Blueprint for districts' development 'sound'

Planning Inspectors have delivered their verdict on Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council’s Joint Local Plan

Planning Inspectors have delivered their verdict on Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council’s Joint Local Plan – the blueprint for the districts’ future development until 2037, providing clarity for communities and developers.

A Local Plan is prepared by a local planning authority and includes policies to tackle key social, economic and environmental issues – providing a framework to guide future planning decisions.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk’s joint plan has been designed to help shape the districts to ensure residents and communities have sufficient housing, employment and inward investment, environment and heritage is protected, and the infrastructure is in place for healthy communities and thriving towns. It also incorporates feedback from thousands of community responses during its seven years of development.

Now, the first phase of the plan has achieved a major milestone – clearing a rigorous and lengthy examination process by the Planning Inspectorate – which means it can now be formally adopted. The Joint Local Plan is now expected to go before both councils for adoption at their November meetings.

Cllr Sallie Davies, acting cabinet member for planning for Babergh District Council said:

“Getting any Local Plan to this stage is a long process, and that’s without the added complications of a global pandemic, so I would like to thank everyone involved, both here at the councils and within our districts.

"I’m particularly pleased that Inspectors recognised that our Joint Local Plan contains appropriate policies to help mitigate and adapt to climate change, and allocates even more employment land than necessary. Most importantly, it will provide a clear framework for developers and our communities.”

The process has not, however, been plain sailing for Babergh and Mid Suffolk, with an announcement in 2021 that the JLP should be progressed in two parts, with housing allocations addressed in the second phase.

Cllr Andrew Stringer, cabinet member for heritage, planning and infrastructure at Mid Suffolk District Council said:

“At last Mid Suffolk & Babergh now has an agreed, up to date planning framework to help guide our planning decisions. There are still site-specific allocations to finalise, but this is a long-awaited huge step forward.

"We now look forward to delivering Part 2 of this plan, to help give some certainty to developers as well as our communities.”

All documentation involved in the JLP process and a copy of the Planning Inspectorate report is available on the councils’ website at and

The Joint Local Plan is the blueprint for development until 2037