I note with interest the article reporting anger in the Downham Council regarding the borough council’s decision not to require developers to pay money towards essential local community infrastructure (CIL). Later the paper carried a headline ‘Residents back bid for £350 million technology hub’.
I for one have spoken out publicly on Norfolk Radio in favour of the hub, but am rapidly changing my mind. Plans to build 285 new homes on our green belt land near the conservation area of Wimbotsham and the provision of this business hub with 4,500 jobs will greatly increase the pressure on the town’s already creaking infrastructure. The town has doubled in size recently and the schools are bursting. Anglian Water undertook atmosperic modelling of pollution from the sewage works in 2012. Even then the ‘odour plume’ enveloped homes of residents in the west.
How many people who attended the Downham Development Ltd promotional ‘consultation’ and who ‘backed the bid’ were aware of the boroughs council’s decision? Let’s ask the question: “Do you support the technology hub if the developers are not required to provide funding for local infrastructure?” Then we’ll see if residents actually back the bid unconditionally.
I would urge residents and the Downham Town Council to withdraw their support for a technology park until such time as the town is guaranteed improvements to infrastructure. I would also urge residents send a clear message by objecting to the current 285-unit housing proposal http://online.west-norfolk.gov.uk/online-applications/weeklyListResults.do?action=firstPage and join the local online campaign to Save The Downham Market and Wimbotsham Green Belt.
Kelvin Loveday, Broomhill, Downham Market