According to Broadland District Council we need to have an eco-education centre built at Rackheath because:
"Local communities, the local press and the nation as a whole still struggle with what an “Eco Community” comprises. It is important to educate and demonstrate to all members of the Rackheath and wider community what the “Eco” designation for the development is trying to achieve.
This project will engage with school children and adults both in and around Rackheath and across Norfolk to explain and educate not only the merits of an eco community, but the practicalities and ability of everyone to participate in ecologically sound developments and lifestyles."
An application (No 20110156) for just such a centre will be put before the Planning Committee. Broadland District Council seem intent on spending the money given to them by the previous government for eco-town related projects rather than diverting it towards more important services. In the current economic situation do we really need to build an eco-education centre and bus in school children from across Norfolk - hardly an eco-friendly or cost-free exercise in itself. The Holt Youth project apparently spends 40% of its budget on transport - how much will be spent on transport to and from the proposed eco-centre ( not to mention the loss of teaching time whilst travelling to the centre!)?
Apparently BDC are also planning to use the facilities for some of their existing training courses and will close the facilities at Thorpe. Once again is this good use of public money? If the argument is that the eco-project money needs to be spent on just that activity then how can BDC justify moving an existing non eco-project service into the new building? There are plenty of empty office and factory units available throughout the area so why build something new? The eco-education centre in Derbyshire has already been built and offers courses to adults but its aim is to promote sustainable building skills, including dry stone walling, to support the rural economy and conserve its heritage.Whereas as the Rackheath project seems keener to persuade people into accepting that building over agricultural land is somehow eco-friendly!