Broadland Council Meeting Tonight - The Eco town and its effect on Taverham

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.


Anonymous said...

It will be very interesting to read your report from the meeting.

One of the justifications for the NDR/Northern bypass is that it is needed for the Rackheath "Eco-" town. What is your view on this? Is it right for a so-called environmentally friendly development to require a dual carriageway through the green land north of Norwich?

What is the Lib Dem view on the northern bypass? Bearing in mind the "last 1/4" across the Wensum valley is a protected area, the alternatives are a road much further out (at even greater cost) or a change of thinking and an investment of this money in sustainable transport strategies. Which do you stand for?

Norfolk Blogger said...

The eco town cannot be bult or be in any way sustainable without extra infrastructure going in. But by the same token, anyone wanting to get to the Eco town (and the associated business development) from the West (the midlands, Kings Lynn, etc) will be encouraged to travel through the parishes of Costessey, Ringland, Taverham, Drayton, Felthorpe, Stratton Strawless and Horsford to get to the eco town. This will cause traffic levels to rise by 65% on some roads in Taverham, according to Norfolk County Council's own figures.

So an eco town will prove to be disastrous for the communities I have mentioned without even considering the effect on Rackheath, Salhouse and Wroxham.

My view on the NDR is that it needs to go all the way to the A1067 at the very least, but ultimately it has to join the A47 at both ends. There may be environmental considerations, but if a whole area to the North West of Norwich is to suffer extreme traffic problems on a permanent basis because of the unfinished NDR, then those people should have their environmental concerns considered too.

Whilst the Tories seem to think that the part NDR is better than nothing, the Norfolk County Council figures suggest that for Taverham and Drayton, that will deinitely not be the case.

Dan said...

It will go to the A1067 but not cross the Wensum Valley to the A47 but it is an environmentally sensitive area.

So what exactly is the position of the LibDems on the road?

Norfolk Blogger said...

It will not go to the A1067 as the funding has only been secured to the Airport (A140).

Without it being a clear A47 to A47 link, it serves little purpose and would be detrimental to our area, so I oppose the plans as they stand.

I don't speak for the Lib Dems on this, but I think I have made my position clear.

James Mackenzie said...

It's so depressing to see regular housebuilding misleadingly described as "eco" - it makes people suspicious of genuinely green developments.

Same problem as Labour's "green taxes", which everyone assumes actual Greens support, irrespective of their merits.

Dan said...

The planning will be made for it to go to the A1067 with the County Council underwritting the costs.

All very well stating "I don't speak for the Lib Dems on this" but aren't you a Libdem candidate??

So are you saying you disagree with Libdem policy on something as fundamental as this?

Norfolk Blogger said...

I don't know what party makes a candidate in a local election the official party spokesman on a vital and important issue like the NDR.

Presumably the Tories Dan ?

Anonymous said...

So LibDems are for the full road? Have you considered the cost? Look at http://www.highways.gov.uk/aboutus/documents/crs_478176_6march_spreadsheet.pdf
and you will see that most road schemes come in well over budget. With the central government funding likely to be fixed (or even cut), can you guess how the rest will be funded? Yes - the people of Norfolk in our council tax (or cuts in services).

..and for what, increased traffic and more problems..no thanks!

Anonymous said...

It has to be all or nothing surely ? Half a bypass is similar to having half a roof. Pointless.