Draft Greater Norwich Local Plan – Part 1 The Strategy

Ended on the 16th March 2020
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  1. To achieve this plan's visions and objectives it is essential that we deliver planned growth through an effective policy framework which will both help decarbonise development and assist in addressing climate change. The delivery and climate change statements below are not policies in themselves, but rather set out how the GNLP addresses these two key issues. These priorities are important in guiding the plan's strategy and content.


  1. The GNLP is part of a wider package of joined up measures the councils are taking to work with the Government, New Anglia LEP, the development industry and service and infrastructure providers to fund and deliver the high-quality growth Greater Norwich needs.
  1. The councils also work in partnership as the Greater Norwich Growth Board (GNGB), which oversees decisions on investment in infrastructure to support growth and deliver existing planning targets.
  1. The statement below sets out how the GNLP prioritises the delivery of development.


Delivery of inclusive growth and sustainable development are key priorities for the Greater Norwich Local Plan. Delivery of housing, jobs and infrastructure are interlinked and mutually supportive.

Growth offers the opportunity to strengthen Greater Norwich's role as a key part of the national economy, with the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor becoming an increasingly important axis linking to two other nationally significant growth corridors, between London, Stansted and Cambridge and along the Cambridge - Milton Keynes - Oxford Arc.

The authorities will continue to work:

  • through the Greater Norwich Growth Board (or any successor) to facilitate and coordinate delivery across the plan area;
  • With the private sector to promote the area and to overcome constraints on housing and employment sites.

Each of the authorities have development companies directly delivering homes and jobs. The Greater Norwich Growth Board will continue to review options for joint Special Purpose Vehicles.


The plan promotes a pro-active approach to delivery through only allocating housing sites where a reasonable prospect of delivery, taking account of policy requirements in this plan, can be evidenced[45]. In addition, delivery plans are required to be submitted with planning applications to guide ongoing contact with developers. Where delivery cannot be demonstrated to be in accordance with agreed delivery plans for individual sites, the authorities will, as appropriate, make use of their legal powers to bring about strategically significant development, including compulsory purchase.

This plan also provides choice and flexibility by ensuring there are enough committed sites to accommodate 9% more homes than "need", along with two "contingency" locations for growth, should they be required to offset any non-delivery. Additional opportunities will be provided, particularly for small scale growth at villages and on small brownfield sites across Greater Norwich, through windfall development.

Taken together, these measures will ensure that housing needs to 2038 will be fully met.

Economic development

To promote delivery of jobs, this plan provides choice and flexibility by providing for a wide range of type and size of employment sites. These include strategic sites capable of accommodating large scale development and high growth knowledge-intensive sectors. Most strategic sites are extensions of already successful developments. Norwich City Centre is the largest concentration of employment in Greater Norwich with potential to grow further and will be a focus of employment growth to support the delivery of housing and other development across the wider plan area. Smaller scale and rural employment sites are less likely to be constrained by infrastructure requirements and will be supported in accessible and sustainable locations. Together, these varied sites provide for growth of both a broad based and a high value knowledge economy.

Economic development is also supported by policies that promote housing delivery, infrastructure and a high-quality environment. Other activities of the partners promote inclusive economic development, inward investment and skills.


Infrastructure priorities benefit existing communities, support growth, improve connectivity and access to economic and social opportunities, and deliver sustainable and active travel choices to promote modal shift.

The Greater Norwich partners will continue to work to coordinate delivery with other providers including Highways England, Anglian Water, other transport and utilities companies, town and parish councils and local health care providers. Infrastructure will be delivered through:

  • On-site and off-site provision required of development through conditions or legal agreements;
  • Pooled use of the Community Infrastructure Levy[46], which is being reviewed alongside GNLP plan making;
  • Maximising opportunities to access Government and other sources of funding;
  • Capital investment of public bodies and utilities companies; and
  • Locally led delivery vehicles.


  1. The National Planning Policy Framework requires local plans such as this one to "Support appropriate measures to ensure the future resilience of communities and infrastructure to climate change impacts" and to set strategic polices which address climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  1. The climate change statement below sets out how the GNLP seizes the opportunities available locally to promote low carbon development and address climate change.


The way in which local plans such as this can support the transition to a post carbon future is set out in joint Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) guidance[47]. Table 5 below shows how the measures the guidance identifies are addressed through the GNLP.

Table 5 GNLP coverage of climate change issues


GNLP coverage

Requiring the location and design of development to:

  1. deliver the highest viable energy efficiency, including the use of decentralised energy;
  2. reduce the need to travel, particularly by private car;
  3. secure the highest possible share of trips made by sustainable travel.

Location of development: Policies 1 and 7

The policies covering the location of development ensure that new housing will be close to every-day services and jobs. The great majority of the development is in urban areas and large villages, where sustainable access to services and jobs is best, thus reducing the need to travel and making it easier to walk, cycle and use public transport. Growth in villages is located where there is good access to services to support their retention. The distribution of the great majority of growth thus reduces the need to travel.

