Lavenham: Draft masterplan out to retain Lavenham’s ‘unique qualities’

Carroll Reeve

Carroll Reeve - Credit: Archant

One of the first villages in Suffolk to create a neighbourhood plan has released a draft version of the document.

Lavenham Parish Council has also prepared a baseline document to accompany the plan, which will form the basis for consultation with residents before the formal approval process begins.

The main objective of the plan is to provide for the sustainable development of Lavenham, according to parish council chairman Carroll Reeve.

If it is approved, Babergh District Council will have to take policies in the document into account when planning applications are considered.

Mr Reeve said: “We need to increase the proportion of young people living in the village and will seek to do this by ensuring that any future developments put the emphasis on affordable, smaller homes capable of meeting well established local needs.

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“This should also enable older residents who wish to downsize to stay in the village. The aim is for any development to be of small scale to ensure that they integrate within the community.”

Lavenham’s economy is underpinned by tourism, which provides jobs in a number of sectors.

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Mr Reeve added: “The preservation of Lavenham’s historic core and the importance of its setting within the surrounding countryside are key factors in maintaining its position as an important tourism destination. The opportunities for employment and the need for more young people are closely linked and both depend on preserving Lavenham’s unique qualities.”

The neighbourhood plan covers a 20-year period from 2015 to 2035, and during that time a further 100 houses will need to be built in the village to meet the objectives of the plan.

It will have to be submitted for approval by Babergh and then scrutinised by a Government inspector. Finally it will be put to a referendum of Lavenham residents.

To view the draft plan and leave comments, go to or pick up a hard copy form at Lavenham Village Hall or the Guildhall.

An open workshop will take place at Lavenham Village Hall on October 12, between 2- 5pm.

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