Following the Government’s announcement yesterday that there is as yet no funding for a Northern Distributor Road, Green Party councillors havecalled for the Greater Norwich Development Partnership (GNDP) to withdraw the Joint Core Strategy (JCS).
Councillor Phil Hardy said ‘This announcement makes it clear that there is no funding for an NDR before a further review in December 2011. This removes any case that the JCS plan can be implemented based around the NDR. This news simply makes the JCS plan unsound and it should now be withdrawn immediately. This would be good news for many people who oppose the housing allocations and the high carbon transport strategy. Now is the time for the GNDP to go back to the drawing board and develop a Plan B that is low carbon, public transport led with more realistic housing allocations.
Green Party councillors are also calling for the NDR to be abandoned as a policy at the County Council. Councillor Marcus Hemsley said ‘The Government clearly don’t think the Councils have made a good case for the NDR. They have dragged their feet for years on funding and have now put off making further decisions. Meanwhile, the County Council has wasted well over £10m in trying to develop the road whilst public services are suffering. We are demanding, at this time of major cuts to public services, that no further money is spent on the road and the Council formally abandon it as a policy’.
Concerns are also being raised about the way the plan was developed behind closed doors by the GNDP. Councillor Claire Stephenson said “The public have been excluded from the GNDP meetings throughout the last 4 years as it developed its plan. Most elected councillors have also been excluded. Neither these councillors, nor the public, could see the minutes or agendas of meetings. The result has been a plan that is hugely unpopular and the public feeling trodden over. We are calling for the governance of the GNDP to be completely reviewed so that a Plan B can be developed with the full involvement of the public and scrutiny by all elected councillors.’
RR’s comment: Finally, we may be seeing the beginning of the end of this white elephant road plan. What a disgrace, that millions upon millions of pounds have been blown by the Council on a plan that was never a good idea, and never likely to come to fruition.