Stradbroke neighbourhood plan gets backing in referendum

Stradbroke's neighbourhood plan is set to be adopted after 80% of the referendum turnout backed the

Stradbroke's neighbourhood plan is set to be adopted after 80% of the referendum turnout backed the plan. PIcture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

The neighbourhood plan for a Mid Suffolk village that has been in development for more than four years has been backed by the community.

A referendum was held in Stradbroke on Friday, February 1 on whether to adopt the neighbourhood plan, which will help inform future development in the village for the next 20 years.

More than 40% of the eligible 1,197 electorate turned out for the vote, which resulted in 387 people backing the plan – 80.4% of the turnout.

James Hargrave, chairman of Stradbroke Parish Council which worked up the neighbourhood plan, said: “I am really pleased that 80% of people in Stradbroke supported the plan – it’s a ringing endorsement as a much higher percentage than we thought voted.

“We think the plan is really important because it gives Stradbroke a say in the future development.

“It means that any future development has to be guided by the plan because it becomes part of the planning decision making.

“We are really pleased with the result of the referendum and we hope it’s going to allow sensible, sustainable development in Stradbroke of the coming years.

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“We want to see the village develop but we don’t want to see really large developments. We think it should be about the same level of development [over the next 20 years] as the last 20 years.”

The plan will go to March’s Mid Suffolk District Council full council meeting where it will be formally adopted, but the results of the referendum means it already carries significant weight should an application for the village be presented before then.

Neighbourhood plans are documents put together by town and parish councils which inform future development in their areas, and include allocations of how many homes should be developed over a certain time period, as well as suitable areas of land.

Stradbroke’s plan features five sites allocated for a minimum of 219 homes until 2036.

The plan has been in development since 2014, and is only the second referendum in the district after Mendlesham.

In December, Mid Suffolk’s cabinet approved the neighbourhood plans for Stradbroke and Debenham to go to referendum, with Debenham’s vote taking place on Thursday, February 7.

The results are expected the following day.

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