The Norfolk Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE Norfolk) has launched a new campaign to safeguard the countryside.
The Vision for Norfolk campaign calls for a common-sense approach to planning for growth, which rejects centrally-imposed, one-size-fits-all policies in favour of those that preserve Norfolk’s character, while providing the economic growth needed.
Everyone is being encouraged to get involved in the debate and the campaign is supported by a new website v4n.org.uk.
The campaign was launched last night at Norwich Cathedral, in front of an audience which included CPRE members and supporters, MPs, senior local councillors and planners, utility companies, businesses, environmental groups and the media.
Chris Dady, chairman of CPRE Norfolk said: “Today, Norfolk is facing many challenges including population growth, climate change and the ending of the partnership with the European Union.
“At the same time, there are huge pressures to grow our economy and build more houses and roads.
“We must plan effectively, fully valuing our countryside and environment, as well as accommodating all our needs.
“Housing must be built, where possible on brownfield sites, planned for and by communities, with a substantial amount of genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy. Infrastructure must be funded up front including all the services thriving communities require.
“Our rural communities must not be forgotten. Planning should ensure even those without access to a car can reach services readily. This is even more important with the demise of many local facilities such as a shop.
“Achieving all of these things is possible, but we need a change in direction from the government and our district and county councils to ensure a common sense approach is taken to planning a better future. The Vision for Norfolk – #V4N – is a call for us all to join in the debate about how we manage these pressures, while protecting this precious and fragile environment.
“The land we have is a finite supply, and all of it serves a purpose. Once it is changed, it cannot be recovered.”