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News

Writing the Plan
Sensitivity Study Completed
A Fascinating Talk at the Questionnaire Display
After Two Years
Writing the Plan
8 April 2018

As reported last month, policies for the Neighbourhood Plan have been agreed. Since then, the work of writing the Policies section of the Plan has almost been finished (a few 'i's to dot and 't's to cross). This will receive close scrutiny from the steering group and our 'critical friend' (an adviser appointed by Mid Suffolk District Council). The Policies cover Housing, Business and Environment land use planning. Also almost ready to go into the Plan are the Projects, issues raised by the community through the consultations we have held, and in the responses to the Questionnaire. The main focus is on road safety concerns: traffic speeds and pavements / footpaths, but it also covers the cycle path to Elmswell, and parking in the centre of Woolpit. Recommendations regarding play facilities for children, and provision for teenagers are also planned; discussions are ongoing with groups in the village and with Community Action Suffolk.

The definitive final version of the Landscape Sensitivity Study has arrived and is available on the Newsletters & Reports page of the website.

For our Neighbourhood Plan to have legal force, we are obliged - since the Ministerial statement of December 2016 - to allocate sites for housing development. Obviously this is a contentious matter, and following advice, we intend to commission an independent consultant to assess potential sites for us and apply criteria that will enable them to be ranked for suitability. Most neighbourhood plans are following this route. The assessment is technical and complex, and would be difficult for us to undertake. Government funding is available, and we can apply for a grant to cover the costs. The downside is that it will introduce a delay of 2-3 months. We will use this time, however, to ensure that the rest of the Neighbourhood Plan is ready when we receive the independent consultant's recommendations.