Friday, July 20, 2012
Council leaders have backed a move to put plans for up to 10,000 homes to the north-east of Norwich back in a blueprint for major growth.
A legal challenge forced council officers to look again at the joint core strategy – a blueprint for where 37,000 homes could be built in Norwich, parts of Broadland and parts of South Norfolk – between now and 2026.
A judicial review obtained by Salhouse campaigner Stephen Heard saw Mr Justice Ouseley rule that the councils behind the blueprint had not demonstrated why an area to the north east of Norwich was picked for up to 10,000 homes, ahead of alternative locations.
He told the councils, which make up the Greater Norwich Development Partnership (GNDP), to reassess the north-east growth triangle – which includes Rackheath, Old Catton, Spixworth and Thorpe St Andrew.
That reassessment saw three options for growth drawn up, which were presented to the GNDP board yesterday.
Option one was for the north-east growth triangle to remain the most appropriate place for the homes.
Option two was to limit development to inside the route of the planned northern distributor road around Norwich, while option three would disperse 2,400 of the new homes around the north west and north east of Broadland, with a further 4,600 being built in Hethersett and Cringleford.
But council leaders on the GNDP board yesterday agreed to take the recommendation by officers for homes to the north east of Norwich to their respective authorities.
Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “I’d suggest sufficient work has been done to give us the confidence to go with option one.”
John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said: “Although we did not show our workings out previously that has been put right and the first option turned out to be the best anyway.”
But, Dan Roper, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group at Broadland District Council, who was at the meeting, said afterwards: “For something which had been described as being finely balanced in the presentation, it was ridiculous that there was no discussion of the merits of option two.
“I hope this is not just nodded through at Broadland District Council, but that it gets full and attention and examination, rather than the 29 minutes it got at the GNDP.”