Have your say on homes plans

Residents will get their say on plans for new homes in south Norfolk after it emerged that almost 900 sites have already been put forward.A planning inspector is currently reviewing Greater Norwich Development Partnership proposals for at least 36,000 homes in and around the city, which could see the construction of about 10,500 in the south Norfolk district.

Residents will get their say on plans for new homes in south Norfolk after it emerged that almost 900 sites have already been put forward.

A planning inspector is currently reviewing Greater Norwich Development Partnership proposals for at least 36,000 homes in and around the city, which could see the construction of about 10,500 in the south Norfolk district.

Now the district council has begun the process of allowing local residents to comment on the site specifics of the scheme after landowners, developers, and parish councils suggested 888 locations for new housing, employment, retail and open space.

The Joint Core Strategy (JCS) document currently earmarks 1,800 new homes in Long Stratton, which could help fund a long-awaited bypass, and 2,200 in Wymondham by 2026.


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However, the scheme has been cast into doubt by the new coalition government, which has signalled plans to abolish Regional Spatial Strategies.

South Norfolk Council's cabinet approved on Monday the start of a new public consultation later this summer, which will allow residents to air their views on every suggested site.

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They will also be asked their opinion on dedicated area action plans for Wymondham, Long Stratton, the Norwich Research Park, and land south of Park Road in Diss.

The consultation comes despite the JCS not being confirmed by a planning inspector, which is not expected until early next year. Derek Blake, South Norfolk cabinet member for planning, housing and the built environment said none of the suggested sites were set in stone.

'This consultation will be an opportunity for the community to comment on where development might go, based on what we know now from the expressions of interest we and others have had.'

'When the process is completed, it will send a message that there is no room for speculative applications for huge developments in our market towns or in the green spaces between them. We don't want them, and nor does our community, and the community matters.'

Mr Blake added: 'The world of planning and housing is in total flux with the coalition government preparing what it is calling revolutionary change. Whatever we do next, we have to be prepared for that too.'

Residents will also be able to comment on parish development boundary changes and suggest alternative sites for new housing and business opportunities.

The area action plans would see the allocation of an extra 55ha of land for specialist science park uses at the world class Norwich Research Park and the redevelopment of land off Park Road, Diss, to include new homes, shops, businesses and new road layout.

John Fuller, council leader, said the local authority needed to 'press on' with the process because its last Local Plan expired in 2006. However, the public consultation needed to reflect a change in national policies.

New government guidelines could change the specific number of homes earmarked for the district under the Greater Norwich Development Partnership's Joint Core Strategy, said Mr Fuller.

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