Dear Parish/Town Council/Meeting as a CPRE Norfolk pledge signatory,
CPRE Norfolk is writing with regard to the current consultation for the new Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) (Stage C Regulation 18 Draft Strategy and Site Allocations) which runs until 5.00pm on 16th March 2020. It is very important that you respond to this consultation as this is your opportunity to influence the future development of your area. Topics include housing, infrastructure, the environment and the economy. The consultation documentation and how to respond are available online at: http://www.gnlp.org.uk/
Whilst your parish will have its own views on these topics, we thought it would be useful to circulate CPRE Norfolk’s position as part of our Alliance campaign, as we have done with earlier consultation stages. As signatories to our pledge you have already made clear that your council wants to see sites allocated for housing in the existing plan (the Joint Core Strategy or JCS) developed before any new sites that will be added in to the emerging GNLP are built on. It will not be possible to prevent new sites being included in the plan, but we are asking that these extra land allocations for housing are treated as phased development and that building should not occur on these sites until all the JCS sites have been used up. We think this is a sensible approach because not only does it protect the countryside, but also at current rates of house building there is enough land already allocated in the JCS to cater for the building that is likely to occur over the next 20+ years.
The problem with the consultation and the Draft Plan is that phasing is not offered within the documentation, despite many calls for this throughout the consultation process to date. Your answers to questions 9, 14 and 48 will be crucial in this regard, in order that phasing is considered.
If the new sites are not phased but made available for development as soon as the plan comes into effect (2022) then developers are likely to cherry-pick the more attractive rural sites, while continuing to land bank sites that were allocated to them in the JCS. In these circumstances green fields will be lost at a much quicker rate.
CPRE Norfolk’s consultation response is attached in full on a question-by-question basis: please feel free to use this as you wish. It includes our other key points: continuing to campaign for a Green Belt for Norwich; maintaining the existing settlement hierarchy – we question the concept of “village clusters”; to concentrate additional sites for new housing in and close to Norwich where it will be more sustainable as it will be closer to jobs, infrastructure and will have less negative effects on climate change; keeping employment development on allocated sites; issues with the consultation process to date. We also question why the NDR (Broadland Northway) has been built at enormous financial and environmental cost if the focus for much new housing is to be shifted elsewhere in the new GNLP.
If you are located in rural South Norfolk then there will be an additional consultation at some point for the South Norfolk Village Clusters Housing Site Allocations Document, which raises further concerns for us about the Local Plan process, which we also refer to in the attached response.
If you wish to discuss this further please get in touch.
Planning Campaigns Consultant, CPRE Norfolk
15 Pigg Lane, Norwich, NR3 1RS
My usual office hours are Wednesday and Thursday 9.30pm – 4.00pm
View and read CPRE Norfolk’s Vision for Norfolk at http://v4n.org.uk/
CPRE Norfolk is a county branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and is a separate registered charity, no. 210706.
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