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Broadland growth consultation postponed

PUBLISHED: 07:30 24 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:30 01 July 2010

Rackheath and Salhouse

Rackheath and Salhouse

Kim Briscoe

Families living in Broadland will have to wait for their chance to have a say on plans for massive growth after a consultation and series of exhibitions were postponed.

Families living in Broadland will have to wait for their chance to have a say on plans for massive growth after a consultation and series of exhibitions were postponed.

The entire Greater Norwich area is to get at least 22,000 additional homes and 35,000 new jobs by 2026 and Broadland District Council had planned a series of public exhibitions and consultations on plans for growth in its area to take place in during July.

However, the council has decided to postpone the consultation due to current uncertainties surrounding the new coalition government's planning policies and funding constraints.

The previous government's growth and housing targets led to Thorpe St Andrew, Old Catton, Sprowston and Rackheath being earmarked for a large proportion of new development, as well as further 3,000 homes within the rest of Broadland.

Of these, 2,000 are intended to be within the parishes closest to Norwich, with the remaining 1,000 in the market towns and smaller villages.

The consultation had been arranged to outline suggested development sites and to ask members of the public for their views.

Councillor Andrew Proctor, portfolio holder for planning policy and conservation, said: “Since May 6 the new government has made its mark in setting out changes to planning policy through its intention to abolish the top down targets for housing in the Regional Spatial Strategies.

“In addition, it has made an absolute commitment to reducing the country's debt which in a changing and challenging financial climate will mean that significantly less public money is likely to be available to leverage the infrastructure and facilities needed to underpin growth on the scale previously envisaged. That combination of changes means that Broadland District Council needs to take stock of its position.”

Broadland District Council still says it wants to see growth in the local economy over time and has already received £10.2m of funding towards the Rackheath eco-community development which it will still be working towards.

Mr Proctor said: “We will continue to ensure this is used to work in partnership to deliver the 'exemplar project' to provide much needed affordable housing and demonstrate how high environmental standards can deliver a low carbon development that contributes to a high quality of life for the community by ensuring that their future fuel supplies are sustainable, energy bills lower and their environment protected. Other major projects that we will continue to work on include retro fitting of existing homes to bring them up to more efficient energy standards and improving public transport.”

The council has also pledged to continue working towards completing its Joint Core Strategy plan for growth in the Greater Norwich area, along with Norwich City, South Norfolk and Norfolk County Councils.

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