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FAQs (2017 Consultation)

What is the new Joint Local Plan?

The Joint Local Plan (JLP) will inform how our Districts will develop up to 2036. The Plan is set out in three parts. 

Part 1 sets out the strategic policies to address Babergh and Mid Suffolk’s priorities for the development and use of land by establishing the overall strategy for the pattern, scale and quality of development (and any relevant cross boundary issues). The policies will make sufficient provision for:

a)    Housing (including affordable) employment, retail, leisure and other commercial development

b)    Infrastructure

c)    Conservation and enhancement of the natural, built and historic environment - including landscapes, green infrastructure, and planning measures to address climate change

Part 2 (a) includes more detailed policies for management and delivery of types of development. Part 2 (b) provides detailed policies for specific places and neighbourhoods. This includes:

  • new housing and land allocations
  • provision of infrastructure and community facilities (e.g. schools, healthcare, cultural facilities) at a local level
  • establishing design and construction principles
  • conserving and enhancing the natural and historic environment
  • setting out development management policies


Why do we need a Local Plan?

Each Local Planning Authority (LPA) has 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. 

There have been a number of significant changes in the local, county and national context since the current Local Plans were developed. Therefore it is appropriate to revisit and realign our priorities, objectives and vision for the future of the Districts. 

This ensures 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 JLP will replace the Local Plans and alterations (saved policies) - the Core Strategies that each District and the Stowmarket Area Action Plan once adopted.

Current documents open to consultation

Online Mapping System

This new system allows you to view JLP - Preferred Options Consultation 2019 policies maps. The interactive mapping system includes a range of policies including draft site allocations, settlement boundaries, strategic employment sites and designated open spaces.

What are we doing about climate emergency? How are addressing this?

 Motions were considered at the Babergh Council meeting on 23rd July 2019 and the Mid Suffolk Council meeting on 25th July 2019 that set out that each Council pledges to:

  • Set up a Task Force by September 2019, to examine ways in which the Councils will respond to the climate change challenge on a spend to save basis, with the ambition to make the Councils carbon neutral by 2030. 
  • To work with partners across the county and region, including the LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and the Public Sector Leaders, towards the aspiration of making the county of Suffolk carbon neutral by 2030. 
  • To work with Government to a) deliver its 25-year Environment Plan and b) increase the powers and resources available to local authorities in order to make the 2030 target easier to achieve.

Please read about our Environment and Climate Change task force

The JLP Preferred Options document contains policies relating to climate change and the environment.

How do we apply local need to affordable housing provision?

The current policy for both Babergh and Mid Suffolk is that any affordable housing being proposed within a private planning application by a developer will be allocated through Gateway to Homechoice system to meet District-wide need. We do look at the number of people with a local connection to a parish or town when considering housing need but would use the overall district figure for such applications. Where a scheme is specifically provided to address local housing needs such as a Rural Exception site or Community-led housing, we will look at the specific parish housing need. The nomination agreement attached to a Section 106 legal agreement will then cascade out to all the adjoining parishes, and lastly default to the district, i.e. Babergh or Mid Suffolk.