Ian Sheperd has written to the Eastern Daily Press on behalf of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Norfolk branch, regarding the Food Hub and Consultation on a Local Development Order at Easton:
On behalf of CPRE Norfolk
The EDP reports (14 January) that the average household throws away £470 of edible food a year, amounting to 7m tonnes of waste. We also now hear in the media reports that the greatest health risk to the nation is death by obesity.
With the coming of Brexit and the dismantling of the Common Agricultural Policy there is general agreement that there will be major changes in agriculture policies and farming support. This must be taken as an opportunity to look also at the food chain as a whole, including the underlying social issues as above; and the environmental issues that have been with us for decades in agriculture, in particular we suggest our soil and water resources.
However the growth mind set continues along the lines of intensification in farming and the food chain. A prime example is an application west of Easton for a 19 hectares Food Hub site. Users could include producers, processors, retailers and/or manufacturers. Other uses could be for storage and distribution of agricultural crops and products; agricultural equipment, machinery and supplies; and livestock. The application is with Broadland Council, consultation open to the 20th February. It is in the form of a Local Development Order, which is designed to seek economic growth through a fast track process with minimal planning constraints.
If the application is approved it will industrialise this rural site. It will generate very high levels of HGV movements. It will be levered into the Greater Norwich Local Plan being progressed now; it will be used to pump up a case for a link road across the Wensum Valley. This is not a routine planning application.
Ian Shepherd. On behalf of CPRE Norfolk