What a week!

We have at SNUB been reflecting on what has been a momentous week in our campaign to stop the creeping urbanisation of Norwich. 

At the beginning of last week we issued the legal challenge to the Joint Core Strategy, which was a decision not taken lightly as it leaves us particularly exposed personally on the financial front.  However we also believe that if you campaign for a cause then you should stand up and be counted.  I am proud of the fact that a small group of dedicated volunteers have taken this step on behalf of the thousands of local residents who continually demonstrate that they do not want this type of large scale development on their doorstep.

Indeed it was those very people who in the local Wards most affected by the proposed developments demonstrated their views at the Ballot box on Thursday by ensuring that local councillors who will represent their views were returned to BDC rather then those who did not listen.  Yes, it was disappointing that the overall colour of the Council did not change however there were much bigger things at play then our campaign here in Norfolk.

So it was quite a week and the campaign continues with vigour and a desire to see this JCS quashed either through the courts or by pressure on BDC to withdraw before it gets to that. 

Whilst writing it is important to reaffirm that SNUB are apolitical and as a consequence we took the decision not to stand as Independent candidates at the District Council elections as we believe we will be more effective outside of the tent and free from the restraints and dogma of local politics.  We were courted to stand but stood by our original decision not to become embroiled in local party politics that we find petty and demeaning.  It would also have produced a “split vote” which may well have seen candidates returned through the back door who are no longer Councillors!

I believe that we have, for a bunch of local residents who do this in their spare time with very little resources, made great strides in achieving our ambition of stopping the creeping urbanisation of Norwich and the theft of our countryside and productive faming land.  There maybe folk out there who have a different view but to date we have not seen hoards of locals who say they do want this development.  Quite the contrary!

Stephen Heard


  1. A legal challenge is a very risky strategy indeed. It is a challenge to the process, not the content of the Plan. If the judges quosh the plan then it will take years to replace - I believe the GNDP took 4 or 5 years to get this far. In the meantime the conclusions of the Inspectors and all the evidence they accepted remain. The Government want more housing built. We will be bombarded with ad hoc development and all the whingeing in the world wont stop it.

  2. This bombardment of ad hoc development has been used by BDC for years as the reason why there should be a Core Strategy. However in these new and enlightened days we believe that the changes to the planning system being proposed in the Localism Bill will provide communities, including Parish Councils, the tolls to prevent any ad hoc developments. After all this is what Planning Committees and approvals are for. It is the wise and considered judgements at the planning stage that is the important thing here which will give communities a much bigger voice than in previous years. the ad hoc development argument is old hat!

  3. I quote the editorial on this page. "Whilst writing it is important to reaffirm that SNUB are apolitical...........but stood by our original decision not to become embroiled in local party politics that we find petty and demeaning..............it would also have produced a “split vote”.

    I think we should come clean and admit that we are anti-Conservative which would be in keeping with everything our Core Group and all the bloggers have been saying for months about the Conservatives in Broadland, as well as your reference to the "split vote". Even our leaflet said it and as another blogger has already pointed out, we sponsored a Lib Dem, we were all urged to vote Lib Dem to keep other candidates out and we helped to deliver the Lib Dem election leaflets and were thanked by the Lib Dems for all our hard work.

    We have made it clear all along we wanted the Lib Dems in. So, who are we kidding and why?
    As for local party politics being "petty and demeaning" unfortunately we have been very guilty of that description when you read a lot of the worst blogs posts on this site.

    So, things have moved on, let us be honest and admit who we are and stop trying to make out that we are anything else but political. Incidentally, if you stand as an Independent that is what you are. I suspect that it is because we are actually pro-Lib Dem that we could not have put up candidates in the election as Independents. A great shame as I think we would have done a better job of it right across the NE.

  4. Apologies to the last "anonymous" - your earlier comments went straight into the 'Spam box' for some reason. We have not set up any parameters which would mean some comments go there - it just seems to be a bug in the Blogger software.

  5. Let's not forget that SNUB is made up of local people who do not want to loose their countryside and farmland just to have a huge town built all over it.
    The Conservatives at Broadland have ignored the public for 3 years despite all the protests, letters of opposition and the results of their so called "consultations". They have made it clear that they do not intend to listen to SNUB, who represent the views of over 3,000 residents, therefore the locals decided to vote for councillors of another party who have listened and who have respresented them.
    Thats not being political, that's just making a sensible decision.
    Hopefully the Conservatives at Broadland will heed this message and change their ways.

  6. Let's not kid ourselves - what BDC (well, the tories that dominate BDC) want is NOT creeping urbanisation. What they want is galloping urbanisation.

    The Lib-Dems were the only party that stood clearly against the development plans (well, so did the Greens, but they didn't bother to take the election seriously). So, whoever you are 'anonymous', please shut up about SNUB acting in a partisan manner. What campaign group on Earth would avoid mentioning, in the run-up to an election, the fact that one particular party stands for its own aims while another stand for the opposite?

