To consider the report and make any appropriate recommendations to Cabinet.
The Assistant Director presented Members with technical information on the previously agreed policy decision by the Council and how this should be implemented.
A copy of the presentation is attached.
The Chair thanked the Assistant Director for his presentation and invited questions and comments from the Panel, as summarised below.
In response to a question from Councillor Bambridge it was confirmed that peat would probably be left in situ and he provided details of the licences required for water voles.
Councillor Rust addressed the Panel under Standing Order 34 referring to the ransom strip in the Industrial Estate and the Assistant Director confirmed that authorisation would be required to open up the ransom strip for the bridge.
In response to questions from Councillor Bone regarding the private rented units and strains on schools, the Assistant Director provided details of the Local Authority Company and the process involved for letting the units.
In response to questions and comments from Councillor Morley the Assistant Director provided details of the contingency plans, early contractor involvement and the cost of the bridge.
Councillor Hudson addressed the Panel under Standing Order 34 and the Assistant Director confirmed that Norfolk County Council Highways were involved in the project and as part of the scheme a car parking area would be included in Gaywood to alleviate the congestion during school drop off and pick up.
Councillor Dickinson addressed the Panel under Standing Order 34 and made reference to expenditure and income and agreed to email the Assistant Director with her queries.
Councillor Ryves addressed the Panel under Standing Order 34. The Assistant Director explained the benefits of the bridge which had been considered previously, the cost of the roads and access.
The Vice Chair, Councillor Parish asked about public consultation and engagement and the Assistant Director provided details of the work that had been carried out including letter drops and consultations and working with schools.
Councillor Dickinson addressed the Panel under Standing Order 34 and referred to the eastern plot and the bridge. The Assistant Director outlined the need for housing in the area and that this scheme would satisfy part of this need.
Councillor Hudson addressed the Panel under Standing Order 34 and referred to road access through Fairstead. The Assistant Director explained that survey work had been carried out to satisfy Norfolk County Council Highways and would present the results for their consideration.
Councillor Ryves addressed the Panel under Standing Order 34 and the Assistant Director provided detail of the work carried out so far and expenditure so far, which included the College site and the funding which had been awarded.
The Chair, Councillor Collingham asked if the project would still be viable without the bridge and the Assistant Director set out the other options available.
RESOLVED: That the Regeneration and Development Panel supports the following:
That subject to a successful planning permission the Council enters into a contract with Lovell Partnerships Ltd under the Major Housing Contract and the Norfolk County Council (using the Eastern Alliance Framework agreement) to deliver this project.