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Councils chosen for pilot to ensure neighbourhoods have say on planning

Posted by Communications on 12 January 2022 | Comments

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils have today been named as part of a pilot scheme to allow residents an easier way to shape and influence development in their area.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced today (Wednesday) that Babergh and Mid Suffolk are among 11 areas nationwide to be chosen as part of a pilot scheme to boost participation in neighbourhood planning.

The ability to create a Neighbourhood Plan was introduced as part of the Government’s Localism Act 2011, and gives communities the opportunity to develop a shared vision for their area.  Unlike a parish plan or village design statement, a successful Neighbourhood Plan has statutory weight and, once adopted, is used to help decide planning applications.

Across both districts, around 50 parishes have embarked on the neighbourhood planning process. To date, 16 Neighbourhood Plans have been successfully adopted, with many others at an advanced stage.

The councils will now receive an award of £45,000 in Government funding to go towards a new post, designed to encourage even more people in the districts to engage with the planning system.

Cllr Clive Arthey, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for planning, said:

“This is marvellous news and will help us work with even more local communities to ensure they have a say on developments within their neighbourhoods and support those who want to be more active in the planning process to help shape their communities for the future.”

Cllr David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for planning, said:

“I welcome this funding boost for our work in engaging our local towns and parishes and supporting them to be more active and involved in community-led planning for their areas.  Neighbourhood planning helps everyone to play a direct role in shaping their local area and I look forward to supporting even more communities in having their say in the months and years ahead.”