Protect Norfolk's precious countryside

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There is a major threat to Norfolk, its communities and countryside.

This is an open letter to everybody young and old, councillors and MPs, individuals and organisations, who are concerned about the future of the Norfolk countryside, facilities such as schools and doctors’ surgeries, traffic congestion, air quality and having the chance to live in an affordable home.

We all have the opportunity to ask for better.  Help us do that.

Norfolk is being swamped with huge swathes of land being allocated for housing that is simply not being built.  And more land is being added, instead of getting the houses we need built in the right places.  Many of the developments proposed and those being built do not have the infrastructure required, and the provision of affordable housing is woeful.  We are seeing destruction of Norfolk’s countryside and environment for no reason.  You can join our campaign to tell our councils and our MPs that this is unacceptable.

New plans are being drawn up now to release more land for development on top of existing plans that have already allocated large areas of greenfield land for building - enough land in fact for some 20 years’ of housebuilding.  The result would be a total of more than 140,000 houses built in Norfolk during the first third of this century.  That is equivalent to another Greater Norwich, plus King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth. 

Some councils are considering opening up every community to new development, usually not providing any community benefits and whether required or simply giving developers carte blanche to build expensive estates regardless of local need.  This policy allows large swathes of countryside to be released for development, almost regardless of its environmental, agricultural, leisure or landscape value.  Most of the land allocated already leaves sites empty and blighted.

Our message is a simple one - we should not allow any development on new sites in Norfolk until the majority of the existing allocated sites have been built.  We need parish councils and all members of the public to send this message back to their district councils.

We should all also demand that developers meet all planning conditions for the community benefits negotiated as part of the planning consent, and not allow them to quietly fall away. 

It makes sense for housing developments to be prioritised in communities that have identified the need for houses, to see houses built near facilities, jobs and existing transport infrastructures and to build on previously developed sites first.  It is right that every new home should be able to enjoy the benefits and beauty of Norfolk within a short step, and to ask for all new houses to be built to A+ environmental standards.  

Parish Councils and every resident in Norfolk has a chance to respond to the proposed plans.  The consultation for the Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk plan (GNLP) started on 8th January and ends on 15th March. 

It is your chance to join with us to say that we want something better for Norfolk.

With this two decade supply of housing land already allocated we want you and your parish council to join those who have already signed our Pledge.  This is not to stop development, but to get it in the right places, of the right type and in the quantity required without continually allocating more and more land unnecessarily, and leaving huge tracts of land in Norfolk blighted.  That means houses for people of all ages and growing families too.

This will be a great first step in ensuring the future of Norfolk as a county that remains beautifully rich in diversity and economically sound, and good for its residents and visitors.

Go to www.cprenorfolk.org.uk  and read our Vision for Norfolk.  Sign up to our pledge below, ask your parish council to do the same if they have not signed up already.  Write to and tell your district councillor and MP you want them to address this issue.   Anyone can sign this pledge - over a quarter of Norfolk's parish councils have already done so and a third of those parish councils in the Greater Norwich Area.   Councillors, MPs, individuals, organisations - ANYONE can sign.

A couple of minutes now will support a movement to build a better Norfolk for everyone.

If you live in Norwich, Broadland or South Norfolk, ie you are included in the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) the public consultation ends on 15th March so don’t delay in signing the Pledge and making your feelings known at the public consultation.  http://www.gnlp.org.uk/

If you would like to read the CPRE Norfolk's response to the consultation and some pointers you can use in your own response visit here:  http://www.cprenorfolk.org.uk/2018/02/3080/

 

Key Facts

Only 13% of all housing built in Norfolk last year was affordable.

Three of the development options proposed significantly worsen pollution without any health warning made obvious in the document.

20 years' supply of land for housing has already been allocated so there is no need to be looking for more now.

In the first third of this century - 140,000 extra houses in Norfolk are planned - equivalent to another Greater Norwich, plus King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth. 

Houses not being built to the best environmental standards means wasting energy and costing more to run.

THE PLEDGE

I/we support CPRE Norfolk in its campaign aimed at ensuring that no new sites are allocated for house building in revised local plans to 2036 until all existing allocations in current core strategies have been developed.

I/we consider that unrealistic and unnecessary new housing targets, currently under consideration, would cause unacceptable damage to the environment and landscape of Norfolk.

I/we therefore ask my/our local authority to prepare a case to demonstrate that the environmental harm caused by slavishly following housing market assessments is serious enough to outweigh potential benefits and in so doing enable the adoption of local plans to 2036 that do not elevate housing targets beyond existing levels.  Furthermore, these Strategic Housing Market Assessments ('SHMA'), which pre-date Brexit, are now unreliable.

I/we note that the Annual Monitoring Reports of local councils reveal that housing delivery is considerably below target levels and that large areas of land already allocated for development remain available and therefore there is no need for new allocations to be made. 



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