The last year has been a highly eventful one for the long campaign to save Thorpe Woods.
Broadland District Council issued its statement in the summer on where it wants to locate development in the area called the Growth Triangle, this is in essence the councils local plan. In its statement it clearly ruled out Thorpe Woods as being in anyway suitable for development, reasons for this included the following:
1.There was no need to consider them for development as sufficient land had been identified elsewhere;
2. That the level of damage to this County Wildlife Site and green space would be wholly unacceptable;
3. It ran contrary to the wishes of the overwhelming majority of local people and Councillors.
This statement was a major success for all of use who have campaigned for years against the destructive proposals put forward by the owners of the woods and their agents Socially Conscious Capital which would have lead to the loss of this woodland for all time.
Over the autumn the woods have seen some felling and coppicing, however the well managed working of the woods is something that we support as it can be done in any way that ensures the long term survival of the woods as a refuge for wildlife whilst allowing the owners a reasonable and sustainable income from them.
Nest year will see the progression of the Councils local plan. They have already been formally submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for independent examination.
The inspector will examine the councils plan and consider any objections to them. We know that the owners of the woods have opposed the councils plans and continue to argue for them to be given permission to build over large areas of the woods, copies of their objections to the councils plan can be seen HERE, in short the threat to Thorpe Woods has not gone away yet.
The council has appointed a programme officer, Mrs Annette Feeney to assist the inspector in the examination process. She is the councils first point of contact if you should have any enquirers regarding the local plan and the inspection, her contact details are:
Mrs Annette Feeney
c/o Spatial Planning
Broadland District Council
1 Yarmouth Road
We will continue to keep an eye on the progress off the Council's plans and the Inspectors examination and update you on how they are progressing.
2014 was a good year for Thorpe Woods, Broadland District Council firmly stated their opposition to the development of the woods, their support for the woods together with that of groups like the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, RSPB, Norwich Society and CPRE helps to safeguard these woods, however the owners haven't given up yet so in 2015 we will need to remain vigilante.
Happy New Year to you all