We have in SNUB been pretty consistent in our view that any new housing should be dispersed rather than “lumped” together in large and soulless developments as proposed by the Joint Core Strategy.  An article in the EDP Farm and Country section (Saturday 13th August 2011) entitled “What is the greatest challenge that rural areas face?”  Here are a number of quotes that seem to confirm our views:

“We need more affordable homes to allow people to live in areas where they grew up, keep our communities vibrant and importantly provide labour into local businesses and services.”
Jon Clemo, Chief Executive of the Norfolk Rural Community Council.

“The single biggest issue facing the farming community is meeting the challenge of producing more food while impacting less on the environment.”
Francis Ulrych, Norfolk county chairman of the National Farmers Union.

“We should be able to have the new businesses, houses and facilities we need without destroying the identity, heritage and beauty of our county.”
George Freeman, Mid Norfolk MP.

The lack of affordable homes makes it difficult to maintain the viability and sustainability of services in smaller villages, be they the local post office, the school, the village pub or public transport connections.”
James Parry, Chairman of  Campaign to Protect Rural England Norfolk (CPRE).

Indeed in the same edition Keith Skipper seemed to sum it up admirably in his column as the headline rang out:


Hear hear we say.


  1. Another thing that should be done (but very probably never will be) to keep local communties vibrant and save homes for local people, would be to DOUBLE the council tax payable on second homes used for holidays by the rich. Many of Norfolk's most pleasant villages, especially in North Norfolk and near the sea, have been taken over by wealthy Londoners, causing property prices to rocket and ensuring that nobody bron in them can ever afford to buy a house there.

    At present, people with second homes get big concessions on council tax - god knows why. If they can afford houses they don't need, they can afford to pay through the nose for the privilege!

  2. OK, right on, comrade.

  3. The News that the Long Meadow sustainable housing development between Diss and Roydon has just been halted is proof that the stance of SNUB is correct.
    The long meadow houses are low cost yet still there are few buyers even though they only had to place a reservation fee of £250.
    If mortgages are not available and there are not enough buyers for even these low cost houses, then the Rackheath Ecotown will surely be a "White Elephant" just like the cranes at the Yarmouth outer harbour.
    The only difference being that they were able to remove the crames and sell them to work elsewhere.
    It's time that Broadland and the GNDP stopped wasting taxpayers and ratepayers money on mad brained ideas and come into the real world.

  4. I was curious about this Long Meadow when it was first trumpeted, the prices really were affordable, and on the website it looked charming. I went to have a look. I should have known. Small, tacky houses, crammed together, with no front garden and a rear "garden" just big enough for a dustbin shed and a couple of chairs. The whole site surrounded by busy roads, yet each house has a parking space. The land should have been kept as a green space, or better still a small park as the Victorians used to create. That would have been "eco".

    Even at the low prices which developers are now saying are unaffordable for developers, you get a much much better old house for the same money, e.g. on the Rightmove site within a 5-mile radius of Diss:
    Two bed character cottage, £100,000, generous garden, brick and tile storage sheds,

    Within a 5-mile radius of Salhouse:
    Two bed semi, £75,000, 1930s, front and rear gardens, NR3:

    "Home of the Century", £85,000, 4 beds, large garden, beautiful view, post-war, NR3:

    And that’s just 5 minutes on the website, starting at the lowest price and not going past £100,000. I cannot understand at all, who in their right mind would pay any money at all for the poorly constructed rubbish presented by modern developers, let alone pay MORE than a much nicer older property costs. Perhaps it’s just that thing where it’s easier to buy a ready-made shepherds pie, instead of making one yourself, even though the ready-meal is poor quality and twice the price. But these are homes, and mortgages – surely worth spending a lot of time searching and choosing.

    Perhaps because prices could always be guaranteed to rise, people thought “Well I’ll just grab that one, it’s OK, and I can always sell it if I decide I don’t like it.” Yet on Rightmove there seems to be a massive glut of newbuild homes for resale, and I wouldn’t mind betting some of them are on sale for prices lower than the first price paid for them. Will anyone ever buy them, even at knock-down prices? If people become more careful about house-hunting due to the recession, they will soon find something better that is not pricey and will keep its value.

    After all, why is it called house HUNTING? Because a good house is hard to find, not handed to you on a plate with a suspiciously cheap mortgage and lots of small print.

  5. There is no doubt that SNUB is fighting a just cause. The National Trust and English Heritage have recently spoken out about the threat to our countryside if planning reforms in favour of development go through as the Tories would have. The government have been lobbied by developers and their Council friends to be given more power to concrete over the countryside. Their greed is their sole motivation and want growth and wealth even though it would destroy the environment and peoples quality of life.

  6. I'd agree with what's been said on a comment: "...a good house is hard to find, not handed to you on a plate with a suspiciously cheap mortgage and lots of small print." Indeed owning a house requires a lot of investment, which means you have to have more money to own one. The rich should make ways to help the less fortunate own a property for shelter.

  7. I would give a nod to what James Parry stated in this post: "The lack of affordable homes makes it difficult to maintain the viability and sustainability of services in smaller villages, be they the local post office, the school, the village pub or public transport connections". The government should plan more ways/strategies in order to create more affordable homes for the people in order to uphold these services.