The Greater Norwich Local Plan

Written by Brian Frith on .

Greater Norwich Local Plan

NEW! Click here to read the comments which have been submitted by Forncett Parish Council (Added 16/03/18)

All of what follows is a summary gleaned from the web-site and a meeting for Parish Council reps. Hopefully correct ... but no guarantees! The GNLP team have recently said 'we are currently working on making some improvements to the website' - so some details of how to locate items may be subject to change.

Over recent years we have had various South Norfolk Development Plans. This Greater Norwich Local Plan encompasses Broadland, South Norfolk, Norwich City (in collaboration with Norfolk County Council) and, if adopted, will supersede all individual plans and last until 2036.

Everything you need to know at www.gnlp.org.uk ... but you might need patience to find your way around the site ... so read on!

Various 'Roadshows' are being held throughout the area: the one at South Norfolk Council Offices is Thursday 22nd February 10.30 am to 4.30 pm

Public consultation on 'Regulation 18' - the 'juicy bit' about development priorities, preferred sites etc - finishes on Thursday 15th March (NOW EXTENDED TO THURSDAY 22nd MARCH). Express your views online (preferred) or phone 01603 306603 to get a 'paper' response form. In summer 2019 at 'Regulation 19' draft plan will be produced. If approved by the District Councils, the government inspector and the Government it should become 'the plan' in late 2020.

What's it all about?

The key feature is an identified demand for 43,000 extra homes in that period. However sites for nearly 36,000 have been identified so another 7,200 are needed. Coupled with this are plans for employment areas ... alongside environmental issues, infrastructure, sustainability etc.

The big questions:

Should development be concentrated along main transport routes .. or particularly the A11 corridor .. or dispersed in 'larger towns' or thinly spread in small towns / villages .. or combinations of these? Or completely new settlements? (e.g. one proposal around Hethel)

The Forncett Questions:

Some sites have been proposed for development in earlier plans: some of these are proposed for the GNLP. Some new ones are proposed. There is still the opportunity for new sites to be proposed. Overall the number of sites proposed (in excess of 600) far outweighs the number of sites needed to provide 7,200 homes.

The documents listing the sites, with maps and details of 'suitability appraisals' are huge; you can see them at the Roadshows but to help those who want to look online here are some pointers:

Go to www.gnlp.org.uk

In the top right is a link to 'Important Downloads'. That lists two documents which can be downloaded here:  'Growth Options' and 'Site Proposals'. The whole documents are very large - too big to be downloaded to the 'forncett.info' website - so the parts relevant to Forncett / Tacolneston have been extracted to produce much smaller files.

In the 'Growth Options' document, there are many, many pages describing the options.   About page 150 is a table showing villages and a 'tick list' to decide whether a village is a 'Service Village' or 'Other village'. Forncett (St Peter and St Mary) is listed: we have already enquired and this refers to the parts of Forncett around the School, Low Road, Station Road etc. Later in the list is Tacolneston: in some parts of the report this says it includes 'Forncett End'. We will press for this to be made clear in all sections.  The 'tick list' for Forncett and Tacolneston has been extracted from the main document and can be downloaded here

The 'Site Proposals' document Section 5.33 (page 198) lists proposals for all of Forncett.   Section 5.76 (page 298) is titled Tacolneston and Forncett End ... but doesn't list Forncett End sites, although it does talk about them in the description! Please note: other sites may be added by owners over the next few months. The site proposals lists for Forncett and Tacolneston have been extracted and can be downloaded here.

Maps of the sites are available by clicking the tab 'Growth Options' on the main GNLP page: scroll past the six 'Options' maps and you'll find a list of villages / towns. In the 'South Norfolk' section is 'Forncett' and 'Tacolneston' (which this time does includes bits of Forncett End). There's an overall map of the areas and then detailed maps of each proposed site ... but read on. The maps of sites which have been proposed for Forncett can be downloaded here.

All sites have undergone a preliminary 'Suitability Assessment'. Please note that these assessments are not binding and comments are welcome. Also, remember that other sites could be added later. These assessments are in the 'Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment' (HELAA) document (only 1100 + pages!) and you'll find the detailed appraisal of the viability of each site. This is quite well hidden: go to 'Have Your Say', scroll down to Item 4 (Evidence Base) and there is the link to the HELAA. The Suitability Assessments for the Forncett and Tacolneston proposed sites are available here.

It's being made clear that this is a consultation stage. You don't have to answer all questions in the consultation - you can respond to the 'big issues' or the detailed site proposals or a mixture.

The Parish Council had a brief discussion at the meeting on January 18th but the GNLP will be a major feature of the agenda at the next meeting (Thursday February 15th, 7.30 pm at the Village Hall). We would be pleased to see you if you want to hear more and contribute to our discussion - but individual responses can only be made via the web-site or on the paper response sheet (from 01603 306603).

If you have comments or spot any errors in this article, please contact me at Brian Frith