Fresh call for 'green wedges' to protect countryside around Norwich

The CPRE's proposals for green wedges. Pic: CPRE Norfolk.

The CPRE's proposals for green wedges. Pic: CPRE Norfolk. - Credit: CPRE Norfolk

A fresh call has been made for a green belt to be created for Norwich, to protect the countryside from development.

The Norfolk branch of countryside charity The Campaign to Protect Rural England had previously called for the creation of ‘green wedges’, backed by a petition signed by nearly 2,300 people.

And, with consultation now under way over a blueprint for where thousands of homes could be built by 2038, the charity has said those proposals should be included.

CPRE Norfolk wants 'green wedges' to help protect the character of Norwich. Picture: Mike Page

CPRE Norfolk wants 'green wedges' to help protect the character of Norwich. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

Government Green Belt policy was established in 1955, primarily to stop urban sprawl.

It does not forbid development, but aims to preserve the character of historic towns and assist urban regeneration.

But, unlike many cities, such as Cambridge, Norwich does not have a green belt.

The CPRE had pushed for one to be included in the Greater Norwich Local Plan, which will determine where almost 50,000 homes will be built in Norwich, South Norfolk and Broadland.

However, officers said they were not convinced a green belt for Norwich was justifiable.

But the CPRE is urging people responding to the consultation over the local plan to express support for its vision of 'green wedges' following existing green corridors, such as river valleys, railway lines and major footpaths and cycleways.

Chris Dady, chairman of CPRE Norfolk. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Chris Dady, chairman of CPRE Norfolk. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

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Chris Dady, CPRE Norfolk chairman, said: "‘As our local authorities begin the process of reviewing the adopted local plans for Norwich and its surrounding districts, with the likelihood that they will have to accommodate even more growth beyond 2026, it is now more urgent than ever that Norwich protects its green corridors for people and wildlife for the future.

"A green belt, in the form of green wedges, is the way to achieve this long-term protection while not standing in the way of future development, and giving the opportunity for more links between houses and the countryside."

The draft plan is available for comment from now until March 15.

The representations made will then be considered by a government appointed inspector at the examination of the plan. The examination is planned for later this year.

People can have their say at www.GNLP.org.uk

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