Norfolk homes plan sparks election plea

Families living in villages where thousands of new homes are set to be built over the next 15 years are being urged to quiz their local election candidates over their stance on development.

Last month the Joint Core Strategy, a blueprint for where new homes will be built in and around Norwich, was deemed sound by a planning inspector and was adopted by Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk councils.

But countryside campaigning organisation the Campaign to Protect Rural England has delivered 15,000 leaflets to people in the areas those homes are earmarked for – places such as Long Stratton, Wymondham, Hethersett, Salhouse, Blofield and Rackheath.

The leaflet urges people to ask their local election candidates for their views on the scale of that development before deciding who to vote for on Thursday.

David Hook, campaign co-ordinator for the Norfolk branch of the CPRE, said 'The May 5 elections are timely as they will give residents the chance to quiz district and parish council candidates about their attitudes to these high levels of housing and to vote for those who, if elected, are prepared to campaign for a lowering of the targets.

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'We are encouraging all residents to question candidates on the doorstep. Do they support Long Stratton expanding to the size of Diss? Do they support 10,000 homes to the north east of Norwich?

'It is time candidates took the views of local people seriously or risk losing their vote.'

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The campaign group believes that such a high level of growth will have a severe negative impact on the rural nature of the area surrounding Norwich, but council leaders have said it is vital to provide homes and jobs for the area's rapidly increasing population.

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