Whilst we are disappointed about the Planning Inspectors decision to approve the JCS it has not come unexpectedly as the supporters of the JCS deployed a huge team of council officers, Barristers and experts to support their case whereas groups like SNUB had to rely on the efforts of a small number of members who did not have access to these type of resources. These resources used by the JCS supporters were of course paid for by the ratepayers and these costs run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. Questions need to be asked about the financial viability of this expenditure when all local councils, and in particular Norfolk County Council and Broadland District Council, are planning savage cuts to front line services.
However the fundamentals haven't changed in that the applications by developers will still need to be subjected to planning applications and due process. This process has changed considerably since the start of the JCS as the Big Society and the associated Localism Bill will legislate for the rights of residents to be heard and for them to proactively approve the level of housing development that this JCS calls for. The local councils who make up the GNDP will not be able to ignore the thousands of locals who have signed petitions to express their disapproval of these plans and they will actively have to seek approval of the local community as part of the process. The fight goes on and SNUB will be ready to assist local residents in getting their voice heard either through the ballot box or by other lawful means available to us.
We believe that there needs to be a sensible and mature debate around the level of local housing required in Norfolk and we call upon the local media to facilitate such a debate in the way they have done with campaigns around the potential closure of RAF Marham and the plans for the Incinerator at Kings Lynn.