NP Meeting, 7 April 2018, Parish Rooms

Attendees:  Tim Sheppard (TS); Barbara Campbell (BC) and Chris White (CW) [from 10am onwards].

Apologies:  Richard Furlonger (RF) and Jennie Jordan (JJ).


In relation to the Parish Character assessments (‘LCAs’), the final wording for the 6 character areas is to be agreed between the respective pairs undertaking the work. Once the wording has been agreed, the assessments are to be sent to TS, who will send them on to Ian Poole (IP), the Neighbourhood Plan consultant, for a draft report to be prepared. A future workshop is to be arranged to consult the Parishioners on the content of the draft Report. Following consultation, the LCA Report will be finalised.

 JJ is in the process of completing the forms for the end of the MyCommunity funding stream (up to March 2018) and the return of the unspent grant monies. Following the next Parish Council meeting (12/4/18) the unspent grant money will be returned to MyCommunity.

JJ is thereafter to make a new application for funding in accordance with the new funding rules and to apply for the technical assistance to help fund/facilitate the assessment of the 3 potential site allocations.

The photographic competition is running and some of the entries will be displayed as part of a future workshop. Paul Sargeant (PS) has kindly offered to help with the process and will judge the competition. PS to be asked to take photographs encapsulating the 6 character areas once the draft report is to hand, including important views to and from the areas. RF to email thanks to the photographic entrants for their participation and to inform them of a date/time for the competition results.

The bar chart questionnaire results are to be placed on the NP website and TS to draft a form of words to accompany the results. There will be a further NP update at the PC meeting and PC Annual Meeting, both of which are taking place next week.

IP attends meeting as arranged at 10.30am.

Raymond is to draft the LCA Report once the completed assessments have been handed in.

It looks as though Babergh will revise the status of Little Waldingfield to that of a ‘Hamlet’ rather than a ‘Hinterland Village’. This will have an impact on housing numbers and site allocations and is likely to mean there will be lower housing numbers attributed to the Parish and that a site allocation is less likely to be made by Babergh as part of its emerging Local Plan. Government policy is that local planning authorities should specify housing numbers for neighbourhood plans.

On the basis of a 5% housing allocation to hamlets across Babergh and with the Parish having a population of some 6% of all hamlets, that would equate to between 10-15 new houses up to 2036. The Parish can accordingly decide whether any site allocation is needed, in light of the reduced pressure for housing.

Babergh is likely to publish its draft Local Plan in June/July 2018. If there is a site allocation in the Parish, the positives are that the NP will carry weight in planning decision-making, even when Babergh has a less than 5 year housing land supply. If an allocation were over 10 homes, an element of affordable housing would also be provided. As against that, there is a view that over-development is not wanted.

In relation to site allocation assessments, the MyCommunity technical assistance is provided by AeCom and it can provide an assessment which could include a masterplan for any particular site – showing an indicative layout.

JJ is to look at further funding and the question of site allocation assessment work asap. The site allocation process commences with a phonecall to MyCommunity, which contacts AeCom and which then liaises with Babergh.

On a separate but related note, Babergh can assist with local housing need assessments, which look at the need in the Parish for affordable housing and input can be provided by Community Action Suffolk. The decision as to whether to carry out a housing need assessment should be driven and taken by the PC. An exceptional circumstances policy can be included in a NP, which may permit some in-fill development where there is a local need for affordable housing and a local connection is established.

A vision for 2036 needs to be worked up and consulted upon with Parishioners. The NP is likely to cover housing, including the identification of buildings with historic, or architectural merit but which are otherwise not listed; the natural environment; services and facilities – whether to have policies which protect the pub and playing field; and can include traffic, including any calming measures and improved street-scenes. The LCAs need to be updated by the Committee to include reference to buildings otherwise not listed but which have historic, or architectural merit.

Future consultation workshops need to cover the LCAs and NP policy. Some of the entries in the photographic competition and the results of the competitions, can be included in the first workshop, which is likely to cover LCAs and higher-level NP policy. If AeCom are instructed by the end of April, the site assessment results are likely to be to hand by mid-June 2018. A further workshop is then likely to be held on 7 July 2018, to look at whether to have site allocations. Interactive presentation boards can be provided by IP.

All present can make both of the proposed workshop dates (9 June and 7 July 2018), which will comprise drop-in sessions, starting around 11am and running to around 4pm. [Parish Rooms subsequently booked through Sue Sheppard, from 9.30am to 4.30pm on both dates].

The next NP meeting will be held on 28 April 2018, at the Parish Rooms from 10am to midday.



23 April 2018.