The wellbeing of the local community in Rackheath and surrounding villages

There is some gentle irony in Broadland District Council publishing the New Economics Foundation's five ways to wellbeing' in the latest Broadland News as NEF have been quoted extensively by advocates of the 'slow living' movement who eschew the constant craving for growth and homogenisation and want a return to a slower, better pace of life. Recently NEF's policy director, Andrew Simms said at the Lyon environment forum that the oil-fired obsession with growth amounted to treating the biosphere like a business in liquidation. (See this article in The Independent). Mr Simms added that the world could no longer afford to pursue an economic model based entirely on competition and growth and that mankind must break this vicious cycle.

Yet BDC in their pursuit of growth are intent on destroying the countryside around Rackheath and the wellbeing of the people who live here. BDC seem to happy to see the area around Rackheath become one great homogenised housing estate joined seamlessly to Norwich - but not forgetting the green corridors of course which will somehow make it all right!

However, please note, we have already taken note of the five ways to wellbeing and we have already connected with the people round us and have been active by stepping outside to talk to local residents. We have taken notice of the beauty which is our countryside and noticed the changing seasons and the drastic changes that BDC wants to impose on us. We have kept learning and have researched deeply into what is planned for this area and given our time and volunteered to join a community group to try to stop the destruction of all that makes Rackheath and the surrounding area the place that we have chosen to live for the wellbeing of ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.


  1. Aha, now this is more like it. The NEF knows how to fight, and how not to give up in the face of what seem to be insurmountable obstacles. I am sure they would readily admit that many local people up and down country have already followed NEF advice about wellbeing, because NEF like to echo what people think, not tell people what to think.

    Also, I repeat a plea made earlier, to use United Nations Conventions and Declarations on the environment - funnily enough the UN also has managed to reflect the views of the underdogs (including other species than our good selves) despite being such a "high and mighty" organisation.

    Our Councils are absolutely at sea in all this - they keep having their instructions from Parliament changed, and they never have time to read the great UN Charters which dictate both UK and EU law and which would be much simpler to obey because they essentially forbid any more Development which harms the biosphere, and it all harms the biosphere by now. It's not rocket science - and in any case rocket science is banned by the UN until we have stopped trashing our present planet.

    Parliament has not been too bad in this area, probably because it is trying to obey international law, the Kyoto Treaty, etc. But our Councils don't seem to have had time to cotton on to the Climate Change Act 2008 and the carbon reduction targets in it. Those targets mean that not one more house can actually be built, even if it is an eco-house. So why not declare this, and take a six-month (or six-year) break from Planning and Building - those departments can declare a sort of wartime regime under which they deal only with restoration, repair, or renovation applications and all newbuild applications are returned to sender until further notice, except for those who want to self-build their only Home.

    I happen to know plenty of builders who would be perfectly happy with this - they have more than enough work keeping people's existing houses in good repair. And we are not, as a country, obliged to provide construction employment for the rest of Europe.

    I feel sorry for Mr Cox, who is clearly a decent man now willing to admit it has all become too awful and is fleeing to India for a while. I feel all the more sorry for him because he has been too busy to find out, that India is even worse affected by overdevelopment than we are, to the extent that the intrepid BBC reporter who followed the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer round the world, left Indian democracy with a sigh of relief and plunged into the unspoiled environment of that frightful dictatorship Burma like a deep sea diver coming up for air.

    When are we ALL (not just our Councils) going to come to our senses? – when it’s too late I suppose.

  2. They will not come to their senses. They will only be stopped by angry citizens.
    They have manipulated the Planning system to favour their developer friends and set out plans which will destroy the local environment. The justification is weak, the process corrupt and the outcome beneficial to a few.