5 January 2018
As the consultation is launched on a new Greater Norwich Local Plan, Green Party councillors are urging council leaders to learn from past failures and develop a plan that puts people’s health and quality of life first.
The new plan will cover Norwich, South Norfolk and Broadland, and will replace the existing Joint Core Strategy (JCS). It will decide how land in the area should be used, as well as establishing policies on issues such as air quality, transport and water management.
Green Party councillor Denise Carlo says the creation of a new plan offers an opportunity to focus on the needs of communities and the public health emergencies of air pollution and climate change.
“The Joint Core Strategy has failed,” she says. “In the last few years we have seen under-delivery of affordable housing and major loss of countryside and urban green spaces, with key brownfield sites like the Deal Ground and Anglia Square remaining undeveloped while playing fields and agricultural land are built on.”
Councillor Carlo also pointed out that despite JCS policies stating that a new ‘Bus Rapid Transit’ network would be developed and reliance on cars would be reduced, these results have not materialised. Instead, carbon emissions from transport in South Norfolk and Broadland are actually rising (1), while parts of Norwich suffer from illegal levels of air pollution. (2)
“All the policies in the JCS to create sustainable communities have fallen by the wayside,” she said. “The new document now out for consultation does not acknowledge this failure, and is written as if ‘business as usual’ will do just fine.
“It does not even begin to address the reality of climate change and the scale of the action required to meet our legal obligations on carbon emissions and deal with the huge threats we face.
“The Green Party wants to see health and wellbeing at the heart of this plan. That means action on the climate crisis. It means affordable, energy efficient housing, in locations close to jobs and services; safe streets and properly funded public transport; and protection for nature and green spaces.
“I would urge everyone to get involved, respond to the consultation and show that people do care about these issues.”
The consultation on the draft Greater Norwich Local Plan runs from 8th January until 15th March.
1. See data tables for Local and Regional Carbon Dioxide Emissions Estimates for 2005 – 2015 for the UK compiled by the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory.
The figures for South Norfolk showed a sharp increase in KT CO2 in 2015, with levels reverting back to 2009 emissions.
2. According to the latest published figures, from 2015. https://www.norwich.gov.uk/downloads/file/3685/2016_air_quailty_annual_status_report