Keeping a sense of proportion

During the early days of the Public Hearings questions were raised about the scale of the development particularly that being proposed in the North East Growth Triangle. Some developers consider that it is still too small. If you want to judge the numbers consider this.

Thetford is the third largest town in Norfolk, after Great Yarmouth and Kings Lynn. It has a population of 24,000. Using National statistics the average household has 2.4 residents, ergo the Growth Triangle with 10,000 houses will be as big as Thetford.

Given the policy on affordable housing promoted by the GNDP which requires 40% of the houses on all developments to be affordable (ie Council controlled), it is clear that the cohort of residents will be similar in NE Norwich to that in Thetford. As a new town there is also a probability that it will demonstrate a similar social pattern.
We are all aware of the extent of the town's employment area and unfortunately the high level of unemployment. That is despite it being well located on the A11. We cannot see any corresponding allocations in the NE triangle, it is all housing. So where will they work and what will they do?

It looks as though we are being used as a social experiment and we are surprised that there is so little concern about the potential outcome.


  1. The lack of concern can only be due to the fact that most folk are unaware that the plans for development are still ongoing - everyone I speak to says they thought they had been dropped!

    If only that were true.

    So much for BDC keeping us informed every step of the way - even their 'drop-in sessions' at Holy Trinity Church in Rackheath have been suspended.

  2. I know and we now have the EDP as part of the conspiracy of silence. I saw that post earlier in the week where pictures taken at the handing over of the petition was sent to the EDP with a press release the same afternoon.
    Nothing appeared in the paper.

  3. Unbiased Observer12 November 2010 at 21:41

    It looks to me like you have been targeted for the next London clearances; sadly with a different kind of East Enders. Heaven help you.

  4. On the BBC News website, under "Business", there is a short film from Robert Peston on China's vast ghost city in Mongolia (one of several such cities I think):

    There have been earlier reports on this phenomenon, an especially good one was in 2009 from Al Jazeera TV:

    This is Casino Capitalism acting very like Communism - there is very little difference between the two extremes. All governments are prone to attempt to build their way out of recession, or in the case of China, to achieve 8 per cent growth by building and then shunting masses of people out of "messy" unprofitable old quarters into gleaming profitable new ones. People do not want to move to the new places, because there are no jobs and no bustling real community - they don't want their traditions smashed to pieces, i.e. But investors like to hold hundreds or even thousands of empty properties in China, so SOME of the empty buildings do get bought.

    I feel all these strange new housing "estates" that are cropping up all over the U.K. are very similar - some of them, e.g. the Hamptons on the outskirts of Peterborough, are quite eerie and look like something out of a science fiction film. Queen's Hills on the edge of Norwich is similarly eerie, so is King's Reach on the edge of King's Lynn. There are similar strange apparitions on the edges of Ely and Downham Market. They do fill up eventually, I suppose. But they remain as artificial and soulless as Milton Keynes, or that Chinese city in Mongolia. And there is in reality as little local food and water to sustain them, as there is in the Mongolian desert.

    I note the Enviroment Agency has serious concerns about water and waste water in relation to the GNDP project, or some of it. Also, this country needs to stop importing so much food, imports are becoming unaffordable. It needs to grow everything itself, as soon as possible but without resorting to intensive (and destructive) agribusiness. It has to stop growing houses and shunting people into them by force NOW.

    Luckily Britain is in far greater economic trouble than China, and this may actually stop the Development Industry in its tracks. Nothing else will (nothing legal, anyway) as they are clearly totally uninterested in obeying Environmental Law.

    We can make the Councils obey Environmental Law, especially once the Localism Bill is an Act. It is our money they are using. But we can't make Developers do it - they have their own money to risk if they are determined to be as bonkers as the Chinese Government.

  5. if you say things enough times you can even come to believe it yourself, despite there being no to back it up. First we have the growth triangle being compared with Norwich City Centre, then it was like Bristol, and now it will be a replica of Thetford. I wonder why these comparisons are being made even though there is no evidence to support such comparisons - in fact if any one took the trouble to examine the evidence they would soon see that it is suggests the contrary. But that doesn't play on peoples fears does it. Now who else does that I wonder?

  6. Hi Anonymous
    The picture did not compare the Growth Triangle to the City Centre; it showed how much bigger it was .
    The Growth Triangle was never like Bristol, the Greater Norwich area is.
    You cannot dispute the facts - Thetford has a population of 24000 and is the third largest town in Norfolk.
    No mention by us until now of the 37000 houses in the GNDP area, but the resulting c88,000 increase in population will be greater than the towns of Great Yarmouth and KingsLynn put together.
    I agree it is scary so get your head out of the sand.
    You have different evidence?- thats great, lets hear it but don't bluster.

  7. Hi Anonymous - there is Evidence, it started to emerge at the Hearing. The Hearing is actually an Examination, and when you Examine and Dissect, things start to come to light.

    First of all, it seems odd that at present 2 of the 3 councils are providing MORE affordable housing than is actually needed; they also have very small numbers classed as homeless or in temporary accommodation. Norwich City is only a little worse, and is doing very well indeed on a national scale.

    The forecast population growth is going to come entirely from outside Norfolk - this is openly stated on under the heading "Demography and Information". Deaths outnumber Births in Broadland and South Norfolk; in Norwich Births outnumber Deaths, because Norwich is the only Council with "International migration and other change" at 2.2 - the rest are at 0.1-0.4 under this heading.

    The population growth is a future, predicted, one and the Council openly admit this. What's more, they say and I quote exactly:
    "Norfolk's TOTAL population change over the 25 years to 2033 would be made up of approximately 221,700 gain from net in-migration and around 2,800 loss from natural change (more deaths than births). Around 124,000 of the net migration gain would be from England and around 100,000 from outside the UK."

    The Council have revised the non-UK in-migration figure of 100,000 up from the previous projection. I should point out that many of our cities are now staging posts, where arrivals from outside the UK stay for a while, then if they are moved out they are counted as migrants from within the UK. So it is not much use saying 124,000 will come from "England".

    The current projection of 100,000 from abroad may have to be revised in the light of the Government's pledge to change immigration figures from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands. Tens of thousands for the whole UK means possibly only one thousand to five thousand for Norfolk (there are about 350 councils).

    Anyway, the point is ALL the housing being planned for at the moment, is to meet "need" from outside Norfolk.

  8. I just think that it is scandalous that the extent of the development has been endlessly played down and that SNUB has been left to undertake the investigative and scrutiny role which is rightly the DUTY of our elected representatives.

  9. I want to clarify my post timed 2120 last evening. The forecast increase in the Greater Norwich population is not greater than the increase in Great Yarmouth and Kings Lynn, that is to be expected -

    it is greater than the sum of the present populations of those towns.