Melton approves neighbourhood plan
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
Villagers in Melton have voted to approve a neighbourhood plan for the area after a referendum took place this week.
oting took place at the Burness Parish Rooms on Thursday.
Voters were asked: “Do you want Suffolk Coastal District Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Melton to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
A total of 1,249 residents took part in the referendum, with 1,172 voting in favour of the plan.
The turnout for the referendum was 38.2%.
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The neighbourhood plan contained a number of proposals for development in the area and focused on eight different areas including air quality, traffic and commercial activity.
The biggest of these areas of development was a plan to build on land off of Wilford Bridge Road, close to the new home of Suffolk Coastal District Council.
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Wilford development envisaged sustainable growth in the area, along with opportunities for businesses.
Smaller areas included proposals for a new village hall and increased car parking at the village’s playing field.
The plans cannot be used to block future development in Melton but will be used to help decide where future developments will go.
It will be used in conjunction with Suffolk Coastal District Council’s Local Plan.
Melton follows a number of other east Suffolk towns and villages including Great Bealings, Leiston and Framlingham who have all accepted the plans in the last year.
A number of districts in Mid Suffolk have also adopted the plans with more set to vote on the measures in due course.
Neighbourhood Development Plans were first introduced in 2011 and set out the policies for planning applications to be assessed against.
The government hoped that by creating these plans communities would be given “direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood,” as outlined in their planning practice guide.
It’s taken over three years for the plan to be approved in Melton with initial questionnaires used to consult with residents first being sent out in January 2014.
Open days and consultations followed with a final draft of the plan being approved for referendum in August this year.