Call for Green Belt around Norwich backed by more than a thousand people
- Credit: citizenside.com
A petition calling for countryside around Norwich to be protected from development through the creation of a Green Belt has passed 1,000 signatures - and been lodged with council bosses.
The Norfolk branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) launched a 'Green Belt for Norwich' petition last year.A green belt does not forbid development, but aims to preserve the character of historic towns and help urban regeneration.
Members of CPRE Norfolk said the risk of development was greater than ever as work progressed on the Northern Distributor Road from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 north of Taverham.
With a thousand people having added their signatures to the call for a Green Belt designation, it has now been delivered to Norwich City Council, Broadland District Council, South Norfolk Council, Norfolk County Council and all eight Norfolk MPs.
Christopher Dady, CPRE Norfolk chairman, said: 'Most people are astonished to learn that Norwich has no green belt to protect it and the damage that this lack is causing is evident all around us.
'Our position is that where housing is genuinely needed, brownfield sites should always be developed first to minimise damage to our precious, irreplaceable countryside.
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'Brownfield sites almost always come with nearby existing infrastructure which make them far more convenient places to live and work.
'Now that all local authorities are being compelled to undertake brownfield site surveys over the next year, we are hopeful this information will be more readily taken up and used to supply more sustainable, affordable housing in places where people actually want to live and work.'
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However, John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said: 'There is already substantial protection in place on the southern bypass area.
'That protection has been in place for 20 years and three or four years ago it was strengthened.
'That included it going further down the Watton Road and in protecting the vista as the train line approaches Norwich.'
The petition is here.