Residents are being invited to have their say on the future of growth across two Suffolk districts, as Babergh and Mid Suffolk open a second round of consultation on their new draft Joint Local Plan.
The consultation, which provides an opportunity for residents, businesses, community groups, voluntary organisations and all interested parties to have their say on the proposals, opens today (Monday 22 July) and runs for 10 weeks, closing at 4pm on Monday 30 September 2019.
The draft Joint Local Plan proposes a set of planning policies that will be used to inform decisions on planning applications and appeals over the next 18 years, up to 2036.
Comments on the draft Joint Local Plan can be submitted online via the councils’ websites.
There will be a series of Joint Local Plan public events, details of which will be published over the summer.
Those with detailed questions who are unable to make these events can contact the Strategic Planning Policy team directly via email or on the council’s 0300 123 4000 number, selecting option 5 and then option 4 from the menus.
The draft Joint Local Plan considers how to shape development in the two districts between 2018 and 2036, with focuses on the environmental, social and economic impact of development. The draft proposes detailed policies, addressing issues as varied as enhancing town centre occupation, planning for a growing and ageing population and protecting and enhancing environmental assets. It aims to provide for sustainable growth, giving a growing population homes and workplaces alongside protecting and enhancing the unique characters and environmental assets of the two districts.
An early draft Joint Local 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, a preferred options Joint Local Plan has now been developed, including site allocations which are included in the draft now going out for consultation.
Following the end of this consultation on 30 September, all comments submitted will be considered and where necessary changes made to the draft Joint Local Plan, after which a revised draft will be published for further public consultation.
Cllr Clive Arthey, Babergh’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “I can’t stress enough how important it is for us to have a fully compliant and up to date Local Plan. We have a growing population and need a strategic approach to how we’re going to provide the housing and the jobs needed in Babergh. This plan not only seeks to provide that, but also addresses the real concerns people have around the environmental and social impacts of growth. The plan will shape development over the next two decades, and we want to get it right, so I urge everyone to take the opportunity over the next ten weeks to have a look at it and tell us what they like about it and what they don’t.”
Cllr David Burn, Mid Suffolk’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “This plan will help shape the future of Mid Suffolk: how our towns and villages develop, how we protect and enhance our beautiful environment, how we develop our local economy and more. It’s a wide ranging document and we need a wide range of responses to make sure we’ve got it right. Over the next 10 weeks I hope as many people as possible will let us know what they think of our draft.”