There has been much store placed on the fact that the land earmarked for development in the North East Growth triangle is brown field as Rackheath used to have an airfield. However, early records indicate agricultural use for the majority of the area, with Mousehold Heath, to the south east of Rackheath, remaining an area of open scrub and heathland until the early 19th century.
The construction of the Second World War airfield will have had localised effect on earlier archaeology, however aerial photographic analysis indicates good survival of crop-mark evidence, particularly to the north of the site. So whilst it may have been an airfield for a few necessary years to support the Second World War effort there is no doubt that the site was, and still is, productive agricultural land producing food crops. Indeed the land being earmarked for the so-called exemplar site (although from what we can see the only example it is demonstrating is how to build house on food producing land) is graded as Grade 2 agricultural land whilst the remainder of the site is classified as Grade 3B. Mind you it used to be Grade 3 which had building restrictions applied until the last government changed the classifications and introduced the Grade 3B classification, which means it can be built on.
Anyway, we now have the spectre of a “double whammy” as Peter Brabeck-Letmathe the Chairman of Nestle warns that soaring food prices are the result of immoral policies, which divert crops for use in the production of biofuels instead of food. As a result of this drive for alternative energy and the need to cut carbon fuel emissions 35% of the US corn goes into biofuels and this is from a provider who accounts for about 60% of the worlds corn supply.
So what do we do here locally? Well, we are taking productive land out of the food chain here in the UK and also recommending that biofuel plants be built to provide energy for the thousands of new homes that are apparently needed. This is happening here on our doorstep in a market that has seen corn prices almost doubled over the last 12 months. Anger at these prices have caused riots and protests across the Middle East and contributed to the current unrest with undemocratic leaders who cannot provide food for their own people!Indeed it is reckoned that the corn price increase was one of the major contributors to pushing the UK inflation to 4.4% in February this year. So come on Broadland District Council and others in the region take a look up and see the unintended consequences of your headlong pursuit of the money that you need from the CIL and extra council tax to replenish the reserves you are plundering to build houses for people that will not be able to be fed due to undemocratic decisions around the globe.