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Adoption of Plan
Following the successful referendum at which 95% of voters voted in favour, the Little Waldingfield Neighbourhood Plan was formally adopted by Babergh District Council on 2 March 2022 and as a result now forms part of the development plan framework for the area.
Neighbourhood Plan - Timeline of Events
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 concomitant 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 development, 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.
A copy of the council presentation may be accessed here,
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).
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.
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
A Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee was formed by the Parish Council with a remit of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the Village. The Government encourages parish councils to produce their own Neighbourhood Plans enabling local people to have a say in how the neighbourhood grows and develops.
The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee was formed, comprising Tim Sheppard (Chair); Jennie Jordan; Chris White; Barbara Campbell and Richard Furlonger.
Initial NP funding secured from ‘My Community’.
The household survey questionnaire was circulated to all residents. The results were collated in early 2018. There were over 200 responses, or 64 percent of residents completed a questionnaire; a very good response rate. The Household Survey Results are also attached under the Evidence Base section of this website.
The NP photographic competition was launched and it was won by Frances Gregor-Smith. It is hoped that some of the entries may be used to illustrate the final NP itself.
The first NP drop-in event for residents took place, at which the Household Survey Results and the draft Village Character Assessment was displayed, amongst other information about the NP process. The turn out was pleasing and the display boards used are also available on to download on this website. NP drop-in event
We received the good news that further funding and technical assistance had been secured to help us continue with the progress towards a final NP for the Parish.
The Village Character Assessment was published, following evidence gathering by the SC; the collation of the consultation responses from residents and drafting of the Report by our retained Consultant, Ian Poole. In addition, the Site Options and Assessment Report by AECOM, the Government’s retained NP consultants, was published. This looked at the planning merits of the 3 sites identified in Babergh’s 2017 Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) 2017. The Report is also available on the website.
The Housing Needs Assessment Report is published.
The Design Code for the Parish published.
A Housing Drop-in event was held in the Parish Room
PC consultation event in relation to draft Babergh Joint Local Plan.
July 2020 Pre-Submission Consultation on Draft Neighbourhood Plan
We have now reached the Draft Plan “Pre-Submission Consultation” stage. The Plan was consulted on between Friday 5 June and Friday 24 July (inclusive). The draft Neighbourhood Plan can be viewed below.
Link to Draft Neighbourhood Plan - Please click HERE
We received responses from 59 residents as well as responses from a number of government and local bodies.
Neighbourhood Plan Drop-in Event – On the Playing Field by the Pavilion
Submission of amended Plan to Babergh District Council for consultation
Further Consultation by Babergh District Council
Independent Examination of Plan
Evaluating and responding to external examiners comments
Neighbourhood Plan Village Referendum
The official notification of the results is HERE