Friday, 28 March 2014

Big Bangs

It would be quite easy to make fun of local media that this morning give generous coverage to the big bangs heard in parts of North Norfolk last night. Somewhat prosaically it turns out these big bangs were accompanied by heavy rain and were in fact, thunder.

There is a view that this kind of news coverage reflects and perpetuates the caricature of Norfolk as an isolated rural backwater living in a different age.  Well maybe it does and we do seem to have our fair share of this kind of non-news. I actually seem to think this same phenomenon gave rise to similar reporting not that long ago. However, whatever view you choose to take on this, it could also be argued that the coverage reflects how widespread the use of social media is in the these remote parts. Hardly backward, but in terms of printed news, the coverage does reflect the diminishing world of professional reporting and editing.

I actually think it's rather good that we do still get over-excited about these things and rather than being concerned about this kind of thing, take delight in our quaint old-fashioned ways. 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Tall Storeys

I'm sure we're not unique but looking at the local authority's planning portal, there are a lot of planning applications around at the moment. In Burnham itself, if all the new housing being sought was built, the village would grow significantly in a way that has never happened before.

Some of these proposals are good, some less so, but with one honourable exception they do not seem to addressing local needs or wishes, but simply aiming to make the most of the opportunities being afforded by pressure on the system. Most of the discussion about these proposals is based understandably on the principles, but buried within them, there seems to be a common theme emerging - building taller than is the tradition.

Some of these appear simply greedy and will probably fail on overlooking issues, but there are others where height raises a moral dilemma. There is one local application which includes new housing - clearly not for permanent local occupation - which is rather obviously overscaled but because it relates to an important community focus, it is possible to understand the economic forces behind it. Those who are very reasonably objecting to it, run the risk of being seen to undermine a key local business - which is clearly not their intention.

Parish Council's comments reflect concern over this growing tendency to oversizing but it does look like it's becoming a habit which if left unchecked will change the look and feel of some of the best bits of Norfolk.  As the late great Ian Nairn would undoubtedly have considered this; OUTRAGE!