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Martlesham referendum set to inform future development in area

PUBLISHED: 19:52 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 19:52 17 May 2018

Lland adjacent to BT Adastral Park in Martlesham is already set to be developed, but the neighbourhood plan will help inform future planning policy 
Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Lland adjacent to BT Adastral Park in Martlesham is already set to be developed, but the neighbourhood plan will help inform future planning policy Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Archant

Martlesham will take the polls on Thursday as a referendum is held over future development in the area.

Polling cards have been issued to homes in the whole of the Martlesham area covered by the parish council, which includes Martlesham Heath but not the northern fringe.

Voters will be asked to respond either yes or no to the question “Do you wants Suffolk Coastal District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Martlesham to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood plan area?”

The Adastral Park 2,000 homes straddles three parish council areas – Martlesham, Waldringfield and Brightwell, and is therefore not included in the plan.

Martlesham Parish Council chairman Mike Irwin said: “The Martlesham Neighbourhood Plan is the result of a fantastic team effort by volunteers and parish councillors, and I’d like to thank them for the determination and hard work they’ve put into this.

“I’d like to add that it couldn’t have happened without the input of nearly one thousand people who answered our surveys or came to our various public meetings.”

He added: “The referendum on 24th May is the opportunity for our residents to decide on whether the plan will be formally adopted. A ‘yes’ vote on 24th May means that the planning authority, Suffolk Coastal District Council, will use the planning policies in the locally developed Martlesham Neighbourhood Plan, when giving or withholding planning permission, or placing conditions on developments in Martlesham.

“A ‘no’ vote means that the planning authority, Suffolk Coastal District Council, will use the planning policies developed on a district wide basis, when giving or withholding planning permission, or placing conditions on developments in Martlesham.”

A neighbourhood plan aims to help inform development in the area, outlining areas considered suitable, and what infrastructure is needed.

Exhibitions, feedback sessions and public meetings allow those living in the area to submit their thoughts, which is taken into account when a draft is submitted.

The public can then feed back on again and any changes made before being submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

The count will take place from 10am on Friday at East Suffolk House in Melton.

Tony Fryatt, Suffolk Coastal’s planning cabinet member, said: “We would encourage people to have their say by turning out and voting in this important referendum for Martlesham.

“It marks a major milestone in the development of the neighbourhood plan for the area.

“The local team has put in a lot of hard work to get the plan to this stage.

“There has been positive collaboration within the community, who must be congratulated on the enormous amount of time and effort they have put in.

“If adopted the neighbourhood plan will give the community an increased ability to influence planning within the area.

“The draft neighbourhood plan sets out the vision for development in Martlesham in the future, including allocating land for development and policies for the use of land.

“If agreed, the district council will use this key document as the starting point for the determination of planning applications in these areas in the future.”

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