Neighbourhood Development Planning in Stratford St Mary
Stratford St Mary Neighbourhood Plan - Update
Public consultation on the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Local Plan (JLP) - Preferred Options; Consultation Document (Reg 18) was held between 22nd July and 30th September 2019.
On 31st March 2021, in accordance with Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (as amended), Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils submitted the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Local Plan Pre-Submission (Reg 19) Document and supporting documents to the Secretary of State, for independent examination.
However, fresh delays have now beset this strategy which will determine where 17,500 new homes are to be built across Babergh and Mid-Suffolk districts over the next 15 years.
The Planning Inspectorate has been in the examination phase of Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils’ joint local plan – a blueprint outlining suitable areas for housing development up to 2036.
But that examination has been put on pause as planning inspectors outlined concerns around issues including the housing site selections.
The resulting delay is likely to be around six months, sources indicate, meaning an adopted plan will not be ready in time for this winter as had been hoped.
The Parish of Stratford St Mary had been considering the possibility of developing a Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish, prior to the development of this new JLP but had then decided to set such a possibility aside, pending approval and publication of the District Council’s plans for the parish, in that JLP.
During its initial consultations on this matter, the Parish Council’s request to residents for expression of interest in a Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish, had not resulted in significant positive response and the Council concluded at that stage that the most likely outcome of any new consideration of a Neighbourhood Plan would be a decision that investment in such a process would not be necessary.
However, before putting the matter publicly to residents for a final decision, the possibility of embarking on a Neighbourhood Plan in partnership with our neighbouring Parish, Holton St Mary, was considered and it was agreed that 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 restrictions introduced to address the Covid19 pandemic has prevented any further consideration of a Neighbourhood Plan in Stratford St Mary. With the removal of Covid resitrictions allowing a full return to normal parish working, the topic could now be reconsidered but this is unlikely prior to the publication of the JLP.
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 email@example.com or by contacting Councillor Brian Such, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Further information on Joint Local Plan - Regulation 19 Pre-submission (Nov 2020) Click 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).