ICE East of England regional manager John Canton believes an opportunity has been missed. “I applaud the open and transparent consultation process and excellent work of the inspector in handling the inquiry.
“I am also pleased the need for investment and a framework to manage the impact of development in the face of climate change has been taken on board,” he said.
“What concerns me is the plan’s wording is weak and watered down when it comes to issues like water supply, waste management and public transport.
“There is no more than a passing acknowledgement of the need to accomplish the plan within environmental limits. Zero or carbon-positive construction, mandatory energy efficiency and renewable energy provisions seem to have been glossed over, yet our profession is under increasing pressure to observe these standards,” Canton said.
The government’s plans propose a huge expansion of the East, with more than 500,000 new homes built, particularly around Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich and Thetford.
The ICEE responses are critical of the decision “to subjugate to secondary text the concept that development should not increase flood risk elsewhere,” it reads.
They say that the East of England proposals, “ignore the significant risk that development at the head of a catchment can cause to existing communities further downstream.”
“Given the considerable pressure for development to take place where economic and transport links are strongest this often guides development to river valleys or the coast and we consider a more holistic approach could and should be adopted,” the response concluded.