"The growth planned for areas to the north-east of Norwich has sparked controversy and the Lib Dems, having opposed the eco-town at Rackheath, could pick up votes on that issue." so said an article in Monday's Eastern Daily Press. So the EDP at least recognize that there is an issue with the excessive development planned for this area. Another article in today's EDP reports on CPRE's leaflet campaign which urges people to ask their local election candidates for their views on the scale of that development before deciding who to vote for on Thursday.
In a template letter aimed at local MPs, CPRE Norfolk has also written:
"Turning first to the Joint Core Strategy, I would like to suggest to you again that the majority of local people were not in favour of the growth proposed. For example, in the North East of Norwich alone, 3000 people signed a petition objecting to the Strategy (this petition was accepted as evidence by Government Inspector at the Strategy’s recent Examination-in-Public - document RF58). Consultation evidence conducted by the GNDP themselves also points to the fact that local people and local organisations could not support the growth plans for Norwich. For example (of which there were many such ‘negative’ results to choose from):
Do you support the favoured option for development in the Norwich Policy Area? (Regulation 25 consultation, March 2009)
Yes: 30% No 42% Comment 28%
In the comments, the number one concern was ‘scale of growth/excessive growth’
Could your organisation commit to support the favoured option?
(Regulation 25 consultation, March 2009)
Yes: 26% No: 30% Comment: 44%
In the comments, the number one concern was ‘scale of growth’.
No parish councils in the Norwich Policy Area gave support to the Strategy but objections included those councils at Hethersett, Long Stratton, Colney, Cringleford and Drayton. Now I can only go on the evidence that has been collected from local people, both by the GNDP and from independent sources, and can
only conclude that the plans did not have the backing of the local community. Yet the Strategy did not change in any fundamental way after the public consultations through to its recent adoption."
SNUB is not alone in highlighting that the proposed level of development around Norwich is unacceptable and the majority of residents in the villages most affected are also against the loss of their village life and countryside and signed a petition given to local MP, Keith Simpson to that effect. At least two of the main political parties fighting the local elections have also opposed the proposed level of growth.
SNUB leaflets distributed over the last few days have been met with renewed support and many non-members of SNUB have offered to help distribute them for which we are very grateful. There will always be people who for their own reasons wish to discredit SNUB and similar campaign groups but meanwhile we shall continue to fight the level of proposed growth confident that the vast majority of local people support our work.