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Home > News > Councillors asked to approve Joint Local Plan for Consultation

Councillors asked to approve Joint Local Plan for Consultation

Posted by on 17 June 2019 | Comments

Councillors at two Suffolk councils are to be asked next week to approve a draft joint Local Plan document for public consultation.

The draft joint Local Plan proposes a set of planning policies that will be used to inform decisions on planning applications and appeals.  It will be considered, for consultation, by Councillors of both Babergh and Mid Suffolk at two Full Council meetings next week.  If approved then residents, local businesses and stakeholders will be asked for their views between July and September 2019.

The Councils began gathering a range of evidence to inform the preparation of a new joint Local Plan during 2016. This has included studies on retail, economic land needs, housing land availability and housing market assessments.

An early draft plan identifying broad issues and options was produced and consultation undertaken during Autumn 2017. Following submission of more than 14,000 comments from over 1,300 people and input from both statutory consultees and a cross-party working group of Councillors, this preferred options plan has now been developed.

Babergh District Council will meet first at 5.30pm on Tuesday 25 June, with Mid Suffolk’s Full Council meeting at 5.30pm on Thursday 27 June. Both meetings will be livestreamed on the councils’ YouTube page.

The key points of the document include:

  • A housing requirement of 17,568 new homes between 2018 and 2036, including 7,560 in Babergh and 10,008 in Mid Suffolk. This breaks down of a requirement for 420 dwellings per year in Babergh and 556 per year in Mid Suffolk. These figures are in accordance with Government guidance based on published evidence.
  • Prioritising new retail and town centre uses in the strategically important retail centres of Sudbury, Hadleigh and Stowmarket
  • A drive for 35% of homes in relevant applications for 10 or more dwellings to be affordable
  • A development approach that takes into account the long-term implications of climate change, including flood risk, water supply and biodiversity

Cllr David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “The Joint Local Plan will help the shape the future of Mid Suffolk - how our towns and villages develop, how we protect and enhance our natural environment, develop our local economy, improve leisure and visitor facilities, improve social infrastructure and support more sustainable forms of travel.  Now we need to seek our residents’ views on the draft Plan, so next week we’ll be asking Councillors to put this draft out for a consultation in which everyone can take part, and that will shape our Plan for the next two decades.”

Cllr Clive Arthey, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “Development is something that comes up time and again when talking with our residents. We must have a strategic approach to how we’re going to provide the housing and the jobs needed in Babergh, and the Joint Local Plan provides just that. Now we’re ready to put it to the public, and next week I’ll be asking my fellow Councillors to approve this plan for consultation – it’s about nothing less than the future of Babergh, and I’m looking forward to having the real conversations about what it means for us.”