Major changes to Long Stratton will not be stopped

Long Stratton, Norfolk. Long Stratton High Street ANL-140730-104454001
Long Stratton, Norfolk. Long Stratton High Street ANL-140730-104454001

The expansion of Long Stratton in to a small town through the building of 1,800 homes and a new bypass will not be stopped by stubborn landowners.

South Norfolk Council has approved a masterplan for Long Stratton which will outline the development of the village through to 2026.

The council is happy that the owners of the land in question are making moves to try to bring forward, in a joint agreement, a single planning application for all 1,800 homes and a village bypass.

On Monday, the authority’s top cabinet of councillors decided to agree to use compulsory purchase powers to secure the land, should the landowners not hit a set of agreed mile stones in bringing an application forward.

The masterplan, called the Long Stratton Area Action Plan, is now drawn up. Much of the debate in the village has been whether 1,800 homes are an acceptable price to pay for a 70-year wait for a bypass of the clogged A140 route through the parish. The new bypass will run to the east of the village, connecting up with the existing A140 at either end.

Councillor John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said: “Producing an Area Action Plan is the best way to ensure that the housing growth planned for Long Stratton over the next 15 years will be absolutely conditioned to the creation of a bypass, something local people have campaigned for over 70 years.

“Planning for growth isn’t just about a bypass. It’s also planning for improvements to the village centre, which includes improvements to public transport, new leisure and education facilities and local employment opportunities.

“I am very happy that the robust Area Action Plan has been approved. This means that we can control growth in housing, employment, services and infrastructure and make sure that they are completed in a co-ordinated way.

Trevor Lewis, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats group on the council, said he was in favour of the Area Action Plan, but did admit the 1,800 homes was a “high price” to pay for a bypass.

The parish council chairman, Steve Adcock, said the council was happy they have been consulted fully over the years on the plans.

He added: “Personally, I do not have a problem with it. It is going to happen and it is now about how we allow it to affect the character of the village.”