Community Led Planning
Babergh DC approved our area designation for the purposes of our Neighbourhood Plan, as follows:
Re: Little Waldingfield NHP - Area Designation Notice
Following the recent application made by Little Waldingfield Parish Council to designate their Neighbourhood Plan Area I’m pleased to attached our formal Designation Notice and Table of Reponses. The latter refers to two responses - from Natural England and Suffolk County Council - which I also attached for your information.
Progressing the Little Waldingfield Neighbourhood Plan (NHP) now rests with yourselves. We will, of course, provide help and assistance along the way via our ‘duty to support’ but it may be helpful for you to know that we are currently reviewing and making changes to the way that we work with NHP groups. I will be happy to discuss these in more detail with you in due course. In the meantime, our NHP Homepage contains links to some useful guidance documents. The Roadmap Guide / Worksheets published on the My Community website are particularly helpful if you have not already seen these. Click HERE to access.
With regards to grant funding, the My Community website under their ‘Funding Options’ tab click HERE) will also be of help. It refers to the 2015-2018 grant programme (so we are in the last year of that cycle) but we understand that Government intend to make further funding available. As this would be a direct arrangement made with NHP Group via ‘My Community’ I am not overly familiar with the application process etc. but other parishes who are preparing NHP’s may be able to help.
I trust that the above is of help. I will be back in touch shortly but if you do have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Business Support Officer | Planning for Growth, Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils - Working Together
Babergh District Council (BDC) has received our designation and commenced formal consultation in relation to the extent of the area selected (all that contained within our parish boundary). Later this month villagers will receive three documents, delivered with the Box River News (BRN). In addition, six copies of all three documents have been posted around the village: on the council noticeboard, on various telegraph poles and in the window of the Parish Room.
Councillors reviewed outcomes of their meetings with Bill Newman (Babergh District Council) and Carroll Reeve (Lavenham Parish Council chairman), held to better understand the process of developing a Neighbourhood Plan (NP). Councillors resolved that Little Waldingfield’s Neighbourhood Plan (LWNP) should proceed as follows:
- The Little Waldingfield Parish Boundary will define the geographical scope of the NP area (i.e. No parts of the parish to be excluded).
- The constitution and composition of the NP Steering Group will be decided once the NP area has been designated and after a meeting with volunteers.
- The Clerk will formally apply to Babergh District Council for the NP area to be designated (which will formally start the NP process).
- All procurement for the NP Steering Group will be through LWPC (to maintain proper council control of proceedings).
- Copy documents offered for LWPC's use from Lavenham and other areas undertaking NP’s would be used as templates for the NP Steering Group’s consideration (to save time and increase efficiency).
The Parish Council kicked off a community led planning process via a public meeting on Saturday 24th September, to which over 60 village residents came to hear a presentation by councillors Andy Sheppard and Tim Sheppard (not related).
They began by explaining some of the pressures on our village, the current shortfall of new house building in the area, the need for Babergh to build 300 new homes each year (for the next twenty years) and that to do nothing was just not a reasonable option for Little Waldingfield. To be able to influence future development, in terms of what, where and how, four alternative community led planning options were available, with increasing degrees of community involvement and concommitant legal affect:
- Village Design Statement e.g. Wotham - click below to access
- Village Plan e.g. Baylham - click below to access
- Parish Plan e.g. Bacton - click below to access
- Neighbourhood Plan e.g. Lavenham - click below to access
Many questions were fielded from the floor, clearly demonstrating the passion villagers have for the village and a determination to be involved in its future devlopment, which is exactly what councillors were hoping for. At the end, a quick straw poll showed overwhelming support for a Neighbourhood Plan, even though this will require the greatest degree of volunteer commitment and time to prepare / take the draft plan through all necessary examination and approval steps (a two year time frame was quoted, though Lavenham has taken more than three years to date). Councillors will now work on preparing an information document explaining the options in more detail, to be accompanied by a ballot to determine which option the village would like to pursue.