We know the world has changed but the fundamentals of what makes our area a great place to live, work and invest have not. That is why, more than ever, we need to make sure that our unique area is well-planned, that growth brings with it benefits for all and provides for a sustainable future.

The collective task facing us all is how we build back better, stronger and greener than we were pre Covid-19. This Greater Norwich Local Plan can play a part in achieving that.

The planned growth set out in these proposals needs to deliver high-quality homes, new jobs and supporting infrastructure – which increasingly includes broadband connectivity as well as roads, schools and health care. We need to find housing sites that are sustainable in the longer-term and provide homes for all, from young people looking for their first home through to meeting the needs of an ageing population.

Protecting our environment and habitats and creating new green spaces are also key considerations as we develop a low carbon economy and respond to climate change.

The Government is consulting on changes to the planning system which are likely to take effect during the life of this current plan and our strategy as outlined here will serve as a bridge between the existing system and the proposed new one. This will ensure that whatever new planning system or challenges lie ahead we are well placed to deliver the homes, jobs and infrastructure Greater Norwich needs.

Irrespective of the changes to come, however, our local economy has strong foundations. If we are to play our part in the wider national recovery, then economic growth needs to be encouraged in the right locations, providing opportunities for businesses to expand or relocate to our area, encouraging innovation and building on our strengths, particularly in the agri-tech and scientific sectors.

This plan identifies where growth is needed from 2018 to 2038, with Government targets leading to around 49,500 new homes being required. The good news is we already have plans in place that identify locations for 74% of the new homes and over 5,000 of the homes were built between 2018 and 2020. We have also already planned for new jobs, green spaces and the additional infrastructure.

What’s more, our plan will stimulate the creation of a strong, enterprising, productive, broad-based and post-carbon economy, together with the growth of a wide range of economic sectors from life sciences to advanced manufacturing, from agri-tech to digital creative industries - each supported by an increasingly skilled workforce.

In developing this plan the district councils, county council and the Broads Authority have been working together to make best use of the current infrastructure and identify the new infrastructure we will need.

Collectively we stand ready to deliver on these far-reaching ambitions for all of us who live and work in Greater Norwich.

We believe the Greater Norwich Local Plan contains a blueprint which will help our area realise its potential. It will deliver the homes, jobs, infrastructure, environmental benefits and low carbon growth which we need. We look forward to submitting it to the Planning Inspector.

Councillor Shaun Vincent, Chair of the Greater Norwich Development Partnership