Neighbourhood Development Planning in Stratford St Mary
Current position, January 2020
Stratford St Mary Neighbourhood Plan - Update
The public consultation on the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Local Plan (JLP) - Preferred Options; Consultation Document (Reg 18) was open between Monday 22nd July and 4pm on Monday 30th September 2019. With the consultation now closed, there will, inevitably, now be a period during which the respective District Councils will, severally and collectively, review the comments and suggestions submitted during the consultation and consider whether and how they should have impact on the proposed JLP.
Prior to the release of the JLP for consultation, the Parish of Stratford St Mary had considered the possibility of developing a Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish but had decided to set such a possibility aside, pending notification of the District Council’s plans for the parish, in the JLP.
At the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 11th November 2019 the subject of a Neighbourhood Plan was again raised for consideration.
Noting that the Parish Council’s request to residents for expression of any concerns about the JLP and its possible impact on the Parish had not resulted in any such being put forward, the Council concluded that the most likely outcome of any new consideration of a Neighbourhood Pan would be a decision that investment in such a process would not be necessary.
However, before putting the matter publicly to residents for a decision, the possibility of embarking on a Neighbourhood Plan in partnership with our neighbouring Parish, Holton St Mary, was considered. It was agreed that before putting the matter to parish residents for a final decision, the option of undertaking a joint Neighbourhood Plan with Holton should at least be explored.
An approach was therefore made to Holton St Mary Parish Council and following a tentative exchange of views on the possibility of such colaboration, Holton St Mary decided that a joint approach to neighbourhood planning would not be of benefit and it was mutually agreed that the proposal would not be pursued.
Since that time, the intervention of the Covid19 pandemic has prevented any further consideration of a Neighbourhood Plan in Stratford St Mary.
The topic will however be resurected, at the time when normal Parish Council business is resumed.
In the meantime, any parish resident with an interest in the possibility of developing a Neighbourhood Plan in Stratford St Mary is encouraged to register that interest at firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: Babergh and Mid-Suffolk District Councils published a refreshed Joint Strategic Plan for the period 2016-2020 (available here).
Any emerging information on the principles and process of Neighbourhood Planning will be made available on these neighbourhood planning pages of the Stratford St Mary Parish Council website,
In addition, information on neighbourhood planning can be obtained from:
for further information or to express your view, please e-mail email@example.com.
(presented in November 2018)
Central Government is imposing requirements for housing development on District Councils and in response, Babergh District Council is currently preparing its Joint Local Plan, that will include commitments in this respect, for the next three to five year period.
To permit local councils to have some influence on this process Government has confirmed that its existing policy of allowing local communities to prepare their own planning policies and site allocations in the shape of neighbourhood plans, remains very much part of this process. Through the use of this tool local authorities can actually create policies themselves which have real power, because future planning applications and appeals will be assessed against them.
Although a much simpler process than producing a District Council planning document such as a Local Plan there are still formal processes that must be followed and evidence gathered to inform polices, and open consultation undertaken if the plan is to be accepted. This of course will require investment of time and money.
But never-the-less, this forum is designed to allow those who actively engage in the neighbourhood planning process to pool experiences, thoughts and ideas with the very real prospect that they will be able to influence future decisions (see contact details below).