Design of development: Policies 1, 2, 3 and 4

Policy 2, in conjunction with other plan policies, requires development to be designed to minimise emissions. It is a broad strategic policy covering a wide range of design issues which is supported by the requirement for a Sustainability Statement to show how development will be low carbon. It also provides flexibility in what will undoubtedly be an era of rapid technological change to 2038 to ensure development seizes the broad range of opportunities to be designed to reduce emissions.

To achieve this, development must be designed to promote local service provision, include green infrastructure and reduce the need to travel. It must promote the use of public transport and active travel, along with supporting electric vehicle use.

The policy also requires development to be designed and orientated to minimise energy use, promote low carbon generation and energy and water efficiency, including using sustainable materials, promoting solar gain and reducing overheating. By setting high standards for resource efficiency the plan contributes to the Local Industrial Strategy[48] priority to make Norfolk and Suffolk the UK's clean growth region.

Support delivery of decentralised, renewable and low-carbon energy generation and grid infrastructure.

Policies 2 and 4 promote improvements to the energy grid, the development of local, renewable and low carbon energy networks to serve major new developments and an increase in free standing renewable energy generation, such as solar farms. As required by the NPPF, wind farm development needs to have clear local support so is encouraged through the Neighbourhood Plan process.

Shape places and secure new development to

minimise vulnerability and provide resilience to

impacts from climate change.

Policies 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 support further development of the green infrastructure network which will provide for mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, including promoting biodiversity net gain and improved and linked habitats.

In addition, the GNLP minimises flood risk through the location of development. Most of the development is located away from areas at risk of flooding from rivers. The exception is a small number of brownfield sites by the Rivers Wensum and Yare in the city centre and East Norwich where new development can create new quarters for the city and flood mitigation measures are required. Development in the small number of allocated sites which have some areas of surface water flood risk should be located away from the parts of the site at risk of flooding and all suitable developments are required to use sustainable drainage.

Encourage community-led initiatives such as the promotion of decentralised, renewable and low carbon energy use or securing land for local food sourcing.

Policy 2 encourages communities to promote sustainable energy locally through neighbourhood plans, including wind energy development where there is local support. The requirement for significant amounts of green infrastructure in new development promotes local food sourcing by providing allotments.

Increase sustainable transport use and local transport solutions.

Policies 2 and 4 support the further development of low carbon transport networks. This includes improved walking and cycling facilities, the promotion of bus travel, Park and Ride and rail use, increased use of electric vehicles and demand management measures.

Have an effective monitoring regime to ensure evidence on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, recorded against the Climate Change Act and other key national statutory and policy frameworks.[49]

Carbon emissions in Greater Norwich will continue to be monitored using district wide figures produced by Government on transport, domestic and industrial emissions. Our ambition is to reduce per capita emissions and thereby contribute to meeting the national target to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050[50], as well as helping to meet local targets, statements and plans[51]. Measures contained within the GNLP will enable further emissions reductions, continuing recent year-on-year trends.

Consultation Questions for Section 4 – The Delivery of Growth and Addressing Climate Change

  1. (51) Do you support, object, or have any comments relating to the approach to Housing set out in the Delivery Statement?
  2. (18) Do you support, object, or have any comments relating to the approach to Economic Development set out in the Delivery Statement?
  3. (30) Do you support, object, or have any comments relating to the approach to Infrastructure set out in the Delivery Statement?
  4. (61) Do you support, object, or have any comments relating to the Climate Change Statement?


[46] CIL has been in operation in Greater Norwich since 2011. It has helped to deliver a wide range of projects including transport, green infrastructure leisure and community facilities. Examples include CIL funding in 2018 providing improved green spaces, a new pedestrian bridge linking Bowthorpe to the Norwich Research Park, self-access technology improvements in 8 libraries and a new artificial grass pitch in Wymondham.

[48] Draft Autumn 2019 available here

[49] Local planning authorities should have regard to the following In relation to climate change policy:

  1. S. 19(1A) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004
  2. National Planning Policy Framework, including Chapter 14 on climate change
  3. Climate Change Act 2008 and footnote 48 of NPPF
  4. Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004
  5. Planning Practice Guidance
  6. Duty to Co-operate section 33A of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (link above)
  7. The monitoring obligations under s. 35 of the 2004 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (link above) and Regulation 35 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.

[51] Norfolk County Council has adopted a target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030 for council owned land and buildings and for travel. In addition, they will work towards carbon neutrality for the county, also by 2030.

Broadland District Council and South Norfolk Council are working on a joint Environmental Policy Statement and Action Plan. Norwich City Council are working on a new Carbon Management Plan and have adopted a vision document which commits to carbon neutrality by 2050. The GNLP will support achievement of any objectives or targets identified in adopted local strategies.

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