CPRE's letter to the EDP 23 May 2011

In case you missed the EDP here is a copy of the letter from CPRE which was published today:

The First Example of Norfolk Localism?

"Norfolk MPs have reassured me recently that localism and neighbourhood planning will give residents more power in the planning system in the years to come.  While CPRE would support the end to a top down approach, the devil as ever will be in the detail.
"It also appears a little too late, with the recent adoption of the Joint Core Strategy planning framework for Norwich flying against the wishes of thousands of residents who signed petitions and spoke up in consultations against it.  Residents (through the SNUB campaign) are now taking matters into their own hands, taking the councils to the High Court to challenge the process and outcome.
"This is a course of action that CPRE supports and after tracking the planning process for many years, it is no surprise that the councils find themselves under ongoing scrutiny.  The 'behind closed doors' approach of the Greater Norwich Development Partnership has done little to instill confidence and the political ambition to swell Norwich to the size of Nottingham does not appear to translate at all with the wishes of people on the country lanes most affected. 
"We could say that this High Court action is the first example of Norfolk localism at work.  It's just a shame that residents find themselves having to fund an expensive legal challenge in order to get decision-makers to listen to their views.  We just hope that future changes to the planning system will allow neighbourhoods to shape their own destiny at an early stage, rather than fight the one they've been given."
- James Frost, Director, CPRE Norfolk

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