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Relief road assurance as new West Winch homes plan consultation begins

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A relief road remains "an absolute priority" as part of the long-sought development of thousands of new homes near Lynn, council leaders have insisted.

The comment came as new questions were raised about the project in the West Winch area, following the launch of a fresh consultation period on a major housing application.

And one councillor has warned it would be "a disaster" if home construction was to start before the route is in place.

Planning Applications (1887694)
Planning Applications (1887694)

Approximately 4,000 homes are envisaged in the development of what officials term a Strategic Growth Area centred around West Winch and nearby North Runcton.

A relief road, intended to take traffic off the existing A10 and linking to the A47, is envisaged as part of the scheme.

And, last month, county and borough leaders maintained the road, which could cost up to £65 million to build, should be in place before any of the proposed homes are built.

General view of the A10 at West Winch (53865860)
General view of the A10 at West Winch (53865860)

But a new consultation exercise has now been launched in relation to long-standing plans for 1,100 homes in the area.

The application by Hopkins Homes was first put forward eight years ago and West Norfolk Council officials say the new consultation, which runs until January 17, is necessary because of changes made to environmental statements in response to previous comments.

However, with no decision yet made on whether the new road would get Government funding, there are fears that existing problems could get even worse.

Divisional county councillor Alexandra Kemp said: "If the building starts, there is no guarantee the road will ever be built."

She said she was advising residents to object in the new consultation because of traffic grounds, describing the present application as a "traffic armageddon disaster".

She also claimed that travel assessments submitted as part of the application, which claimed the homes would not have an undue effect on the existing transport network, were "outrageous nonsense".

But West Norfolk Council leader Stuart Dark said: "The construction of a new housing access road has always been – and continues to be - an absolute priority to unlocking the building of new homes on the site.”

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for transport, said the road project "aims to put appropriate infrastructure in place before the development of 4,000 new homes in the area."

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