Hadleigh residents given first look at results of the survey which will form new neighbourhood plan

Hadleigh High Street

Hadleigh High Street

Hadleigh has taken a big step forward to creating a neighbourhood plan after giving people the chance to see the results of a town survey.

Residents were asked for their views on the town in a postal survey sent out in November last year, including their likes and dislikes of living there.

Last week the town council, which is leading the drive for a neighbourhood plan, hosted a series of consultation events to let people see the survey’s results.

It also gave those who did not return a form another chance to have their say.

Penny Cook, a member of Hadleigh Town Council who also sits on its planning committee, said having a neighbourhood plan would help provide continuity as the town develops in the future – but it may take a while to come to fruition.

“The important thing is it’s the beginning of the neighbourhood plan which could take two years,” Miss Cook said.

“If the neighbourhood plan gets passed Babergh (District Council) can’t ignore it, so it has some force behind it.

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“It is not just a paper. If something comes up we won’t be caught on the hop, it will be in the plan.”

Miss Cook said the results identified three specific areas where residents wanted to see some developments: housing, leisure and open green spaces.

She added there will be further opportunities to contribute to the plan, particularly in these categories, as it develops further.

Around 60 people attended the four consultation events, which ran last Friday and Saturday.

“We would have liked a few more people there, but those who did come were very keen to talk to people, see the results and have their say,” Miss Cook said.

“As a first event we weren’t displeased. You always hope for more replies but this is just flagging it up.

“There were various comments thanking the town council for starting this process and for the opportunity to say things in the survey.

“There were negative comments (about Hadleigh) and there always will be, but lots of positive things as well.”

The next stage for the council will be to collate all of the responses from the survey, as well as those gathered afterwards at the consultation events.

There will then be a meeting of the steering group to “see what the big picture is and decide where we go from there”, Miss Cook added.