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Delay means public must wait to have say over where thousands of homes could be built

PUBLISHED: 16:09 26 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:25 26 September 2019

A blueprint for where thousands of homes would be built is yet to be made public. Picture: James Bass

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A blueprint for where thousands of homes would be built is yet to be made public. Picture: James Bass .

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2005

People will have to wait longer to get a say on where thousands of homes could potentially be built in and around Norwich - because publication of a key blueprint has been put on hold.

Shaun Vincent, leader of Broadland District Council. Pic: Broadland District Council.Shaun Vincent, leader of Broadland District Council. Pic: Broadland District Council.

Public consultation over the draft version of the Greater Norwich Local Plan - a blueprint which would outline where homes and jobs could be created in Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk - had been due to start next month.

But councillors have deemed that the document is not good enough to be shared with the public yet and have ordered officers to do further work.

Officers have been given until January to make changes to the document, before it is presented to the public to have their say, including over where homes should be built.

The decision to delay was taken by the Greater Norwich Development Partnership - made up of representatives from Norwich City Council, South Norfolk Council, Broadland District Council and Norfolk County Council - today.

When the plan was initially being put together, the target was for an extra 7,200 homes - with landowners and other parties invited to submit possible sites for the homes.

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But, at a meeting of the Greater Norwich Development Partnership yesterday, partnership chairman and Broadland council leader Shaun Vincent said the latest version of the document had a figure of 8,500 to 8,900.

He said that was a concern and said he wanted to see more work done, particularly around assessments of the sites.

South Norfolk councillor Lisa Neal proposed delaying until January to allow further work to be done.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, had said City Hall would have happy to push ahead with consultation in October, but conceded further time could improve the document.

There have been significant differences between the councils over the best way forward for the proposals, much of which has hinged on the spread of the homes across the area.

Prior to today's meeting there had been speculation that the issue could end up being discussed behind closed doors, because of the reluctance to reveal the draft plan yet.

However, that did not transpire and the whole of the meeting was held in public.

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