Draft Greater Norwich Local Plan – Part 1 The Strategy

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Draft Greater Norwich Local Plan – Part 1 The Strategy

Question 45. Do you support or object or wish to comment on the overall approach for the village clusters? Please identify particular issues

Representation ID: 20516

Received: 05/03/2020

Respondent: Brockdish & Thorpe Abbotts Parish Council

Representation:

Despite extensive consultation on the GNLP South Norfolk District Council (SNDC) has, at the very last minute, decided to embark on a “separate village cluster housing site allocation plan”. It is looking for a minimum of 1200 sites. This wildly exceeds the statement at the SNDC presentation that the GNLP seeks 9% of 7840 (=705 sites) in village clusters for the whole of the GNLP area. There is no explanation or justification offered for this plan or the quantity of housing.

SNDC has informed the Parish Council that the village cluster idea arises from urban areas stating that “rural areas should take their share”. This appears therefore as a purely political move. This view is confirmed by the fact that no planning justification has been advanced by SNDC. The other worrying aspect is that the initiative appears to be handed to landowners and builders to identify sites.

If the cluster exercise is to have any credibility it must contain a number of features:
(a) there must be some reasoning underlying the quantity of housing sites being sought.
(b) there must be a planning rationale for identifying clusters setting out how they will work together.
(c) there must be a set of criteria relating to suitability for development. These to include how they will meet local housing need, proof of sustainability relating to transport etc, provision of infrastructure, availability of services such as schools and doctors, and environmental enhancement.
(d) there must be a process of community consultation.

Brockdish and Thorpe Abbotts Parish Council is not against development but is very concerned that it must be justified and properly planned. The present plan does not meet that requirement.

Full text:

Village Cluster Statement - Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP)
Despite extensive consultation on the GNLP South Norfolk District Council (SNDC) has, at the very last minute, decided to embark on a “separate village cluster housing site allocation plan”. It is looking for a minimum of 1200 sites. This wildly exceeds the statement at the SNDC presentation that the GNLP seeks 9% of 7840 (=705 sites) in village clusters for the whole of the GNLP area. There is no explanation or justification offered for this plan or the quantity of housing.

SNDC has informed the Parish Council that the village cluster idea arises from urban areas stating that “rural areas should take their share”. This appears therefore as a purely political move. This view is confirmed by the fact that no planning justification has been advanced by SNDC. The other worrying aspect is that the initiative appears to be handed to landowners and builders to identify sites.

If the cluster exercise is to have any credibility it must contain a number of features:
(a) there must be some reasoning underlying the quantity of housing sites being sought.
(b) there must be a planning rationale for identifying clusters setting out how they will work together.
(c) there must be a set of criteria relating to suitability for development. These to include how they will meet local housing need, proof of sustainability relating to transport etc, provision of infrastructure, availability of services such as schools and doctors, and environmental enhancement.
(d) there must be a process of community consultation.

Brockdish and Thorpe Abbotts Parish Council is not against development but is very concerned that it must be justified and properly planned. The present plan does not meet that requirement.

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