Roger Smith’s Monthly Update Sept 2013 (inc housing Trowse estate and HUGE solar farm proposal in Trowse)

Every month, Roger Smith, member of Norfolk County Council (NCC) publishes a newsletter for people in this area.  Here’s the newsletter for September 2013.

About Roger

Roger Smith  is the Member of Norfolk County Council (NCC) for Henstead Division covering Bixley, Bramerton, Caistor St Edmund, Framingham Earl, Framingham Pigot, Kirby Bedon, Poringland, Stoke Holy Cross, Surlingham, Trowse with Newton.  You can contact Roger directly (Telephone: 01508 538225   e-mail:



  1. Recent OFSTED reports have indicated that the County Council must remedy serious shortcomings in its children’s services, both in regard to children’s social care (including looked after children) and in the service it provides in assisting all schools that are publicly funded to improve their performance. A rapid response is in progress. As part of this process Sheila Lock will be the county’s new Interim Director of Children’s Services. She succeeds Lisa Christensen, who retired on 18th July.
  2. Budget planning at County Hall is dominated by the need to reduce planned net revenue expenditure by £189m over the three years beginning next April. A horrible thought considering the trauma of the last three years when budgets were reduced by £140m
  3. Planning for the Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NNDR) continues with further calls that it should be dual for 20km throughout, & extended westward to join up with the A47.
  4. “Mind out for each other” is a major new five year road safety campaign to tackle the high level of cyclist casualties caused by motor vehicles. 37 adult cyclists were killed or seriously injured in Norfolk in 2012.
  5. Efforts by developers in Trowse to obtain planning permission for 231 dwellings on land to the SE of White Horse Lane have lead to their proposal to allocate allotment land for a new 210 place Primary School in place of the existing Victorian building which has a maximum capacity of 105. Discussions and consultations continue amid substantial local opposition. School place demand is also likely to emanate from the Deal Ground development. The current School is rated by Ofsted as “outstanding”, its top grade.
  6. A huge solar farm is also proposed for Trowse on land south of the Trowse Bypass, along White Horse Lane, opposite the existing large National Grid substation area. .
  7. Poringland Primary School is looking for a Local Authority (LA) school governor to replace the one who is retiring. If you are interested in learning more about this appointment, please contact me or the school direct. The school was recently rated by OFSTED as “good”, and “the school is well placed to improve further”, so someone is required to keep up the good work!
  8. Consideration of the Heath Farm, Poringland planning applications continues with further observations from the County Council concerning highways and school places being posted on the SNC website. There is much local concern and vigorous opposition that these applications for 250 dwellings on top of others previously approved in the area will lead to considerable change in the way the villages of Poringland and Framingham Earl will look and function in the years ahead. Design has also been heavily criticised.
  9. As is well known locally there has been persistent and long term visibility issues at the Five-ways Roundabout Poringland/Framingham Earl. Parish councils and local residents have urged a radical solution. Thanks also to a local resident who found photographs of how the roundabout looked in 1993 when opened showing clear visibility, County Highways was finally convinced of the need to remove all vegetation from the site on safety grounds. This was done last week just before the sschools went back, together with the footway resurfacing running on the west side of the Norwich Road down to FEHS. A final surfacing solution (probably grass) for the roundabout is being considered.
  10. Poringland Library has participated enthusiastically in the annual Summer Reading Challenge “Creepy House” which started in July and ends 12th September with presentation of awards. Throughout Norfolk over 12,500 children enrolled for the challenge.
  11. The anticipated footway resurfacing and tree maintenance/felling at Springfields, Poringland has been scheduled for work on 9 September 2013 lasting six weeks.
  12. Sallow Lane, Kirby Bedon is closed for six weeks to 25/10/2013 for a new water main.
  13. Plans are well advanced to refresh the schemes of vehicle waiting restrictions in both Whitlingham Lane and Old Kirby Road, Trowse to reduce the impact of obstructions and allow free movement of traffic, especially at busy times for Whitlingham Country Park. Formal consultation is expected soon.


My Web Page is where an electronic copy of this & the previous newsletter can be found.


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