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What is the new Joint Local Plan?

The Joint Local Plan will inform how our Districts will develop over the next 20 years. It will establish how much housing and land for businesses will be needed and where it will go, alongside protecting and enhancing the environment and delivering infrastructure. Potential sites for development are also identified – your views on these will be important when the Councils decide which sites to allocate for development in the Joint Local Plan.


Why do we need a Local Plan?

Each Local Planning Authority (LPA) is required to prepare a Local Plan. These plans are the key planning document which set out a vision and framework for the future development of their area. Following a number of significant changes in the local, county and national context since the current Local Plans were developed it is considered appropriate to revisit and realign our priorities, objectives and vision for the future of Babergh and Mid Suffolk. This will ensure the spatial planning framework for the Districts is up to date and will provide a sustainable basis upon which to shape communities and manage development up to 2036 and beyond. The new Joint Local Plan will replace the Local Plans and alterations (saved policies), the Core Strategies of each District and the Stowmarket Area Action Plan once adopted.


What stage are we at in preparing the new Joint Local Plan?

The Joint Local Plan - Consultation Document is the first stage of the Local Plan process. This consultation is your opportunity to identify any planning issues that you think the new Joint Local Plan should address, and comment on possible ways that the plan might address these important issues in your communities (including informing where you consider development should be located). The more information you can inform us of at this initial stage, the greater your opportunity to shape the future of the area. 


Having your say

The consultation is your opportunity to identify any planning issues that you think the new Joint Local Plan should address, and comment on possible ways that the plan might address these important issues. A series of public exhibitions will be held to provide the opportunity for residents to find out more on the new Joint Local Plan. Comments can be made via a dedicated Consultation Portal or via a printed comments form which can be downloaded here.  


Online Mapping System

This new system allows you to view the results of the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA), proposed and existing settlement boundaries and proposed and existing town centre and retail boundaries. SHELAA sites marked in red are potential development sites, sites in brown are sites which have been deemed as not suitable for development. Sites which are labelled as not currently developable are those which are deemed suitable for development, however the Councils believe that the site cannot be delivered within the plan period. This may be the result of economic factors, or the Councils are unaware of the land owners intentions. 


What happens if I miss the deadline for the consultation?

Representations on the Joint Local Plan - Consultation Document need to be made within the consultation period. Please make sure that you submit your responses by 5pm on 10th November 2017. 


How do I keep up-to-date with consultations on the Joint Local Plan?

Once registered via the consultation portal you will be notified of any future information about the Joint Local Plan, unless you choose otherwise. An option is also available to sign up for any updates if you submit comments via the comments form. If you do not wish to comment on the Joint Local Plan - Consultation Document but want to receive updates, please complete an e-form which can be found here


I have submitted comments in previous Local Plan Consultations. Do I need to comment again?

Since the Councils consulted on three topic based initial options documents in January 2015, the strategic context which informs the emerging Plan has changed significantly. As a result the Councils have decided to undertake a comprehensive review for the new Joint Local Plan and any comments made in previous consultations will need to be made again if they are still relevant. 



What is the proportion of dwellings per settlement category (Ipswich fringe area, Urban Areas and Market Towns, Core Villages, Hinterland Villages, Hamlet & Countryside)?  It would be helpful to know the current housing stock per category and then know the numbers needed in each category for each option proposed under Spatial Distribution.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk each currently use a different settlement hierarchy in their respective adopted planning documents.  The Joint Local Plan consultation document proposes to adopt one single hierarchy for Babergh and Mid Suffolk.  The data is not available based upon the draft Settlement Hierarchy set out in the Joint Local Plan Regulation 18 consultation document. As the Settlement Hierarchy is evolved at the next stage of the Joint Local Plan, it might be possible to provide this breakdown of information



The cut-off date for taking out potential SHELAA sites - that are given Planning Permission, should be the 10th November 2017 (the end of the consultation period) not the 31st March 2017 as it is currently.

The end of monitoring year figures are robust and published figures which make them entirely appropriate to rely upon. Whilst it would be favourable to produce information almost on a ‘live’ basis, this is not practical and data produced ‘mid-year’ would not be consistent or robust across datasets, therefore making analysis unduly complex. The SHELAA is expected to be kept up to date on a regular basis, and the next iteration of the document will be informed by data from the most recent full monitoring year figures ie. the most recent 31st March position at the time of production. Equally the next iteration of the Joint Local Plan document will be updated to take into account the most recent end of monitoring year data at the time of publication.


I have responded to the "Vision for Prosperity" events for Sudbury and/or Stowmarket. Do I need to resubmit my comments if I want them to be taken on board for the Joint Local Plan?

Yes. Whilst the public exhibition events in Sudbury and Stowmarket are running parallel with the Councils visioning events, if you wish to make comments on the Joint Local Plan these will need to be directed to us via the Consultation Portal or a printed comments form.