The planning system helps to ensure that development takes place in the public interest, in economically, socially and environmentally sustainable ways. It has a major impact on how local neighbourhoods look, feel and function. It also has a role to play in helping to cut carbon emissions, protect the natural environment and deliver energy security. 

14th January 2016 - Statement from Babergh District Council

On 5th January 2016, the Council inadvertently posted a letter addressed to the Council’s Monitoring Officer within the planning section of the Council’s website. On receipt, the letter was mistakenly interpreted as a representation on a planning application relating to Moores Lane, East Bergholt and was published accordingly.

 This letter was sent by Mr Anthony of Knight Developments regarding Councillor Stephen Williams. The author referred to comments which he attributed to Councillor Williams, but it has become apparent that a number of these comments are attributable to a third party and not Councillor Williams. Upon being made aware that the letter had been made public, the Council immediately removed the letter from the website and apologised to Councillor Williams.

 We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience or distress that publication of this letter may have caused Councillor Williams, and have sought to put in place measures to ensure that such a situation does not arise again in the future. 


The Development Management team has changed and now forms three officer teams to serve specific areas for Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils.  Each team is made up of Planning and Support officers to deal with a wide range of planning proposals.  The teams will over time establish improved local connections with the areas they cover with the support of their dedicated officers.  For larger schemes these will also be dealt with by the designated team that covers that area.  However, to have a more efficient service it may be the case that officers from other teams will deal with larger schemes across the two districts as part of our new integrated approach.  This will ensure the relevant experience and expertise are used where needed.  

Behind the scenes a new fourth start up team has been formed to ensure much faster registering and validation of both applications and enquiries.  This is the first step of a number of planned improvements for Development Management this year to ensure clear routes of communication for consultees, members, parish councils, residents and developers.  With key growth officers, development of better IT systems arriving soon and further alignment we are developing a more efficient service that improves performance and quality of decision making.  Area based working will allow better local knowledge and understanding of local concerns to enable Development Management to respond appropriately and meet the needs of its stakeholders and public. 

Click here to see the new team map (PDF, 867Kb)

Don't forget our Duty Service also remains available and continues to be popular.  This includes both Appointment and Non Appointment times for development management planning officers and also specific times for heritage officers.


As a result of a High Court decision on 31 July 2015 which successfully challenged the national planning policy set out in a Ministerial Statement on 28 November 2014 the Council will, with immediate effect, be re-instating the approach  that the Council had taken immediately prior to the introduction of that Ministerial Statement.

The Ministerial Statement of policy which has been quashed excluded developments of 10 units or 1,000 square metres or less from affordable housing requirements and ”tariff based” contributions, and imposed a lower threshold of five units in rural areas, national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty. This policy, also provided that, where a vacant building is brought back into use, or demolished for redevelopment, local authorities will provide a credit for that floorspace for affordable housing contributions

This change will affect both applications already being processed but which are undetermined at the present time and new applications. We will be contacting all affected applicants or their agent with undetermined applications under consideration in order to discuss the way forward on a case by case basis.  We would encourage any applicant or agent who may be affected by this change to contact us to discuss how this affects the planning considerations of their specific case.

See below for some frequently asked planning questions.

Terms and Disclaimer | Accessibility | Statistics | Contact us | How to find us