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Referendums due over future development in two Mid Suffolk villages

PUBLISHED: 12:28 11 December 2018

A neighbourhood plan drawn up for Debenham will help influence development in the future Picture: PHIL MORLEY

A neighbourhood plan drawn up for Debenham will help influence development in the future Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Archant

Neighbourhood plans for Debenham and Stradbroke will go to the public for a referendum, after being given the green light by district chiefs.

Roy Barker said he hoped other Mid Suffolk villages would pursue neighbourhood plans Picture: ARCHANTRoy Barker said he hoped other Mid Suffolk villages would pursue neighbourhood plans Picture: ARCHANT

Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet unanimously approved allowing the two plans to go to referendum during Monday’s meeting, meaning the public will now vote on whether to adopt them.

The plans, developed by the two areas’ parish councils after months of consultation, designate areas of land for development, and help inform the district council’s planning committee on sustainable development locations.

They are established to help prevent unwanted or unsuitable developments from gaining approval, and includes ideal locations for shops, commercial operations and public services such as health centres and schools, as well as housing.

Mendlesham to date has been the only area in Mid Suffolk to have its neighbourhood plan go to a referendum.

Roy Barker, Conservative councillor for Badwell Ash and vice-chairman of the council’s planning committee said: “It gives us on the planning committee more understanding that we can listen to the local views and not be bullied by hungry developers to push these things forward.

“I am just waiting for the rest of the villages in Mid Suffolk to come forward [with their own plans] and I hope we will be talking about more over the next few months.”

It is not yet clear what dates the referendums will take place.

For Debenham, the plan outlines three sites available for the period up to 2036, totalling 316 homes.

In Stradbroke, a minimum of 219 dwellings across five sites have been earmarked until 2036.

Debenham Parish Council chairman Steve Palframan, said: “It originally started as a strategic planning process to prioritise spending.

“The most important thing is the huge consultation exercise we have undertaken.

“The village itself is at ease with the number [of dwellings] we are putting forward.”

Fears over speculative developments were brought to the fore in the district during the autumn when the Planning Inspector overruled the council’s decision to refuse permission for 49 homes in Woolpit, ruling that the district did not have a five year land supply.

Councils which can demonstrate a five year housing supply have more opportunity to refuse unwanted developments.

Council leader Nick Gowrley said the council believed it did have the necessary land supply, but the opposition Green group said it had “failed our local communities”.

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