Three Mid Suffolk parishes see Neighbourhood Plans approved at referendum
Residents in Drinkstone, Eye and Wilby have voted to adopt their Neighbourhood Development Plans – outlining a positive vision for how and where future growth should take place to meet local identified need.
This comes after referendums were held in the respective parishes on 6 May, following a Government decision to allow these to resume again under Covid-secure measures.
In Drinkstone, 82.9% of residents who took part in the referendum opted to approve the parish’s Neighbourhood Plan, whilst 87.5% of Eye residents attending the polls voted ‘yes’ to their plan. Residents in Wilby also moved to adopt their plan, with 83.5% of the voting turnout lending support to proposals.
These majority ‘yes’ votes mean that Mid Suffolk District Council is legally obliged to formally adopt each plan in due course.
The plans also now have statutory weight and status in the planning decision making process and become part of the district’s wider Development Plan.
Unlike more traditional types of plans or statements produced by town or parish councils, a Neighbourhood Plan is a positive blueprint for local development, influenced and prepared by communities.
Once a plan has been formally adopted, the parish are also eligible for an uplift in CIL funding, bringing the total to 25%, when new homes are built in their area.
Cllr David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for Planning, said:
“I am delighted to see not one, but three, parishes complete their plans and be able to reap the many rewards of having this local vision in place.
“The time and effort involved in preparing these plans cannot be underestimated, however we know that how and where new homes are built is incredibly important to us all and having a Neighbourhood Plan enables parishes to shape growth in their area and preserve important local open space.
“Our council will continue to offer help and guidance to any community wishing to come forward and prepare a Neighbourhood Plan – benefitting not just local residents, but also supporting our ongoing ambition for Mid Suffolk communities to live in places that are attractive, successful and connected.”
Eight other Mid Suffolk communities have formally adopted Neighbourhood Plans – including Debenham, who were highly commended for their plan at the 2020 Planning Awards – and 15 parishes are currently drawing up their own plan. A full list of these and all adopted Neighbourhood Plans can be found on the council’s website.