Revealed – The number of new homes two Suffolk districts need to build by 2036
- Credit: Archant
Delayed plans which will inform the future of house building in Babergh and Mid Suffolk have finally been published, with more than 13,500 new homes needed by 2036.
The joint local plan for the two districts acts as vision for the areas, allocating numbers of new homes that each will be expected to take and guiding developers on where they should be submitting applications with a bank of suitable sites.
The plan identified a requirement for 17,568 new homes by 2036 - 7,560 in Babergh and 10,008 in Mid Suffolk, which equates to 420 a year in Babergh and 568 a year in Mid Suffolk.
Capel St Mary, Hadleigh, Elmswell, Eye, Stowupland and Thurston are among those expected to take significant numbers of new homes.
The plans, which were pushed back earlier this year until after the elections, also propose to prioritise new retail and town centre uses in Sudbury, Hadleigh and Stowmarket.
The two councils must next week approve the draft going out to public consultation.
Councillor Clive Arthey, Babergh's cabinet member for planning, said it was about "nothing less than the future of Babergh".
"Development is something that comes up time and again when talking with our residents," he said.
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"We must have a strategic approach to how we're going to provide the housing and the jobs needed in Babergh, and the joint local plan provides just that."
Mid Suffolk cabinet member David Burn added: "The joint local plan will help shape the future of Mid Suffolk - how our towns and villages develop, how we protect and enhance our natural environment, develop our local economy, improve leisure and visitor facilities, improve social infrastructure and support more sustainable forms of travel."
But the opposition Green groups at both councils have said the plan has "declared war" on many communities, with parish council and community-led neighbourhood plans being ignored in the allocations.
Andrew Stringer from the Mid Suffolk Green group said: "It appears the proposals maps contained within this draft plan are proof if it were needed that for some communities the administration of Mid Suffolk has not only not listened to their wishes but it seems for some communities they have declared war.
"Suggesting that rural communities should for instance build housing on their playing fields, ignore the use of brownfield sites, and deliberately choose areas of high visual and wildlife benefit simply beggars belief."
Green group leader Rachel Eburne added: "We can see little or no attempt to achieve conformity between neighbourhood and district plans.
"The allocations which have achieved public support in local referendums must be respected by the district.
"This last-minute disagreement could have been avoided if those of us elected to represent local views and knowledge had been allowed to discuss the allocation maps up-front; but we were not."
If both councils approve consultation starting, views will be sought from the public between July and September, before responses are then analysed and possible changes drawn up.