Blueprint for growth in Mid Norfolk given green light

Breckland councillors voted to adopt the proposed Local Plan. Picture: Breckland council

Breckland councillors voted to adopt the proposed Local Plan. Picture: Breckland council - Credit: Archant

A blueprint for growth outlining how a Norfolk region will grow beyond the next decade has been approved.

Breckland council members voted to adopt the proposed Local Plan at a meeting of full council on Thursday, November 28.

It sets out the policies which will be used to determine planning applications and identifies sites across the district which will be developed to meet housing, retail and employment requirements until 2036.

By identifying and allocating land for housing and businesses, which is needed to meet demand for housing and jobs, the Local Plan will give the council more control of the location of these developments and will reduce the likelihood of ad-hoc development.

The Local Plan has been in production since 2014 and subject to several public consultations, scrutiny by an independent planning inspector, and feedback from expert bodies such as Natural England, the Highways Authority, Historic England and the Environment Agency.

Gordon Bambridge, Breckland council executive member for planning, said: "Adopting a Local Plan means we have mapped out where we expect houses and new businesses to go over the coming years, taking into account comments from local people plus expert organisations which lead on roads, waterways and conservation.

"This means the council and residents are able to take greater control over how the district develops so we can make informed, strategic decisions. For example, we can place houses close to essential services and businesses near key infrastructure, rather than allowing piecemeal, unstructured development."

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Having approved the adoption of the Local Plan, councillors also heard how the council now has an identified five-year land supply of specific sites sufficient to meet demand for housing.

The new Local Plan will be used until 2036, however the council will be required to review key areas including the housing requirement and development strategy, to make sure it remains up to date.