Low cloud stops aerial picture protest in Reepham

Campaigners fighting the expansion of their town today came up against the old enemy of the British weather as they were thwarted for a second time in spelling out their message.

Nearly 200 people gathered at Stimpson's Piece in Reepham and had planned to form their town's name and be photographed from the air.

But shortly before the light aircraft was due to take off from the nearby Felthorpe airfield, the cloud level dropped and steady rain started and prevented the demonstration going ahead.

It was a repeat of the frustration experienced by the Realistic Reepham group and it left chairman Mark Bridges deeply disappointed.

'I'm devastated to be honest,' he said. 'But the British weather may stop us but government rules won't and we are determined to carry on.'

Mr Bridges added: 'It would have been a really good way to get the message across but we have good unity and will continue.

'Reepham remains one of the only towns in Norfolk which has not suffered from urban sprawl - so why do it now?'

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Early next year, Broadland District Council will decide which site or sites will be allocated for between 100 and 200 homes in Reepham.

The decision will be part of a wider scheme to build 37,000 new houses in the greater Norwich area within the next 15 years.

Two council-led consultations about the Reepham plans have been held and the most recent ended on August 6.

Mr Bridges said many people in the town are 'upset' by the proposals and feel they are 'completely inappropriate'.

For information about the action group, visit www.realisticreepham.co.uk