"Keeping residents informed every step of the way" - or not as the case may be

As far as Broadland District Council is concerned they will keep residents informed 'every step of the way' only if it suits them. Previously publicised public exhibitions were cancelled during the summer until the new coalition government's proposals for housing growth have been announced. (This hasn't stopped Cherwell District Council going ahead with their planned consultation.)

However, the fact that the government's plans haven't yet been announced has not stopped Broadland from going ahead with the Exemplar proposals. The latest copy of Broadland News (at the time of writing not yet on BDC's website so no link available) reveals plans for the Exemplar project but fails to tell residents where they may pick up a copy of the explanatory brochure and questionnaire (try Rackheath Stores on Salhouse Road) - not everyone has access to the Internet nor do they necessarily want to use it for viewing long documents.

Broadland News also goes into some detail to explain the Statement of Focusses Changes to the Joint Core Strategy after the closing date for representations at the end of August - useful!  The supposed consultation on these was bungled with publicity for local information events coming after the date some of them were due to be held and no-one actually being available from BDC at some of the others. They glibly state that the focussed changes that were consulted on "mainly related to policies for affordable housing, changes to the target pitches for Gypsies and Travellers, and plots for travelling show people". A little later they mention the proposed re-labelling of the north east Norwich growth triangle as a Strategic Allocation to be followed by a Supplementary Planning Document but neglected to point out that this has been proposed in order to speed up the planning process and avoid the requirement for public examination.

Only three pages on 'the future of broadland' in this edition of Broadland News makes a pleasant change but keeping us informed every step of the way? We don't think so.

1 comment:

  1. Andrew Proctor is the the member for Brundall where only 50 houses are to be built under these plans. He is also the Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy and Conservation. Broadland.
    In a letter to the EDP on Saturday 28 August he announced that Broadland only wants constructive and useful comments on the JCS Focused changes.
    He is also presumably responsible for the consultation which only became necessary because the Inspector challenged this council above all others for their poor strategic outlook.