Two communities have seen their Neighbourhood Development Plans adopted as part of Mid Suffolk’s Development Plan, making them the fifth and sixth areas in the district to complete their Neighbourhood Plans.
At their Full Council meeting this week (Thursday 24 October), members voted to adopt both the Haughley Neighbourhood Development Plan and the Thurston Neighbourhood Development Plan as part of Mid Suffolk’s Development Plan, and they will be used to help determine planning applications where relevant.
This comes after referenda held in each parish. The referendum in Haughley was held on Thursday 29 August, where 88% of those who voted did so in favour of adopting the plan. The referendum in Thurston was held on Thursday 12 September and saw over 95% of votes cast in support of the plan.
The two villages join four other Mid Suffolk communities – Mendlesham, Stradbroke, Debenham and Stowupland in having an adopted Neighbourhood Development Plan.
Neighbourhood Plans set out a positive vision for how the area they cover can develop in ways that meet identified local need.
Unlike more traditional types of plans or statements produced by town or parish councils, a successful Neighbourhood Plan has statutory weight and status: it will become part of the district’s Development Plan and will be used when determining planning applications in the relevant area.
Cllr David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said:
“With increased housebuilding a key government priority, Neighbourhood Plans become an ever more important way for people to shape how their communities grow. I am very pleased to see Haughley and Thurston complete their plans and I was very happy to bring them to Mid Suffolk Council for adoption.
“Congratulations to both Neighbourhood Plan Teams: the commitment and energy involved in drawing up these plans cannot be underestimated and show just how special these places are to their communities.”
There are 17 other communities in Mid Suffolk currently drawing up their own Neighbourhood Plan, including Eye and Fressingfield.