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A New Year’s message from the Chair of CPRE Norfolk

Chris Dady, Chair
By Chris Dady, Chair
2nd January 2024

2023 flew by, seeing us involved in many campaigns and planning issues. We had success in helping moderate and even prevent some planning applications proceeding where they were not in the local community, or rural Norfolk’s best interests.

We managed to moderate the excessive housing targets in the Greater Norwich Local Plan through the planning inspection process, a major win.

But that does not mean we are trying to stop houses being built.

The truth of the matter is that the housing crisis is only in particular sectors such as first-time purchases and social housing. We will continue to campaign in 2024 for focus on these areas.

Our other campaign plans for 2024 include –
  • Bringing practical help to local communities about how they and landowners can work together to manage local flood risks, a growing issue as our climate changes.
  • The proposal for a rash of new pylons will remain a campaign priority, and we are already working with Suffolk and Essex CPRE branches to seek better solutions.
  • We will continue to campaign with other environmental organisations against the North Western Link Road. We know a solution is required and have set out how it can be achieved without the mass environmental destruction or the huge costs involved by the current proposal.
  • Green energy and making houses fit for purpose are two key areas where we can see reductions in fossil fuel consumption. Through our campaigns such as rooftop solar, grants to improve insulation and local energy grids, we will work to inform the national debate (and politicians!).

In Norfolk we are very fortunate with our beautiful countryside. This needs to be protected and available to all of us, which means making sure it is accessible not just by car. We must allow visitors to enjoy it regardless of whether they need any mobility or other aids to assist their experience. The benefits of being able to spend time and walk in nature are proven to be hugely beneficial, and councils must start to plan accordingly.

We can all make New Year’s resolutions to help mitigate the effects of climate change, reduce food waste and use Norfolk’s natural resources to improve our own health. With a potential general election looming, we should ask each of our candidates about the actions they will actually take, both locally and nationally, on all these issues. We will be publishing our own manifesto wishes on our Norfolk website, and you can already see more about this on the national CPRE webpages.

Important for me personally in 2024 will be continuing to cut food waste, not flying and encouraging wildlife in my garden. I will be lobbying my local election candidates for real change to support rural communities.

CPRE Norfolk will be pressing to make Norfolk a leader in natural climate change mitigation, and promote the green energy revolution in such a way that we protect our precious landscapes, environment and dark skies.

We are always looking for new volunteers and trustees and would love to hear from you if you feel you can give some time. Volunteering is a great way to gain personal benefits and is very rewarding.

I wish you all the best for a happy and peaceful 2024 and thank you for your support.

Chris Dady
CPRE Norfolk

Family walking through woods with dog dappled sunlight
Mitchell Orr/Unsplash