Broadland District Council’s Growth Triangle Area Action Plan - Options Consultation was launched on the 18th March and ran for 3 months. The consultation sought the views of local people and organisations upon where within the growth triangle the council should permit development.
Questions 23 and 24 related to the local woodland called Thorpe woods, they asked:
Question 23: Thorpe Woodlands
Are you of the opinion that that Racecourse Plantation and/or Belmore and Brown's plantation are suitable for residential development as part of an extended Core Development Area CA1? Yes/No
Alternatively, do you think that some or all of Thorpe Woodlands would be well suited to becoming a publicly accessible woodland? Yes/No.
Please explain the reasons for your answers.
Question 24: Salhouse Road to Plumstead Road Orbital Link
Do you consider that the link should be open to all traffic but designed to minimise traffic speeds or should it be restricted to public transport, walking and cycling? Do you have a view on restricting traffic from certain directions?
Are there any other route options for the link road which should be considered?
In response to question twenty three the council received 1664 responses and for question twenty three 784 responses.
Of these responses only three failed to call for the protection of Thorpe, two of these were submitted by the owners of the woods and their agents.
The consultation as a whole received 2854 responses covering the whole of the growth triangle, of these over 2445 called for the protection of the woods.
Due to the number of responses opposing the development of the woods Broadland District council were still counting and recording them more than three weeks after the consultation had closed.
The responses calling for the protection of the woods amounted to nearly 85% of all the responses to the consultation and clearly show the council that local people in large numbers are strongly opposed to any development.
Broadlands planning department stated that the 2445 replies represented the highest response they had received in relation to a single issue.
Bodies such as the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Natural England, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Norwich Society and the Friends of Thorpe Woodlands all submitted responses which opposed any development and called for the woods to be preserved as a green space for people and wildlife.