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Brandon residents fear price of bypass

PUBLISHED: 16:17 02 September 2009 | UPDATED: 21:39 07 July 2010

Brandon residents fear the price they may have to pay to get their long-awaited and much-needed bypass.

Landowners say up to 2,000 homes will have to be built on the edge of town and another 150 in neighbouring Weeting to finance the new road.

Brandon residents fear the price they may have to pay to get their long-awaited and much-needed bypass.

Landowners say up to 2,000 homes will have to be built on the edge of town and another 150 in neighbouring Weeting to finance the new road.

Townsfolk turned out in their hundreds to attend a public exhibition at the weekend to view plans for homes and a new link road built on fields to the west and north.

The Brandon Landowners Consortium says the housing and employment development will fund half the estimated £25m cost of the bypass.

Residents welcomed the bypass plans at an exhibition at Brandon Community Centre on Saturday, but spoke of their reservations about the expansion of the settlement.

Carol Westley, 59, who was born and bred in Brandon, said: “I have no objection to a bypass, but I do not want all these extra houses. It will take up a lot of greenbelt land and the infrastructure cannot cope.”

But the scheme got the full support of 70-year-old Jean Norton, who has lived in the town for 65 years.

“The traffic is horrendous and I always take my bicycle everywhere because it is a quicker form of transport. I think it will be positive for Brandon. I just hope to see it in my lifetime,” she said.

Villagers in neighbouring Weeting expressed objections.

Robert Childerhouse said the extra traffic generated by the growth of Brandon would cause problems for the Norfolk village.

“We support the project for the road. It will have an improvement in the town, but we do not want any more development north of the border. It will move the traffic problem from Brandon to Weeting.”

“There will be an estimated 27pc loss of traffic when the A11 dualling is completed and no council will invest in a Brandon bypass until they see what happens with the A11,” he said.

Officials from the Better Brandon consortium, which is made up of six landowners, hope their scheme will be adopted as part of Forest Heath District Council's Local Development Framework (LDF), which is already looking to allocate 1,500 new homes in Brandon over the next 20 years. Officials aim to submit a planning application by autumn 2010 and start work by 2013.

Richard Heldreich, agent for the consortium, said the full dualling of the A11 would not resolve all of Brandon's traffic problems.

“It is fair to say that we cannot please all the people all the time, but people see the benefits of the scheme. The significant most important factor is that the whole of Brandon has been blighted and the provision of a highways solution and development will lift the town,” he said.


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