Ever since I was first elected, the need for a bypass for Long Stratton has been close to the top of my agenda.
Now it looks increasingly as if it will actually happen.
I recently spent a day touring the route of the proposed road that will both bypass Long Stratton and also serve the new housing development to the east of the current village.
It is clear that the overwhelming bulk of the traffic on the A140 will be kept well away from the centre of Long Stratton. There will be exciting new possibilities for the centre of the village.
While I will be checking the small print of any planning application for the bypass, I am optimistic that in due course the centre of Long Stratton will be cleaner, greener and safer.
THE KING’S HEAD,
PULHAM ST MARY
Regular Diss Express readers will know that the owner of the former King’s Head public house in Pulham St Mary has applied to demolish the building and replace it with housing.
This is just the latest in a long line of planning applications affecting the pub which have all been rejected by South Norfolk Council.
Earlier this month, I chaired a packed parish meeting to discuss the future of the Grade II listed building.
It was absolutely clear that local people want the return of a cherished community asset.
We do face big housing problems in this country but ripping the heart out of a village is not the way to solve them.
I have asked South Norfolk Council to refuse these applications.
There are other, better sites for housing.
It was a delight to be back at Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston recently to take part in another ‘Question Time’ event, organised by Clive Attwood of the Harleston Business Forum.
Our audience was drawn from Archbishop Sancroft’s Year 11 students, who asked insightful questions that got everybody thinking.
I hope that we on the panel did them justice.
I want to thank my fellow panellists for a robust but good-natured debate; headteacher Richard Cranmer and his team for hosting the event; and also our Chair, Harleston Town Councillor Eric Bird, for keeping us all in line!
Most of all, I want to thank the students at Archbishop Sancroft, who did both their school and themselves proud.
I look forward to visiting the school again soon.
n Conservative Party member Richard Bacon is the MP for South Norfolk.
For further information about Mr Bacon’s work, go to www.richardbacon.org.uk