Lost Opportunity

It is great news that new job opportunities will be found with the new use of the old RAF airfield at Coltishall.  However, what a missed opportunity to bring the old airfield, with a serviceable runway etc, into use as the regional airport for East Anglia.  This would have allowed Norwich Airport to close and transfer its business to Coltishall to a new regional and international airport, which would have room to expand. 

The airfield at Norwich could then be used to build the new houses that the GNDP are hell bent on building.  These houses would have been on the edge of Norwich with adequate existing transport routes into the city and fulfilled a number of the credentials for an eco-town.  If you then add the sites of the Royal Norwich Golf Club and the Hellesdon Hospital both on Drayton High Road and the Norfolk County Cricket Club at Manor Park on Holt Road there would be enough land to provide sustainable housing and all on the outskirts of the city without one acre of food producing land being taken out of production!  The sites on Drayton High Road have already declared their intent to relocate and the cricket ground is owned by R G Carters who build houses.

What a marvellous and thoughtful Plan B!  It’s a pity that our elected councillors can’t think like this.  Oh well, at least the option could still be viable as the airfield will remain functional with its new use and the existing bunch of councillors may not be there after the District Council elections in May this year.  Let's not lose hope.


  1. What a lovely bit of "joined up thinking" and what a terrible shame that our councillors can't see what sense it would make. Too many vested business interests,I suppose? However,May is fast approaching,lets see some new people with new ideas putting themselves up for election. Its time for a real plan B.

  2. This seems like real nimbyism! We (the people of Rackheath) don't want it but fine if imposed on the people of Hellesdon! Do you really want to see the golf course turned into a housing estate? Maybe, because you won't have to see it happening, you don't care? I thought snub were above this sort of narrow-minded self-centredness.

    We should all be fighting together against the ridiculous housing numbers that have been dictated by central government and enthusiasticaaly supported by BDC and the GNDP.

    There is only one serious political party that stands against the prusuit at all costs of economic growth (meaning development growth, and that is the Green Party. Check out their results in yesterday's Humbleyard (Hethersett area) by-election to see how much the electorate care about this: either they simply don't, or the Greens need to get their act together in a big way!

  3. I completely agree with Anonymous, that "We should all be fighting together against the ridiculous housing numbers that have been dictated by central government and enthusiasticly supported by BDC and the GNDP"
    The EDP) revealed this week that there are 25,000
    empty properties in this region not counting second or holiday homes, of which there must be another 5,000. That proves that we do not need to build any more. However the greedy councils want the additional rates that the new buildings would bring into their coffers and the developers are hungry for their profit. The public should stand up and say "NO more building on Greenfield sites, Farmland or Countryside" so future generations will be able to enjoy it and not curse us for letting this destruction occur.

  4. All these unnecessary house building targets are being driven solely by greed to make money. The only ones to gain are the Developers, Land Owners and Councils. If they get their selfish way then the public will lose their countryside and open spaces and the roads will become clogged with up to another 60,000 vehicles. The only people that are likely to ocupy the extra houses will be migrants. With an additional 100,000 plus people in this region then everyone would find it harder to get a NHS Dentist and wait longer to see a Doctor and receive Hospital treatment.
    Everyones quality of life will drop as the entire region will become crowded everywhere.
    Even a trip to the seaside will not be the same as car parks will overflow and charges to park will escalate.
    The Public should stand up now and say NO to any more new house building and lets stay as we are.

  5. This seems like real nimbyism!
    I think anonymous is right but misunderstands the nature of what he/she describes as nimbyism. It does not just manifest itself in the way the name describes, but also in the stunning silence of those who are just grateful that they are not being targeted for development.

    What this post seem to point out is that this is not some narrow local issue but a concern for everyone. The scale of the development is not only excessive but even Broadland have been forced to accept a review of housing numbers. Meanwhile, how do you motivate everyone to express their concern? It is quite clear that the people most affected will be the most vociferous but that does not make their opposition any less valid. The author of the comment appears to question the inclusion of sites outside the Growth Triangle but ever since the Royal Norwich Golf Club announced several years ago that the wished to sell the site and move to Weston Longville, Broadland DC has earmarked the site earmarked for housing.
    SNUB have been consistent not only in their opposition to the scale of the development but to the damaging consequences of its concentration. A dispersed option is preferred.

  6. As the author of the original post I feel I should respond to the comments made by Anonymous dated 14th Jan at 20.33. (I am assuming that this Anonymous is different from the one who posted on the same date at 09.48). Anyway, the latter Anonymous seems to have missed the point I was trying to make in that both the Golf Club and the Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Trust have already indicated that they wish to relocate from the current sites. If these sites were available for housing we would not have to take productive agricultural land out of the food production chain. This is not about SNUB being NIMBYs as we have already said that we recognise the need for additional housing but would prefer a dispersal option as pointed out by Geoff in his comment. This includes an appropriate amount in and around settlements in the North East growth triangle which includes Rackheath and Salhouse.

    Stephen Heard
    Chairman SNUB
    PS Who is Anonymous? Let them declare themselves so we can have a proper debate on the key points rather than hiding behind the anonymity shield!

  7. Dear Mr Heard, of course I am not also the first Anonymous. My point is that to build on the golf course at Hellesdon would play a very significant and damaging part in the urbanisation of Norwich - something I presume snub would agree is not to be desired. Of course the golf course owners want to relocate, as constructing a new golf course would cost a fraction of the profit they would make by selling the current course for development. I would be surprised if any land owners in the Norwich area don't wish they could relocate so that they too can cash in on the building bonanza!

    As I understand it the golf course development would be of some 2000 houses, that is a very major piece of urbanisation on a large and attractive green open space. It is hardly to be welcomed or encouraged by any organisation campaigning for sensible housing growth based on local needs rather than the desire to profit from speculative development. Indeed, it is something that should be actively campaigned against in my opinion.

    Perhaps I have misunderstood snub's purpose? I thought it was to resist excessive development all around Norwich, not just in the Rackheath area. I also thought snub disagreed with the government and GNDP/BDC imposed housing growth figures. If in fact snub agrees with the proposed level of growth but simply wishes it to be more widely dispersed I think this should be made clear.

    I have no wish to pick a fight with snub. The reason I visit this blog is because I find it generally very informative and well considered. However, I was surprised to see this post and I do think it calls for some clarification of snub's position.

    Regarding your PS, it seems that the majority of comments on this blog are left either under pseudonyms or 'anonymous'. I did not realise this was frowned upon as in some way unacceptable. Perhaps you could clarify on this point too?

  8. I am convinced that the main reason Broadland DC are pursuing this development agenda so vigerously is to enhance their own status and indeed to protect their very existance. The recent unitary debate, which will surface again, highlighted Broadland District Council's vunerability as they faced extinction in favour of a single or dual unitary arrangement.My apologies if this point has been made before.

  9. if the same arguments being run now against growth were listened to in the past. all those who live in houses built within the last 30 years, would not be able to be able to enjoy the place they now call home. Naturally they want to keep where they live the same as it is now, but if those original residents had been listened to, then you wouldn't have had the home you now have. Spare a thought for those people who once like you, want to find a nice place to live and be able to call it their home, like you. How easy it is to say we don't want more houses, when we already live in one, which suits our purpose.

  10. The previous comment by Anonymous once again shows that many people are not listening to what SNUB is saying - SNUB is NOT against growth and further development but has stated many times that it is the inappropriate level of growth in this area which SNUB and many thousands of local people object to.