Green light for Ementh homes despite traffic fears

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A developer’s bid to build 117 homes has been given the green light despite councillors fears for the impact on an already grid locked road.

West Norfolk Council’s planning committee earlier today (Monday, December 7) approved the Grosvenor Partnership’s application to build on an agricultural site on land off Elm High Road, Emneth.

Developers want to build semi-detached and terrace homes along with bungalows.

A total of 33 four bedroom houses, 68 three bedroom houses, eight two bedroom houses and eight one bedroom flats could be built.

The proposed development could be accessed via Hunter’s Rowe.

But councillors concerns about the extra traffic this development would create on the already busy road were not borne out by three Highways authorities.

Yesterday’s meeting was not told that objections had not been lodged by the Norfolk or Cambridgeshire Highways departments or Highways England.

Members were told during the session that the impact would be 0.4 cars per dwelling, which equated to approximately 40 to 50 cars coming out of the junction onto Elm High Road.

Ward member Chris Crofts put forward a proposal to refuse the application on traffic ground but this was lost due to lack of support from highways.

Mr Crofts said traffic queues are seen on the road for around two hours in the morning with the lunch time rush starting from 11.30am to 1pm.

He said: “The worst time is after 3.30pm when people are coming home.

“When they (the residents of the development) go out to work or school in the morning, they won’t be able to turn right.

“I don’t think this is acceptable or suitable way forward to develop this site.”

Mr Crofts suggested that the applicant joins forces with the developer who is looking at the former agricultural college in Wisbech to find a suitable solution.

He said: “I know the problems the people who live there are going to face. I have done what I can.”

Martin Storey said he felt sorry for the people who would be affected by the traffic from this application.

But added: “You try to tell people who haven’t got a roof over their heads where they can’t live.

“Let us build the social housing and go forward for once.”

Simon King, who sits on Fenland District Council, attended the meeting to object.

He also advised that residents would be using Wisbech facilities and called for the section 106 money to be sent there.

Mr King said Fenland was spending £10 million to assess various traffic options for Wisbech.

He said: “I would respectfully suggest that this application is premature. I really think we need to develop partnership working together and to wait until this traffic study we are undertaking at Fenland is complete.”

A spokesman for the developer said Wisbech provided a range of facilities which make it a popular and suitable place for development.

He pointed out that the highways departments found the additional traffic created by the development as acceptable and was not a reason for refusal.