Heacham