I shall be attending my second Broadland Council meeting in two weeks tonight as an ordinary member of the public (which is ironically the same number of meetings that the former Conservative councillor for Taverham North managed in a whole year) when they discuss the Rackheath "Eco" town tonight.
The whole concept of the Edo Town is flawed on many different levels. Firstly, the standard of ecofriendliness required for building the houses is a lower standard than those standards expect of all new homes by 2016, and by 2016 none of the new houses will be built. So in effect the government has dumped 4000 new homes on prime farmland which will not be built to a higher standard than any other house in Norfolk or the UK.
Then there is the wider issue of the problems this eco town will have on neighbouring villages and those further afield.
Rackheath is to be on the NDR (Northern Distributor Road), which was first mooted as a bypass, but now falls well short of that and will stop at Norwich Airport, leaving Drayton, Taverham, Thorpe Marriott, Costessey and Ringland as the favoured alternative routes to get to the Southern bypass. The proposal to build 4000 extra homes (and further business developments) on this land means thousands of extra vehicle movements which will inevitably affect this part of the world too.
As it is, the Tory Council voted last week to hand executive powers to the Tory controlled cabinet at Broadland to allow them to make decisions affecting the eco town with little or no reference back to the whole council and opposition councillors, effectively writing a blank cheque to do as they please.
With people from the SNUB (Stop Norwich UrBanisation) group who oppose the eco town attending tonight's meeting it may put pressure on the Tories who are seemingly unable to see any problems with the eco town or the NDR.
I will report back on the meeting.