Lesson to be learned from Forest Heath Councillors

Forest Heath councillors unanimously rejected attempts by council officers to overturn their decision to reject an  application to build 1,200 houses on Hatchfield Farm. 

FHDC officers attempted to remove the councillors' reasons for turning down the application when it came to appeal but angry members voted against handing delegated powers to the Head of Planning, insisting rightly that they should be involved in the preparation of a Statement of Common Ground.

Why oh why did not Broadland's councillors insist that they too should be involved in so many decisions which were instead delegated to the Strategic Director and Chief Planner and the Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy and Conservation? BDC councillors stood up to officers when it came to rejecting the planning application for Dakenham Barns but that seems to have been their one and only attempt at taking back power from the Head of Planning and a few aspirational councillors.

What we need on May 5th is a lot of new faces who are willing to work for their local communities. We need councillors who will really work with the community and involve the community in local decisions in a meaningful way. We deserve councillors who will stand up to officers but also their own party where necessary. If Broadland's ruling party was really proud of their work on the Joint Core Strategy and the resulting massive development in N E Norwich don't you think they might just mention it in their election material?


  1. Every major decision taken by Broadland District Council over the Joint Core Strategy resulted in the delegation of subsequent actions to these two people. The abrogation of responsibility for this massive strategy should be a source of shame for those councillors who made it possible.
    The Strategic Director whose brainchild has been the destruction of the rural land North East of Norwich and his henchman the Portfolio holder, do not appear to have to provide any justification for what they do.
    Just look for the feedback in Council papers or even the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

  2. You have been told Norfolk will get 224,000 more people. The 37,000 "homes" is the beginning. This started under a Labour Government, Conservative / Liberal Government does nothing to stop it
    The Green Party demand a cycle lane painted on the concrete that will soon cover Norfolk.

  3. The situation at Forest Heath Council is exactly the same here at BDC. They have broken numerous European rules including procurement and consultation. Bring on the writ.

  4. We are working on it