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It is not too late to save the countryside – CPRE Alliance members call for review of housing targets

Almost 30 organisations – representing parish councils, interest groups and concerned residents – have joined countryside campaigners CPRE Norfolk to protest against the 37,000 new houses planned for the Greater Norwich Area, and are demanding that local councils review their targets.
A strongly worded letter sent today to key figures in councils forming the Greater Norwich Development Partnership, asks for an immediate review of the Joint Core Strategy housing targets.  The economic climate over the past few years has significantly lowered demand for housing and as such, the quantity of land allocated for development is excessive to meet needs in the short to medium term and housing targets should therefore be reduced.
The Alliance also wants the development of brownfield sites to be prioritised and restrictions put in place to slow down the release of greenfield sites.
David Hook, CPRE Norfolk’s Alliance spokesman explains; “CPRE Norfolk has consistently called for a reduction in local housing targets because the 37,000 new houses planned for the GNDP area threaten our core objectives of protecting and enhancing the rural environment. The high level of development envisaged, much of it on greenfield sites, will lead to a severe erosion of the features that make the countryside surrounding Norwich so special. Rural areas will be suburbanised and tranquillity will diminish as population density, traffic congestion, light and noise pollution increase.”
A number of local community campaign groups have joined CPRE Norfolk to express their concerns about the impact that this level of development will have on the Greater Norwich Area. These groups together with several parish councils and other organisations have entered into an Alliance with CPRE Norfolk with the aim of securing a substantial reduction in the housing targets. The Alliance is growing almost daily and already includes an impressive line up including:
Colney Parish Meeting
Caistor St Edmund Parish Council
Great & Little Plumstead Parish Council
Framingham Earl Parish Council
Stoke Holy Cross Parish Council
Trowse with Newton Parish Council
Weston Longville Parish Council
Friends of Thorpe Woodlands
Hethersett Our Way
Norfolk Anglers Conservation Association
Norfolk Association of Architects
Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group (NNTAG)
Realistic Reepham
Sprowston and Old Catton Residents Against Beyond Green
Stop Norwich Urbanisation (SNUB)
Wymondham Asks Why
Kettlestone Parish Council
Hillington Parish Council
Hainford Parish Council
Hethersett Parish Council
Salhouse Parish Council
Marlingford with Colton Parish Council
Wroxham Parish Council
Blofield Parish Council
Rackheath Parish Council
Issues Managers
and of course CPRE / Norfolk
Parish councils or local action groups wishing to join the CPRE Norfolk Alliance should contact David Hook on 01508 498187.  Concerned individuals can also support the campaign against these housing targets by making a donation and/or becoming a member of CPRE Norfolk.  Visit the CPRE Norfolk website www.cprenorfolk.org.uk, or call 01603 761660, for more information.
Read the full version of CPRE Norfolk Alliance on Housing Letter, 25 January 2013.

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