Developers offer reassurances to Hethersett residents after removal of congestion pledge

09:22 03 July 2014

David Bills, Conservative candidate for Hethersett

David Bills, Conservative candidate for Hethersett


Developers have attempted to reassure Hethersett residents after concerns were raised about a change which would remove a guarantee to revamp the village’s crowded roads before starting work on 1,100 homes.

The controversial plans for the homes - which were approved by South Norfolk Council last year - included conditions to install a foot and cycle path down Colney Lane and to improve busy junctions before any development started.

Improvements would upgrade the Norwich Road, Colney Lane and Station Road crossroads and Great Melton Road.

But in a letter to South Norfolk Council in April, development firm Bidwells applied to amend the conditions, citing an “error in the drafting”.

If approved, the change would mean that developers could build and sell more than 300 homes before much-needed road improvements begin.

David Bills and Leslie Dale, district councillors for Hethersett, raised their concerns.

Mr Bills said: “I am against the idea of starting the development before sorting the traffic – it is like building a new football stadium that will cater for 30,000 people without building a road to it.”

Mr Dale added that the foot and cycleway needed to be installed at the “earliest possible time”.

Paul Clark, head of the Bidwells Norwich office, insisted that the firm had every intention to upgrade the roads.

He said: “It is about getting the timing right. The infrastructure won’t benefit anyone because there won’t be any houses built.

“We absolutely believe that we need these changes but we need them at the right time.”

But South Norfolk Council has been flooded with letters from residents concerned about building traffic adding to already crowded roads.

Lisa Howard, who lives in Great Melton Road, said: “The roads in question need to be improved to improve the safety of Hethersett residents. Any increase in traffic as a result of the development will cause increased safety concerns for pedestrians.”

Anna Sandfield, who lives in Henstead Road, uses Back Lane and Colney Lane four times a day to get to work.

She said: “Both roads are rat runs and far too busy for their size, particularly in the rush hours.

“Construction traffic added to this mix would not only be dangerous but would also damage what are already highways in poor condition.

“I know of cyclists that have been knocked into ditches along both roads and I would fear greatly for their safety should this amendment go ahead.”

Contact reporter Lauren Cope on or 07584 311473.


  • I'm sorry but communities like Hethersett must remain vigilant. It is madness to trust the big developers and their agents. As soon as they have full planning permission and gain control of sites (i.e. when developments become irreversible) they will start negotiating away at their commitments to infrastructure, community benefits, affordable housing. They are experts at this. Keep your eyes and ears open!

    Report this comment

    Trevor Ashwin

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Bidwells applied to amend the conditions, citing an “error in the drafting”. If approved, the change would mean that developers could build and sell more than 300 homes before much-needed road improvements begin. "Paul Clark, head of the Bidwells Norwich office, insisted that the firm had every intention to upgrade the roads." Typical developer lies to get planning permission, then start chipping away at that permission, with loads of variations, so what you get looks nothing like what was planned. Bradwell has the same problem with a certain developer as well. Trouble is, is that the "planning officers" agree to these variations and let these "developers" get away with it.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, July 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

This photo won the Natural History category. It's called Stag in Rut, by David Balcombe

A viaduct, a woman with curly hair and a stag were among the subjects captured by photographers in the Wymondham Photographic Society’s annual competition for digital images.

Yesterday, 14:43
MD of Eastern Attachments in Attleborough, Philip Leslie, outside the head office. The company is moving to larger purpose built premises next year.

A family-owned business which makes parts for diggers and earth movers is planning a major expansion worth up to £30m over the next 10 years.

Sunday, May 29, 2016
Andrew Mortlock has been found safe and well.

Andrew Mortlock, from Crownthorpe Road, in Crownthorpe, has been found safe and well.

Sunday, May 29, 2016
The Wymondham Abbey Flower Festival. Picture: Sonya Duncan.

Wymondham Abbey has been turned into a floral spectacle to celebrate the completion of work on new extensions to the 12th century building.

Most Read

Brovey Lair, run by Mike and Tina Pemberton, has been featured as one of the region's top restaurants in the Good Food Guide. Picture: Ian Burt

Their award-winning Norfolk restaurant is recommended by the Good Food Guide and Michelin Guide.

Read more
Robin Rye and Sabrina Barrow are cycling 22 miles and raising money for the Excel Appeal.

A slimming specialist is teaming up with one of her clients to embark on a cycling challenge and raise money for a hospital appeal.

Read more
West Norfolk
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The first session of Watton Dementia Cafe at the Watton Christian Community Centre. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A cafe group to help dementia sufferers and their carers was launched yesterday.

Read more
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Polly Grieff and her husband Eric.  Their house Old Manor, in Saham Toney, will be on Restoration Home - one year on.  Picture: Ian Burt

It was its down-at-heel aura that first attracted Polly Grieff to the crumbling Old Manor at Saham Toney.

Read more
Action from the Wacky Scrappy Gravity cart race on Church Lane in Ovington. Picture: Matthew Usher.

It was a race so wacky, Dick Dastardly and Muttley would have felt at home.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°C


Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up