Consultations

On this page you will find the response of the Yare Valley Society to major consultations on Local Plans and Planning applications

Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) Consultation 29 January-16 March 2020 (Draft Strategy and Site Allocations)

We now have another chance to respond to a consultation on the GNLP.

Draft Strategy

The Yare Valley Society committee is still examining the implication of the Draft Strategy document. It will post its response here once its committee have  agreed what it should be.

Site Allocations
Success in the previous consultation

The response of our members to the previous site allocation consultations has borne fruit. Almost all the proposed sites for development in the Yare Valley Green Infrastructure Corridor have been classified as “unsuitable”.

A big thank you to all who wrote in objecting to the sites. A big success for the championing of our green environment!

A threat remains

Unfortunately, in the new draft of the GNLP there remains a site allocation that rings alarm bells:

Site GNLP0133-E

UEA – Land at the Grounds Depot Site

Student Accommodation (400 beds student beds) 1.60 ha

The Yare Valley Society strongly opposes the inclusion of this site.

If you too are unhappy about the inclusion of the site respond by making your own objection, with your own personal slant and reasons. You can make a difference!

The Yare Valley Society opposes the inclusion of the site because its development would:

A       Have a damaging impact on the effectiveness of Yare Valley Green Infrastructure (GI) Corridor

The proposed site is a damaging intrusion into the Yare Valley Character Area which forms an important part of the GI Corridor. The present natural flow of the edge of the Character Area along the south edge of approved university sites to along the line of the Bluebell Road is brutally interrupted by the proposed site. The site intrudes deeply into the GI Corridor.

The GI Corridor performs three important green infrastructure roles:

  1. Provides a variety of wildlife habitats and is a key part of the local green network for wildlife movement and promoting biodiversity.
  2. Provides interesting, visually attractive, and connected green space, recognised widely as essential to the well-being of communities.
  3. Mitigates climate change and the effects of climate change by storing water on its wetlands, retaining water in its vegetation, and acting as a carbon sink.

The Corridor is more than the sum of its parts. Any reduction in the corridor impacts on its ability to function effectively in its roles.

B       Increase the existing pressure on the Yare Valley Green Infrastructure Corridor.

In all of the green infrastructure roles above the corridor is already under great pressure

Role 1: Research shows nationally that biodiversity in, and abundance of, wildlife is decreasing (see State of Nature 2019 Report) and anecdote suggests this is reflected locally.

Role 2 Many over-worn paths demonstrate the demand for informal recreation, which will only increase with the planned increases in local population (e.g. new homes at Cringleford)

Role 3 Combating and mitigating climate change is assuming ever greater importance for the well-being of future generations.

This is not the time to be damaging existing key infrastructure networks, but a time to be extending them.

C         Contradict Norwich Development Management Policy

(The GNLP consultation documentation states that Norwich Development Management Policies are “to be carried forward and used in conjunction with the Greater Norwich local plan.2022-2038.”)

The site lies wholly within the Yare Valley Character Area, as defined on the Norwich Local Plan Policies Map – South, Adopted December 2014, and is accorded special status in the Norwich Local Plan Policy DM6:

“Within the Yare Valley character area, as defined on the Policies map, development will only be permitted where it would not damage the environmental quality, biodiversity or character of the area and where it is for

  1. agriculture or forestry purposes; or
  2. facilities ancillary to outdoor sport and recreation; or
  3. the limited extension of or alteration to existing buildings”

The inclusion of the site marks a step back from upholding the existing Norwich Local Plan Policy

D       Contradict the policies of the Draft Greater Norwich Local Plan – Part 1 The Strategy

The importance of green infrastructure is rightly recognised in a number of policies in the draft GNLP Part 1 The Strategy. The policies seek to conserve and enhance the green infrastructure, the policies do not seek to destroy or degrade it.

Relevant policy statements are:

POLICY 1 – THE SUSTAINABLE GROWTH STRATEGY

“environmental protection and enhancement measures including further improvements to the green infrastructure will be delivered.”

The sustainable growth strategy will be supported by improvements to … green infrastructure…”

POLICY 2 – SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES

“Development must be of high quality, … contributing to mitigating and adapting to climate change, assisting in meeting national greenhouse gas emission targets.”

POLICY 3 – ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND ENHANCEMENT

“Development proposals will be required to conserve and enhance the natural environment. Key elements of the natural environment include valued landscapes, biodiversity including priority habitats, networks and species, geodiversity, …”

“Development should deliver biodiversity net gain wherever possible”.

“To enhance the natural capital of Greater Norwich, the natural assets and connections between them which form the Green Infrastructure Network illustrated in map 8 will be protected and enhanced. Protection will be achieved through effective management of development in accordance with the policies of the development plan.”

POLICY 6 – THE ECONOMY:

“Tourism, leisure, environmental and cultural industries will be promoted and assisted by … implementation of the green infrastructure network”

POLICY 7.1 – The Norwich Urban Area including the fringe parishes:

“Growth will include …Enhancements to the green infrastructure network which include links to and within the Wensum, Yare, Tud and Tas Valleys, Marriott’s Way and from Muosehold through the north-east growth triangle as set out in map 8, along with local networks.

The inclusion of the site would suggest that Greater Norwich will not be serious about implementing its declared green infrastructure policy.

Conclusion

If building development were to take place on this site it would damage the existing green infrastructure and increase pressure on the remaining green infrastructure. Such development would be completely contrary to the stated aims of the Norwich Local Plan and the draft GNLP Strategy. It would be a clear signal to developers, and the general public that Greater Norwich is not prepared to stand by its green infrastructure commitments.

Site GNLP0133-E, UEA – Land at the Grounds Depot Site, Student Accommodation (400 beds student beds) 1.60 ha should not be developed, and should be classified as “unsuitable”

Make your voice heard