Will climate targets hit plans to build 50,000 homes in Norfolk?

Construction industry. Timber framework of house roof trusses with scaffold on a building being buil

Construction stock image - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ambitious new climate change targets from the UK government have cast doubt on plans to build 50,000 homes in Norfolk.  

On Tuesday the government unveiled plans to toughen targets on greenhouse gas emissions, with carbon dioxide to be cut by 78pc by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.  

Michael Rayner of the countryside charity Campaign to Protect Rural England Norfolk (CPRE) has argued the emissions targets would not fit in with the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP).  

The GNLP is a blueprint for where tens of thousands of homes could be built in Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk over the next two decades, with a focus on building in and around the city and along the A11.  

Map showing housing allocations in Greater Norwich

This map shows where housing would be allocated if the Greater Norwich Local Plan is approved. Pic: Greater Norwich Development Partnership. - Credit: Greater Norwich Development Partnership

“It's going to be very interesting to see how those emissions fit in with the greater Norwich local plan and whether that is taking climate into enough consideration,” Mr Rayner said.  

“The GNLP is proposing to have 22pc more houses than it is required to have by government targets, which seems completely crazy.”  

Even before the new 2035 target, the CPRE raised concerns about the plans, calling the plans to build 49,492 homes “unnecessarily high,” in a consultation response, arguing that up to 5,000 homes were potentially not needed.   

The CPRE also encouraged more development on brownfield urban sites over “unsustainable rural locations”.  

Michael Rayner, from CPRE Norfolk. Pic: CPRE Norfolk.

Michael Rayner, from CPRE Norfolk. Pic: CPRE Norfolk. - Credit: CPRE Norfolk

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Mr Rayner said having more houses than needed would contribute to emissions, and in rural locations, there is a double effect of more reliance on private cars and delivery vehicles.  

“They need to bring those housing targets down to what's necessary, rather than beyond what's necessary,” Mr Rayner said.  

“It has massive ramifications for our way of life, for how we all carry out our lives, it just seems crazy that they should be ploughing on with unnecessary housing targets at this time.”  

A spokesman for the GNLP said: “CPRE has made representations on the emerging Greater Norwich local plan.    

“These are currently being considered along with the many other representations that have been made.   

“All representations will be fully considered by the Councils before any decision is made about how to proceed with the plan.”  

The spokesman added that an inspector must be satisfied that it meets government regulations, including the new climate targets, to find the plan sound. 

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