News

Closure of Rackheath Lane at Spixworth

Closed end of Rackheath Lane, Spixworth

Rackheath Lane, Spixworth, has been permanently closed at its junction with the B1150 North Walsham Road (pictured above) now that the A1270 Northern Distributor Road provides a vastly better link through to the A1151 Wroxham Road.

The closure is to ensure that traffic stops using the narrow lanes and difficult junctions that were popular routes before there was a purpose-built alternative.

The closure also simplifies access from Crostwick Lane, Spixworth, on to the B1150. Although more traffic will be turning right towards the NDR, it will not be competing with traffic emerging from Rackheath Lane. The mouth of Crostwick Lane has been widened to ease left turns.

Update on the NDR and reopening of Plumstead Road

Permanent changes in the roads serving the Plumstead area will come into effect on Monday 19 February when Plumstead Road and Middle Road reopen and Smee Lane and Low Road close.

Plumstead Road has been closed since mid-January to allow completion of its realignment to a new roundabout serving a link road connection to the A1270 NDR.

Middle Road, an important local access route over the NDR from Great Plumstead, has been closed since May 2016 for construction of a bridge over the new dual carriageway.

Both roads will be open to general traffic by 6am on Monday 19 February. A permanent 30mph speed limit will be in force on Middle Road.

At the same time, Smee Lane and Low Road, which have been kept open during the closure of Plumstead Road and Middle Road, will close permanently.

Traffic management staff will be at the ‘Road Closed Ahead’ signs on Monday to redirect any vehicles trying to get through these lanes. Access to properties within the closure will be maintained, and temporary turning heads will be provided at the points of closure.

Closure of these two lanes will allow them to be broken up and removed so that the NDR dual carriageway can be completed.

Plumstead Road four-week closure from Monday

Plumstead Road four-week closure from Monday

Three-way lights on B1150 North Walsham Road

Plumstead Road will close for four weeks from Monday 15 January for work to connect the road with the A1270 Norwich Northern Distributor Road dual carriageway.

This could well be the last really disruptive phase of work of the whole project – along with three-way lights on the B1150 North Walsham Road, also from Monday (see right).

The Plumstead Road closure will be between Thorpe End and the junction with Broad Lane. The work involves realigning Plumstead Road to connect with a new roundabout that has already been constructed. Once complete, a short link road from this roundabout will provide access from Plumstead Road to the main roundabout on Norwich NDR (see below).

The width of Plumstead Road and the nearby railway level crossing mean that the work cannot be carried out under temporary traffic lights, and so a full closure of the road is unavoidable. Unfortunately it is not possible to maintain safe access for pedestrians or cyclists.

Plumstead road showing new roundabouts

New roundabouts and link road (left) that will link Plumstead Road to the NDR dual carriageway. Picture Mike Page.

Diversion route

Traffic heading to and from Norwich should use Salhouse Road. The marked diversion will be (from the Plumstead side of the closure) north along Broad Lane/Green Lane East to the Sole & Heel roundabout, west towards Norwich on Salhouse Road, returning to Plumstead Road via Woodside Road. (Same route in reverse for journeys from the city side of the closure.)

It had been hoped that Middle Road, Great Plumstead, would be open to provide an alternative local route, but very wet weather at a critical time saturated and damaged the earthworks and prevented surfacing before Christmas. Instead, Low Road and Smee Lane will be kept open.

Middle Road reopening

The target for Middle Road is opening in February. Asphalt base layers will be going down next week, and on Wednesday (17th)Tarmac lorries will need to go through Great Plumstead to supply asphalt for use on the eastern embankments.

Report to Chairman Parish Councillors and Residents Christmas 2017

Woodbastwick Parish Council
Incorporating Panxworth and Ranworth.

Report to Chairman Parish Councillors and Residents Christmas 2017

From Frank O’Neill Broadland District Council Member for Blofield with South Walsham

Broadland & South Norfolk District Councils – pooling expertise.

You may have read of the discussions for Broadland and South Norfolk to work more together by pooling resources. The idea was floated to me by John Fuller (Leader SNDC) earlier in the year when the proposal for devolution involving a new tier of local authority governance was not happening.  I thought his proposals a good idea then and today really do support this. It is too soon to say how it will shape out but it is safe to say: people expect good services when they pay for them.

All the cuts that can be made have been made (in my view). Thus if savings are to be made by pooling resources what’s not to like?

Broads Authority (BA) Local Plan – pre-submission Consultation
The BA is the overarching authority for the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads. It exercise various functions not least Town and Country Planning.

The consultation ends at 4 pm on 5 January 2018. This is the final stage of consultation before submission to the Planning Inspector for clearance. There is a public drop in session on 9 December next at Potter Heigham Village Hall from 10am to 12 noon.

The proposed Broads Local Plan sets out the final policies the BA wish to adopt to help determine planning applications in the Broads Area. Please encourage parish council members and local electorate to have their say.  People can formally respond on the BA Website.

Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) Consultation – Early Warning
Planning is an evolving process. When adopted the GNLP will become the local plan for Broadland and South Norfolk District Councils with the City of Norfolk. It will replace the current plan – the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) which also spans the three local authorities.

Coming up for public discussion is the “Resolution 18” consultation. This will be our chance to comment on how much growth will take place locally before it too goes to the Inspector for approval.  There is a second consultation document dealing with Site Proposals.

Deadly dull all this may be but if people are to influence the future of the Built Environment locally I encourage everybody to respond to the consultation – preferably on line. You can pick and choose the questions you want to answer.

