Letter: Toby Coke, October 28, 2014

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District and borough councils have submitted plans for massive housing developments which have the potential of destroying our local communities.

The prospect of thousands of new houses will have a detrimental impact on the quality of life in many areas, overwhelming local infrastructure like school places and increasing road congestion.

In North West Norfolk, thousands of houses are planned for the South Wootton and West Winch/North Runcton areas.

If they go ahead the housing developments will make these areas mere extensions of King’s Lynn.

In Wymondham, the planned massive housing development by Conservative controlled South Norfolk District Council has the potential to adversely affect the viability of Wymondham as a separate town community.

That is why so much local opposition has developed to that proposal.

The current Conservative plan to greatly reduce local government spending has forced many borough and district councils to raise money with the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and the New Homes Bonus which they will receive for each new house built, whatever the adverse consequences of such a development maybe.

The county council has seen a significant cut in its financial support from the Conservative Secretary of State for Local Government and further funding shortfalls of £209m are in the pipeline up to 2020.

Therefore, it is not in a position to provide the necessary road infrastructure that is vital if these extensive housing plans are not to swamp local

communities.

Norfolk needs new housing developments and I am in favour of sensible housing growth which has the support of local communities.

I fear the South Wootton and West Winch/North Runcton planned development will have a considerable detrimental effect on both areas and lead to increased congestion on roads, which are already at full capacity.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of the autumn statement on Government funding for the A47, but even if the A47 gets the expected £500 million there will be nothing that will improve the extra traffic congestion that the West Winch and North Runcton developments will bring, with the exception of improvements to the Hardwick roundabout itself.

This is why I am so in favour of the Norwich NDR, which will provide the necessary road capacity for the planned housing developments in the “growth triangle” to the north east of Norwich.

Although there are many opponents of the NDR they should realise that the housing developments, approved by the Joint Core Strategy in 2011, will go ahead with or without the Northern Distributor Road.

Richard ‘Toby’ Coke,

UKIP PPC NW Norfolk