A week has now passed since Broadland District Council (BDC) and the other members of the Greater Norwich Development Partnership (GNDP) voted to accept the Joint Core Strategy that will change the face of Norwich forever. We now enter a period of 6 weeks whereby any formal legal challenge can be mounted and SNUB, along with others, are considering these options particularly in light of the High Court decision that the campaigners in Newmarket achieved where plans for large scale development near the world famous race course was found to be “unsound”. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-12860942
We believe that BDC and GNDP did not follow the correct procedure for consultation as required by the Aarhus convention, which is European legislation, and details can be found at http://www.unece.org/env/pp/.
The vote itself at BDC was unremarkable and as expected as the majority of Councillors took their party line and voted as instructed although the opposition were allowed a free vote. The local Conservative councillor for the Wroxham ward wasted his vote by abstaining demonstrating a lack of conviction that the majority of his electorate were looking for. On the other hand the other councillor (who was at his election endorsed by SNUB) spoke against the JCS and voted in the same manner. I am sure that this pattern of voting will be remembered in May when all BDC councillors will have to justify their actions to the electorate. We look forward to the debate on the hustings. If the electorate want to see what is going on then have a look at http://www.broadland.gov.uk/environment/3220.asp which provides the latest news as at July 2010! Are they hoping that by not placing anything on their own website for 7 months people will think it has gone away.
By the way the BDC councillors were paranoid about the vote as was demonstrated in two ways. Firstly when a group of SNUB supporters, totalling no more than 30, turned up outside Thorpe Lodge they were greeted with FOUR Police officers! What a waste of time and they soon left when they also agreed that it was. We will be formally writing to the Chief Constable to make a complaint against BDC for wasting police time. Their second bout of paranoia was when the Leader of BDC recommended that the Council vote against a request from SNUB to video the meeting despite recommendations from the current Minister who recommends that filming should be allowed to aid transparency! We have written to the Minister and told him that this Conservative council seems quite happy to disregard advice from their own Government. What on earth were they worried about? Perhaps they thought there was going to be a riot and that the Police were needed to protect them and they didn’t want any of it filmed. Ridiculous behaviour.