The press announcement by BDC states that the first project will be to build some exemplar homes to provide much needed housing, but also to lead the way in showing what standards of energy efficiency and affordable living can be achieved. The 12-home scheme at Green Lane, Rackheath in partnership with Circle Anglia, will be built to high standards of energy efficiency. Work should begin in March this year with the homes ready for completion in September 2011.

When members of Stop Norwich UrBanisation (SNUB) queried how new homes could be started so soon it soon became clear that BDC are using an old planning application (20090444) from last February which was to develop the old allotment site at Green Lane West to provide affordable housing that could be rented by Rackheath residents on the current housing list.

As a consequence of using this existing application BDC are able to fast track this through the planning process without any further consultation or any further communications to the Parish Council or local residents. The chair of SNUB Stephen Heard had the following to say:

“This is typical of the smoke and mirrors that Broadland District Council are using in order to bypass any form of resistance to their grandiose plans for an Eco Town in Rackheath. This old application makes no mention of the Eco Town and it has been high jacked to ensure that building can commence within the very tight time scales the Council has committed to. We believe that BDC are adamant, despite what local residents want, to be the first District Council in England to build an Eco Town for other reasons over and above what is actually needed.”

Whilst we believe that small local dispersed development like this is needed it is sharp practice, to say the least, to simply use an existing application and turn it into something it is not or was ever intended to be ie a starter project for the Eco Town.”

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