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'We want to build the road before the homes', councils insist as West Winch growth area talks resume

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A multi-million pound relief road should be in place before thousands of envisaged new homes are built on the edge of Lynn, council chiefs have insisted today.

The assurance comes as officials announced plans to resume stakeholder discussions relating to development of the West Winch Strategic Growth Area.

Up to 4,000 homes are envisaged in the area near the A10 and a bid for Government funding of an access road has already been submitted.

General view of the A10 at West Winch (52821347)
General view of the A10 at West Winch (52821347)

Concerns have been raised that new homes could be built in the area before the road, which is expected to cost up to £65 million, and other infrastructure is in place.

But a joint statement from West Norfolk Council and Norfolk County Council insists the two authorities are "committed that the road should be developed as a priority to unlock development of the site."

Martin Wilby, the county council's cabinet member for transport, said this afternoon: "The West Winch Housing Access Road aims to put appropriate infrastructure in place before the development of 4,000 new homes in the area.

"A new connection between the A47 and A10 will reduce traffic through the village of West Winch and cut congestion on the A10 to the Hardwick junction."

The county authority announced in February that it had submitted an outline business case to the Department for Transport for up to £50 million of funding towards the cost of the road.

Mr Wilby today said they were "hopeful of a positive response".

No timescales have been given for when the discussions, which the councils say were halted by the Covid crisis, will resume.

But, with development of the area expected to take nearly two decades to complete, officials insist local input will be crucial.

Richard Blunt, the borough council's cabinet member for development, said: “We are absolutely committed to working with local stakeholders around the development and delivery of the West Winch Strategic Growth Area and I am pleased that our meetings with the local stakeholder group are starting again.

“The West Winch Strategic Growth area provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring much needed homes, access, and facilities. It has the potential to bring huge benefits for the community.

“We are keen to listen and keep people informed both within the stakeholder group and in the wider community, and in the coming years we will provide many opportunities to do just this.”

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