A cautionary note.
To date only parishes within Blofield and South Walsham Parishes that also fall within the Norwich Policy Area (NPA) have been affected by the Five Year Land Supply. In future it seems that the same rules will apply across the whole policy area. The principal implications are:
 If by expanding the area of focus beyond the NPA we meet the Five year and Supply then all new building must comply with local plans and nobody will be subjected to carpetbagger developers of the kind who have visited Blofield in the past
 Nobody is making promises but the current supply is 4.8 years within the NPA. Thus there is some hope of satisfying government targets. However if we fail again then the consequences may seem dire to some residents previously unaffected.

Review of Planning Procedure at Broadland District Council

Enforcement Action
There has been much complaint regarding the failure by BDC to take action for breach of planning law e.g. development that requires permission but has gone ahead regardless.

I have complained about the lack of overview of planning enforcement decisions. So often it appears to the casual observer that a file is opened and after a while it is closed without anything happening. Officers would not agree.  Nevertheless planning enforcement decisions have been taken within the department and neither parish not district
councillors hold any sway.

In future where a department decision is challenged the proposal by Head of Planning and endorsed by me is to provide a mechanism to refer the decision to the Planning Committee. Of course terms and conditions apply; here are the two key Points:
 The decision to close the file without action must now include a reason.
 Only the relevant district councillor can call in the decision for determination by the Planning Committee.

Perceived Flaws in the Call in Process for determining

Part A – Good Planning Reasons
Planning Applications
It is abundantly sensible that all planning applications are determined by the Planning Committee unless they can be made by officers under delegated powers. There can be problems when for a variety of reasons a decision should be made by committee even though the planning officer holds delegated power.  Hitherto any Broadland Councillor had power to call in an application without giving reasons. HoP did not
approve. His proposal was to make the call in conditional on good planning grounds.
I have successfully resisted. It is not possible to invest an untrained councillor with the skill to determine in law what would be good planning ground. One implication might be to remove effective supervision from elected members.
The agreed compromise is that in future the grounds should be justifiable. It is impossible to argue against this. It cannot be in the public interest to refer to committee where there are no justifiable grounds. Note that I have been told the cost of determination by committee is ten times that of an officer determination.

Part B – The Call In Process itself
There are time limits. As often as not when I am asked to request a call in it is already too late. This aspect was recently discussed at BDC Standards Committee.

I proposed
 either an extension of the time limit or
 a health warning across all relevant published documents.

I thought I engendered support from Head of Planning. Perversely when my proposal was put to the vote not one other committee member supported my proposal. Thus no change. It is fair to record that of the six committee members present three were co-opted parish councillors.

Herondale
Many will know that Herondale at Acle (near the library) is/was a purpose built home providing support for people in need of post operative care. It closed for these services when Age Concern handed back the lease unable to make it work financially.
The building is now surplus to Norfolk County Council requirements. If sold it will be lost forever. I wrote to both Norfolk and Norwich and Great Yarmouth hospitals to enquire if there was any interest. Neither replied.

You will have read in the EDP that the future of a similar service provided at Benjamin Court Cromer for 18 beds has been secured. The North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group have voted in favour of the Norfolk County Council’s £2 million offer to turn the Cromer unit into a re-ablement centre.

If such a service is available in North Norfolk do we not want something like this in the East of the County? If yes what do we want And how do we do it?

Contact
If anybody would like to
discuss this further here are my contact details –
Tel 01493 752 111
Email frank.oneill@gmail.com

SAM2 sign

SAM2 Sign

The Parish Council has received funding through the Parish Partnership Scheme for a SAM2 traffic management sign.  The sign flashes up the speed of oncoming vehicles and tells drivers who are exceeding the speed limit to slow down.  It will act as a reminder of the restricted areas and will be rotated between various sites in Salhouse Road and South Walsham Road.

Resignation of Chairman

Sue Hitchcock has resigned from the parish council due to pressure of work and we all wish her well for the future.  Kit Cator (Vice Chairman) will act as Chair until the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council on Wednesday 3rd May when a new chairman will be elected.

 

Mobile Library

The mobile library will be in Woodbastwick between 9.50am and 10.10am on the following Tuesdays:

2016

11-Oct-16,  8th November and 6th December.

2017

31st January, 28th February, 28th March, 25th April, 23rd May, 20th June and 18th July.

Reinstated footpaths now open

The footpaths from Ranworth to Panxworth and from Panxworth to Panxworth church tower are now open to the public.  Both footpaths were included in a circular walk by the Ramblers Association, which was published in the EDP on Saturday 24th of September.

 

Vacancy for a Parish Councillor

There is now a vacancy on the Parish Council.  Here is an opportunity for you to have your say in the running of your parish including commenting on planning applications and working with Norfolk County Council Highways department.

The Parish Council meets on the evening of 1st Wednesday of the month.  There are meetings every month apart from in August and September when there are no meetings.  For further information, please contact the Parish Clerk or speak to one of the existing councillors.

Notice of Casual Vacancy Woodbastwick _April_2016_014

 

Temporary Road Closure

NORFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL proposes to make a Temporary Traffic Order affecting the C443 Pedham Road from its junction with U59285 Bonds Road north-eastwards to its junction with C874 Plumstead Road in the PARISH OF WOODBASTWICK because of works to install BT poles.

The road will be temporarily closed (except for access) from 22nd February 2016 to 1st March 2016 for the duration of the works, expected to be about 7 days within the period.

Alternative route is via: C874 Plumstead Road, C441 Woodbastwick Road, C443 Mill Road/Pedham Road. (Blofield/Hemblington/Woodbastwick).

(If necessary the restriction could run for a maximum period of 18 months from the date of the Order).

Penalty: £1000 maximum fine on conviction and/or endorsement for contravention.

In the event of the start date being delayed the new start date will be displayed on site in advance.

The person dealing with enquiries at Norfolk County Council is Adam Mayo (Community and Environmental Services) Telephone 0344 800 8009.