Doing something funny for money is the mantra for Red Nose Day but it could now apply to Broadland District Council who should not just have red noses but red faces over the future funding of their pet project, the Eco Town at Rackheath.
The revelations in the Planning newspapers seen by SNUB members show how inept they are and how much they have conceded to developers in their vainglorious quest for a place in planning history. Now the Government intend to change the Planning Policies and amend the funding priorities for developments, so the huge subsidies their plans relied on are likely not to be forthcoming.
All of that would be bad enough but underpinning it, there is a contract called the Rackheath Joint Venture Agreement, which like the Joint Core strategy itself has been secured behind closed doors. The agreement has a board made up of the landowner, the developer, the promoter, the HCA and the Council. The details of this agreement are not available to the public but in outline
The developer manages the process in consultation with joint venture partners.
Decisions made by the board are binding by simple majority
Joint Venture partners obliged not to unreasonably withhold agreement.( The definition for unreasonable is not described.)
The Council will buy the land for the Exemplar Phase using public money.
The Planning Application has to be consistent with the Exemplar Brief. (and that has already been shown to be at a lower than expected standard)
A grant will be made to the farmer to allow the land to be continued to be farmed until required for development.(by the Council?)
The landowner, developer and Council will share in the profits.
So how do you expect the Planning Committee to be able to impartially judge any applications which come before them.
By the way the Council has agreed all this already.