Letters: Terence Parrish, April 10, 2015

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A proposed housing development thrown out at appeal in Heacham; plans for an abominable chicken factory withdrawn (for now) at Sedgeford. Perhaps the times are a changing or perhaps there is an election.

However, the people around Lynnsport are embattled and Downham and areas south of The Wash seem doomed to take on the entire overspill from London.

You may think that it is all the fault of Government but I wonder.

Consider this from a letter to me from Martin Bridgman at the Department for Communities and Local Affairs: “The Government does not set national housing targets or require councils to provide more houses than are needed. It asks councils to identify and plan to meet the objectively assessed needs of their communities.”

Or this from Brandon Lewis, Minister of State for Housing and Planning to Simon Ridley, chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate, on March 27.

He writes: “I have become aware of several recent appeal cases in which harm to landscape character has been an important consideration in the appeal being dismissed. These cases are a reminder of one of the 12 core principles at paragraph 17 of the National Planning Policy Framework – that plans and decisions should take into account the different roles and character of different areas, and recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the country side – to ensure that development is suitable for the local context.” He adds that outside of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, landscape impact is a defining factor.

So, my conjecture is that borough councils in Norfolk either have not read or kept up to date with the thrust of Government advice or have misinterpreted such advice, or have deliberately reinterpreted such advice to meet there own perceived agenda.

Why else would they consider building homes by the hundreds or thousands where there is not an indigenous local population to fill them and no prospect of jobs close to them?

Readers in Lynn, Hunstanton, Downham and all the little villages round and about should ask their soon to be (re)-elected representatives if they will be taking public opinion into account by actually reacting to it. Readers attempting to challenge development proposals should also look at how ‘landscape character’ is likely to be adversely affected by them and challenge the application accordingly.

Terence Parrish,

Heacham