Green Party councillors in the Eastern region have challenged the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA), as it extended its key planning strategy review to 2031.  The Green Party are challenging the assumptions and objectives put forward by the EERA that astonishingly ignore the critical advent of diminishing oil reserves, the dramatic loss of current economic confidence, and the onset of dangerous climate change, when forming their forecasts for the region.

“Regional planning has for too long conformed with wholly unrealistic assumptions handed down by central Government and its agencies. The dramatic economic changes and heightened awareness of the imminence of dangerous climate change afford an opportunity for a radically different perspective on the possible futures for our region”, said Suffolk Green Party Councillor John Matthissen, a member of EERA’s Housing and Sustainable Communities Panel.

Cllr. Matthissen continued: “The oil does not exist to fuel everlasting growth in road traffic, which the Highways Agency still assumes, nor to power vessels bringing ever more containers into the Haven Ports.  Who now believes that house-building projections for this region will be fulfilled, rather than regenerating the communities where houses are decaying as people move to London and the S.E.?”

Cllr. Dr Rupert Read, the Eastern Region Green Party Lead Candidate for the 2009 European elections added:

“The Green Party fully supports the ambitious renewable energy assumptions of the 2021 Plan, and urges that higher percentages of renewable energy are projected for 2031.  Recent climate change forecasts imply the loss of farmland and settlements in the region as the sea rises, and a review will need to take this contingency into account, while striving to cut our own emissions and contribution to the problem so as to minimise these losses.  The Green New Deal proposed by Caroline Lucas, Green Party Leader, that puts forward a radical but achievable manifesto on how to tackle both the economic and ecological crisis together, can play an essential part in this.”

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