Traffic hurdle for Paston College plans

Traffic concerns are the biggest stumbling block for vital plans to relocate north Norfolk's sixth form college say planning officials.Highways chiefs stress that road and path improvements are needed to cope with extra cars and pedestrians at the proposed new £23m Paston College campus at North Walsham.

Road and pavement improvements are needed if a £23m move for Paston College is to get the go ahead say highways officials.

Traffic concerns are the biggest stumbling block for plans to relocate the sixth form college to a new site in North Walsham.

The project will be debated by North Norfolk District Council's east area development control committee today - but there may not be a firm decision as some issues remain unresolved.

A report to today's committee reveals there have been 85 written objections and a 303-name petition against the plans, and one letter of support.

Opponents' concerns centre on traffic, privacy, design and scale, breaking the college's 400-year-link with its town centre sites and the possible future of those sites.

However the report says any comparison between the old and new sites has been deliberately left out of the planning analysis because it is not relevant to the application.

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A summary by planning officer Tracey Armitage also says:

the loss of the green field new site was acceptable, providing it met with Sport England calls for sports facilities to have community use.

the three-storey building's design and scale were “broadly acceptable.

there would be no significant loss of privacy or overshadowing for residents on Station Road

However it accepts there would be extra traffic and pedestrian noise, and says the transport issues “remain the main and most significant issue”.

Highways officials say the road and path on Station Road are inadequate and are Paston's transport consultants to look at widening them.