  7. Hear hear Bob well stated.

  8. Fed up anonymous10 May 2011 at 19:09

    I am a supporter who signed the petition and who could be counted on as one of the 3000. I did it because I am against the Norfolk hub but now this is not in this document of Broadlands. However, I try to follow this blog to keep up with what is going on and I do not like what I am reading at the moment.
    It seems as if there is one voice and one argument which is being sold by some regular names and if another person comes along with a different view or a question they are shouted down- with the use of CAPITOL letters, told to leave it to the BIG BOYS or else on this page told to shut up. There are a lot of such cases. Is this what is called our core group are about, trying to stop us if we try to think for ourselves? It almost feels like BNP tactics.
    I may not count for much these days but I think that all supporters should be able to say what they think without being rudely treated as if they are idiots and should go away. I am beginning to think that all that was wanted was my name on a piece of paper and after that it would be nice if I was to disappear. It also makes me wonder if there is another reason behind all this.
    I was about to donate to this but if this is how the people who run all this choose to treat the rest of us I will put my money to a better use. I also hope I do not live to regret putting my name down on that paper at that meeting.

  9. Fed up anonymous should realise that the Norfolk Hub has not gone away. Matthew Wintersgil has indicated that it will be revisited if the Ecotown goes ahead and the NDR is in place.
    We must refrain from "Nimbyism" and all stick together to save Norfolk as a whole.
    If we let the developers have their way and surrender one particular area then the rest will be lost as well.
    SNUB was initially formed to save our farmland and countryside and stop a town being built on it at Rackheath and not just formed to stop the Norfolk Hub.
    SNUB opposed the Norfolk Hub just like they did with the Ecotown, NDR and the JCS because they are intrinsically linked.
    So if Fed up person is so unhappy with what SNUB is doing for the vast majority of the local people then he or she should come out in the open and have their name removed from the petition.

  10. I am disappointed that Fed Up Anonymous feels the way he/she does. I absolutely agree with the sentiment of their blog posting and that all bloggers should be free to post their comments without fear or worried about the response. However I would like to make it clear that the blog postings are not just from the Core group of SNUB but from any reader of our blog and website. As is the nature of all blogs some of the postings are inflamatory and I suspect are written this way to solicit a response and to undermine our campaign. This however is the price we pay for the freedom of speech that we all cherish in this country and we cannot or would not wish to stop this.

    However like all blogs we do have rules which we reminded all bloggers of recently and we do have the capability to moderate blogs if necessary. We have not deployed this capability to date although we would if we believe it is necessary.

    SNUB takes it mandate from the very people who signed our petitions and we are now looking for them to support us financially as we enter the legal challenge stage. All of our supporters are important to us and we do what we do as we believe that our supporters want us to do this. We have received many favourable and positive comments to continue our campaign and I hope that the actions of a very small number of negative bloggers does not prevent our supporters from feeling positive about the outcome of the campaign ie the withdrawal of the Joint Core Strategy. I am confident we can achieve this.

  11. I fully agree with Mr Heard.
    We should reming ourselves that we all have one thing in common, we were appalled with the plans to destroy our countryside, be it either by the Norfolk Hub, Ecotown or NDR. The JCS as it stands opens the door to either or all of these horrendous developments going ahead, therefore we must all stick together and oppose each one.

  12. Rackheath Resident11 May 2011 at 21:08

    Wasnt the `New Estate` at Rackheath built on farmland ? its very close to me and it popped up in over a year.
    The New Primary School.. was it built on farm land ?

  13. I dont think there are too many of us who live in houses that werent built on farmland ....

  14. Most of us do live in houses that were built on farmland but we must stop somewhere not least because we are warned of an iminent world food shortage. Water is also a critical issue in this region and it together with food and clean air are absolutely vital to life. We can make do with less houses and overcrowding if necessary.
    Take a walk round any of our villages,especially Wroxham and you will see lots of empty properties as well as second homes and holiday homes. Do we want to see all our countryside vanish leaving us living in amongst a huge conglomeration? If that happens then serious crime and drugs will surely follow with every surrounding area used as a dumping ground for rubbish or fly tipping.
    Eventuallyt when you have had enough and want to move out you will find the value of your property has slumped and you may not be able to sell it and go elsewhere.

  15. The 'New Estate' must be the 220+ houses at Wilkinson Road and I well remember how hard we had to fight to get the Council to build the new school.
    Your comment however suggests that you see that as the justification for an estate of over 4000 dwellings, bigger than the town of Aylsham on the adjacent fields.
    I am afraid I do not follow that logic.

  16. Another Rackheath Resident16 May 2011 at 17:44

    He only asked a question.........
    Why did you bring Aylsham into it?

  17. Rackheath Resident19 May 2011 at 16:12

    Mizzentop.. you had to fight to get the council to build the new shool on farmland ?
    I cant get my head round the thinking, is it now OK to build lots of small estates on farmland ? around the Broadland area.
    Im afraid i dont follow your logic either !