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Blueprint over thousands of new Norfolk homes criticised by wildlife trust

PUBLISHED: 15:41 10 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:41 10 March 2020

Mike Jones, conservation officer at Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Pic: Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

Mike Jones, conservation officer at Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Pic: Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust

A charity which protects Norfolk’s wildlife says a blueprint for where thousands of new homes could be built does not do enough to help the environment and tackle climate change.

Shaun Vincent, chairman of the Greater Norwich Development Partnership. Pic: Archant Library.Shaun Vincent, chairman of the Greater Norwich Development Partnership. Pic: Archant Library.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust says the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) is not ambitious enough over environmental targets.

The draft plan, put together by Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk councils, with support from Norfolk County Council, is being consulted on.

It provides opportunities for about 44,500 new homes over the next 20 years, with the new blueprint putting forward sites for almost 8,000 new homes.

But Mike Jones, conservation officer at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, said the plan does not do enough to protect the environment.

Potential sites in the draft plan include 1,200 homes at the former Colman’s site in Norwich, 1,200 homes near White House Farm in Sprowston, some 1,400 homes on land between Fir Covert Road and Reepham Road near Thorpe Marriott. Photo: Broadland District Council, Norwich City Council, South Norfolk District CouncilPotential sites in the draft plan include 1,200 homes at the former Colman’s site in Norwich, 1,200 homes near White House Farm in Sprowston, some 1,400 homes on land between Fir Covert Road and Reepham Road near Thorpe Marriott. Photo: Broadland District Council, Norwich City Council, South Norfolk District Council

He said: 'There is an opportunity for the local plan to be an exemplar in delivering nature-based solutions for the wildlife and climate emergencies that we face.

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'While we support the progress made with energy efficiency and renewables targets in the draft plan, we have seen inspirational examples set in local plans made by other UK cities that show the true potential the GNLP could have for wildlife and the climate.'

He highlighted how Reading Borough Council has a zero carbon target for all new major housing proposals, while Southampton City Council has targets for green features in new developments.

Shaun Vincent, chairman of the Greater Norwich Development Partnership, said: 'The plan is out to consultation until March 16 and we welcome all comments including those from Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

'The environmental approach set out within the plan is considered to be ambitious and aimed at delivering high quality development.

'However, I think it's fair to acknowledge that the national policy agenda on environmental issues is moving rapidly, especially in the light of the recent court decision on Heathrow expansion.

'The GNDP will want to reflect further on the national and local approach to addressing climate change alongside considering the representations made on the plan, before determining the policies to be submitted to the government's inspector at the start of next year.'

People can have their say on the plan at www.gnlp.org.uk

MORE: Where thousands of homes could be built in and around Norwich


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