Plan for thousands of Norwich homes criticised by campaigners

Local councils have been criticised over their 'plan B' for thousands of new homes around Norwich should funding for a northern bypass be scrapped.

The Greater Norwich Development Partnership (GNDP) – made up of Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council, South Norfolk Council, Broadland District Council and the Broads Authority – developed a joint core strategy (JCS) plan for more than 30,000 jobs and homes, which hinged on a new bypass for the city.

But plans for the Northern Distributor Road (NDR) could be shelved as part of plans by Norfolk County Council to save �155m.

An inspector tasked to look into the JCS asked the GNDP last month to develop a 'plan B' scheme should the road not be granted funding.

At a meeting yesterday at the King Centre in Norwich the plan was unveiled, including 1,600 new homes and a further 200 as part of an exemplar project at Rackheath.

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These homes will be in addition to a further 1,400 which have been granted permission but have yet to be built.

Although these could be constructed without the NDR it would require improvements to the Postwick junction where the A47 and A140 meet.

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Also part of plan B would be development of 25ha of land near to Broadland Business Park for commercial use.

But Peter Lanyon, of campaign group Stop Norwich Urbanisation (SNUB) said that the plan was 'totally incomprehensible' for members of the public and should be laid out in simplified terms.

Ian Shepherd of the Campaign to Protect Rural England also criticised the scheme for failing to take the possibility of the NDR not being built seriously enough.

He said:'The GNDP doesn't admit to the fact that possibly the NDR might not happen. There's no firmed-up plan B. We've only got a plan A still.

'If the NDR goes down it's not just what's happening in the north east, it might have a knock-on effect in other areas as well,' he added.

But Phil Kirby of the GNDP defended the document.

He said: 'The JCS sets out an ambition for growth based on the infrastructure most likely to be available to support that growth in the future.

'Plan B describes how far we could go if only parts of that infrastructure were to be realised.

'It's a difficult balancing act, but if some people feel the plan is too specific and restrictive and others think it's too flexible, we have probably got the balance about right.'

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