Carbon Con?

The latest Rackheath Parish Council meeting on Monday had amongst the attendees a Broadland District Council  housing officer as well as a manager from Wherry Housing.They were there to answer concerns from parish councillors and residents of Trinity Close Rackheath, the 12 sustainable, code grade 6 houses into which Broadland poured £500,000 to upgrade to code 6 and used as it's 'flag-ship' for the future of housing for the 'exemplar and the eco-town!

The residents are not happy, what has transpired is that the utility bills, especially the electric/ heating bills are far more expensive than the residents paid when in their old houses.

Why? It's simple, as Wherry had accepted the 'grant' from Broadland, they were not permitted to receive any monies whatsoever from the 'feed-in' tariffs from any of the solar panels ( bearing in mind, if you have solar panels installed off your own back, you receive the feed-in tariff, anything up to £700 per year to either negate your electricity bill or pay a great percentage towards your useage, this, depending on the weather etc).

As you may be aware, the solar panels only generate during the sunny periods ( normally during the day when people are at work and not needing to use their electricity) and they then have to pay through the nose to heat their water / houses with the ground source heat pumps. It also transpires that the ground source heat pumps are very, very expensive to run.

So what about the residents? The Wherry manager then told the parish council that the idea of affordable housing built to grade 6 was never about cheaper bills, it was to reduce carbon! So  what about the residents? The Wherry manager said it was a learning experience!

Needless to say, many residents are furious and some are even asking for a transfer as the bills are too high!  Is this affordable housing or a 'carbon con'? We all need to reduce our carbon footprint but as a few people stated last night, residents 'flocked' to apply to live there in the belief that their bills would all be lower. They also said that the laymen in the street ALL believed this myth too...this needs exposing as it is a 'white elephant' that was allowed to be built 'outside' of the Rackheath planning settlement limit by Broadland District Council using taxpayers money. With Wherry planning to build another 14 ( grade 4 ) houses also on land outside of the settlement limit and backing onto the existing 12 houses (with the possibility of removing half of their existing garden to boot!).... we could see an 'exodus' of residents from the grade 6 expensive properties wanting to move across the garden to the cheaper to run grade 4 cheaper to run homes!

Now take a look at the post below which is the news release Broadland District Council put on in September last year


  1. This is typical of the PR spin from BDC and other interested parties. The poor residents have to pay higher bills yet someone is pocketing £8,400 (12 house multiplied by an average of £700 annual savings) each year.

    Each of these houses cost about £36,000 more to build than the average new house due to the installation of the systems that were meant to reduce the carbon footprint AND reduce bills.

    The result of this is that no one would like to live in them and property developers would be hard pushed to sell them at a premium. If you then multiply this problem by 10,000 (the number of houses planned for the North East Growth Triangle) then you can see the economic challenges of the Joint Core Strategy.

    The only winners in this are BDC who can claim this carbon reduction against the government target to reduce carbon and bugger the residents.

  2. Yes, It's now clear that Rackheath and the occupiers were misled into accepting these 12 houses and are being "conned" the same way with the Ecotown and Exemplar.
    SNUB warned the residents 3 or 4 years ago that this would happen.
    We must oppose any more houses that they will push on us under the pretence they will be affordable.

  3. Is it true that the 'feed-in' tariff does not provide any benefit for the residents?

    1. Yes it is trus as the Feed in Tariff can only be given back to those residents who pay for the PV cells themselves. If they are fitted via a grant then the tariff goes to the third party in this case the Housing Association and the residents miss out on an average payment of £700 each year which they should be using to offset the costs of the elctricity they are using.

      Stephen Heard

  4. Broadland District counil senior planners, as well as the then portfolio holder for planning, by-passed the normal planning legislation and allowed Wherry Housing to build 12 'affordable' houses on land 'OUTSIDE' of the settlement limit boundary.They also awarded them over half a million pounds to upgrade these houses to sustainable code 6 which is as near to carbon neutral as they could manage. So now the Wherry housing mananager has told us all that Broadland DC also anounced that these new affordable houses would see lower bills for the tennants? ( see their press releases) we see the truth! this was all spin, the bills are higher,there is no feed-in tarrif given back to residents or even to Wherry as they took the this supposed to be affordable housing? does this help vulnerable families? NO! who IS paying for this subsidy? the answer is US !carbon cutting is a rich man's priviledge, something to 'toy with' to appease the conscience when times are good and money 'plentiful'.Vulnerable familes should not be 'led' by false promises of cheaper bills etc.and for certain Broadland officers to conduct such 'social experiments' is scandalous and shameful and they should seriously re-think their position in the council.R.S.Lindsay, Rackheath resident

  5. It is a scandal if Broadland can waste £500,000 of public money to spend on just 12 houses only to result in them being more costly to run.
    It beggars belief that money can be found in this country and wasted on such things that do not benefit the people, yet at the same time vital services for the elderly, sick and poor have been axed.
    Messrs Kirby, Proctor were those that pushed hard to be awarded this money from the government only to waste it.
    Theey should be held accountable for mis-management of public money.

  6. I can't help but notice that although this website is scrutinised every day by Broadland and Norfolk County personell, not one has denied any of the revelations regarding the Trinity Close energy 'scam'!.

  7. They won't deny it because it must be fact and the proof is there.

  8. Broadland have used "spin" time and time again over the Ecotown and changed it time after time. The public could see through it from day one and now the proof is here. No doubt the Broadland "Spinners" are busy thinking up something new but that will be seen for what it is.

  9. I believe these are those same houses that was promised would be built to the highest efficiency and be an example of what the Eco Exemplar would be.
    Broadland Council said at a public meeting that they would lead the world in efficient construction and economy and that people would come from all over the U.K. and abroad to see them.
    In fact Broadland even suggested they could be part of a tourist industry.

  10. That's strange...Mr.Proctor stated the exact same about the Rackheath Trust at their last full council meeting? Anon.