I spent an afternoon this week in a very hot council chamber in order to speak on a local planning issue . One of the agenda items that I had to sit through was further phases of development at Queens Hills, Costessey. It was the usual depressing stuff, I’m afraid. One of the councillors asked why no allotments were included and the developer replied that it was a bit late to ask that but he would see what he could squeeze in. There was not a single mention of cycle paths and the main way of encouraging people not to use cars seems to be not to provide parking places. Highways admitted that travel planning was ‘in its infancy’ in Norfolk, I wonder if they have heard of climate change yet.
The committee had 20 other items on the agenda and were probably going to be there till well into the night – so in the end, a living environment for thousands of people, that will last a hundred years was decided in 30 minutes by 10 mainly elderly people. I don’t blame the committee who get very little recompense for giving up huge amounts of time – it is the lack of interest from all of us that is the problem – the time to raise issues is when the plans are being made. Which is what I’m trying to do in Little Melton, where we face massive developments on all sides – anyone care to lend a hand? Reading planning documents is not a lot of fun but it has to be done if we are to create something better than how Queens Hills is going to end up.
|A squirrel taking a look at a development site|