Green light given for you to have your say on future housing in Babergh and Mid Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 07:30 28 June 2019
A long-delayed plan which will inform the future of housing in two Suffolk districts will go out for the public to have their say this summer.
Babergh and Mid Suffolk's joint local plan will go out for public consultation in July after both councils agreed to invite feedback at their respective meetings this week.
The plan outlines the number of homes needed by 2036, and includes forecasts for each area in the districts as well as priorities for infrastructure improvements.
According to the plan, Babergh is in need of 7,560 (420 per year) while Mid Suffolk needs to create 568 each year - 10,008 by 2036.
Councillor David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council's Conservative cabinet member for planning, said: "It's important the appropriate level of new infrastructure is approved, maintaining a focus on health, education and transport.
"Some have suggested this [draft] is not ready to go out but this is a consultation stage and not a final submission.
"A couple of months delay now will be a couple of months extra to final adoption and we cannot afford any more delay."
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The plan was due to go out earlier in the year, but was paused in March so that it did not coincide with the election.
The consultation period will go on for 10 weeks over the summer to give people plenty of time to submit their thoughts.
However, while opposition groups did agree for it to go to consultation, they have raised concerns over some elements of the plan.
Among the issues were claims that the plan did not marry up with housing allocations and suitable sites drawn up in some parish neighbourhood plans, and concerns over the maps.
Rachel Eburne, Green group leader at Mid Suffolk, said: "For some reason at a political level we have been able to see the content of policies but we have had no sight of the allocation maps and that is something that has raised a lot of concern amongst communities.
"Firstly it's extremely disappointing and I would have hoped we were working with a bit more consensus across this council.
"It will also help to allay fears in communities where neighbourhood plan work hasn't been reflected."
Councillors will also be able to raise concerns as part of the consultation so that fears raised can be rectified before adoption.
A target date of Spring 2020 has been earmarked for adoption if work continues on schedule.