Blofield Parish Council’s response to the Greater Norwich Local Plan

The Greater Norwich Local Plan is now out for consultation until 22nd March 2018 on potential sites in the Greater Norwich area for housing growth.  As part of this process a call for sites has identified possible areas for further housing developments, which are listed on the consultation page for GNLP – Broadland Area.
At this point, no decisions have been made as to where additional housing will go.  The responses to the consultation and other evidence will help shape those decisions.

For more information about the Greater Norwich Local Plan, please visit the GNLP website http://www.gnlp.org.uk/

We strongly urge you to respond to the consultation. 

The Parish Council has today made the following response to the consultation: –

After much thought and consideration Blofield Parish Council would like to make the following response to the proposals contained in the Greater Norwich Local Plan: –

The Parish Council strongly objects to the Urban Concentration and Transport Corridor options.

Blofield Parish Council fully supports the Cambridge-Norwich Tech Corridor option. This option appears to put housing development where commercial development and employment growth is foreseen and would follow good communication links.

The Transport Corridor option will simply encourage over-development of villages along the main roads and the Urban Concentration risks sprawl and loss of separation between villages and between the city and villages.

Blofield and neighbouring parishes have already seen a large number of developments built or approved. The local infrastructure cannot cope with what is happening now and the council has specific concerns about:

• The capacity of the access to the A47 (Cucumber Lane roundabout). The existing planning consents have taken forecast flows to the limit of the capacity.
• The provision of essential local services including healthcare and schools. The existing developments have overloaded the services and there is no capacity to cope with the impact of the housing which is being built let alone the significant additional houses that have planning permission. There are no credible proposals to improve the situation.
• The capacity of the Postwick Hub if large housing developments occur in the locality: were these housing proposals factored into the traffic flow forecasts when the junction was designed? We already have tailbacks onto the A47 from the slip road that are as bad as before the improvements to the ‘hub’; significant additional flows through that junction as a result of housing growth and the NDR won’t improve the problem.
• Loss of Grade 1 or 2 agricultural land at a time when there is concern post-Brexit about food security.
• The ability of the water supply and treatment infrastructure to service the proposed housing developments in and near the parishes.

The current Local Plan allocated ‘about’ 50 houses to Blofield itself and ‘about’ 25 to Blofield Heath giving the parish of Blofield growth of, say, 75 – 100. The actual growth under the current Local Plan will be about 500 houses – which is 500% of the planned number, casts serious doubt on the utility and effectiveness of Local Plans, and is crippling local services.

Given the extent of development experienced under the current Local Plan the Parish Council opposes all the proposed sites within the parish put forward in the GNLP: the parish needs time to absorb the current developments and for the infrastructure issues to be addressed by bodies such as NCC.