Suffolk Coastal Local Plan - Final Draft

Final Draft Local Plan

12 Neighbourhood Plans

12.3 Neighbourhood Plans were introduced through the Localism Act 2011 and enable communities to produce their own policies and to allocate sites for development. It is for Town and Parish Councils to decide whether they wish to produce a Neighbourhood Plan and where they do the District Council has a supporting role in the production of the Plan. Across the District, a number of communities have sought to develop their own plan, with a total of 18 Neighbourhood Plan areas designated (see Table 12.1 and map below). Of these, there are 7 'made' Neighbourhood Plans. Once 'made' a Neighbourhood Plan forms part of the Development Plan for the District. A Neighbourhood Plan will need to be in general conformity with the strategic policies of the Local Plan and communities may choose to review their Neighbourhood Plans to reflect the strategic policies within this Local Plan.

12.4 Table 12.1 and Table 12.2 below set out the position as at November 2018 for those Towns and Parishes which have a designated Neighbourhood Plan area. Trimley St Mary and Woodbridge also have designated Neighbourhood Plan areas, however Trimley St Mary Parish Council and Woodbridge Town Council have confirmed that they do not wish to progress with a Neighbourhood Plan at present.

Table 12.1 Made Neighbourhood Plans in Suffolk Coastal District

Neighbourhood Plan area

Status (as at November 2018)

Plan Period

Framlingham

Neighbourhood Plan made 23 March 2017

2016 - 2031

Great Bealings

Neighbourhood Plan made 23 March 2017

2016 - 2030

Leiston

Neighbourhood Plan made 23 March 2017

2015 - 2029

Martlesham

Neighbourhood Plan made 17 July 2018

2016 - 2031

Melton

Neighbourhood Plan made 25 January 2018

2016 - 2030

Rendlesham

Neighbourhood Plan made 8 January 2015

2014 - 2027

Wenhaston with Mells Hamlet

Neighbourhood Plan made 17 July 2018

2015 - 2030

 

Table 12.2 Neighbourhood Plans in progress in Suffolk Coastal District

Neighbourhood Plan area

Status (as at November 2018)

Aldringham cum Thorpe

Neighbourhood area approved

Bredfield

Neighbourhood area approved

Earl Soham

Neighbourhood area approved

Easton

Neighbourhood area approved

Kelsale-cum-Carlton

Neighbourhood area approved

Kesgrave

Neighbourhood area approved

Playford

Neighbourhood area approved

Saxmundham

Neighbourhood area approved

Wickham Market

Neighbourhood area approved

 

Designated Neighbourhood Plan areas in Suffolk Coastal

189 Designated Neighbourhood Plan areas in Suffolk Coastal

12.5 Neighbourhood Plans have to be produced in accordance with legislation and, prior to going through a referendum, are subject to an Examination undertaken by an independent Examiner. Neighbourhood Plans must be in conformity with the strategic policies of the Local Plan. The Council is committed to supporting those communities who wish to produce a Neighbourhood Plan and a number of the Local Plan policies contain specific guidance in relation to areas of policy that Neighbourhood Plans may choose to cover.

12.6 The National Planning Policy Framework requires local planning authorities to provide a housing requirement for designated Neighbourhood Plan areas. The Council also appreciates that it is beneficial to groups who are planning for housing in their Neighbourhood Plan to have an understanding of the broad number their plan should address. It is acknowledged that not all Neighbourhood Plan groups will wish to address housing, however the Council's starting point is that Neighbourhood Plan groups should have the opportunity to address housing wherever this is appropriate to the strategy of the Local Plan. Policy SCLP12.1 therefore provides each Neighbourhood Plan area with an indicative housing number, and the Council will support Neighbourhood Plan groups in the production of Neighbourhood Plans to identify sites to deliver these figures where this is appropriate in the context of the Settlement Hierarchy. The Planning Practice Guidance states that Neighbourhood Plans may meet their requirements through allocations plus windfall, however not through solely windfall. In identifying numbers, consideration has been given to the strategy of the Local Plan and the position of the settlement in the Settlement Hierarchy. Where positive strategies for the delivery of housing are not forthcoming in a timely way through Neighbourhood Plans, the Council may consider it is appropriate to allocate land for housing through a future Local Plan review.

12.7 All the policies in the Local Plan are 'strategic policies'. This means that policies and proposals within future Neighbourhood Plans should be in general conformity with these policies. The policies do provide flexibility for Neighbourhood Plans to develop their own locally specific policies and in a number of policies there is specific reference to the types of policies that Neighbourhood Plans may choose to include. However, Neighbourhood Plans may cover other topics and provide local detail in relation to other policy areas where appropriate.

12.8 Neighbourhood plans will need to consider the infrastructure requirements related to growth planned for in the Neighbourhood Plan. Infrastructure requirements related to the housing numbers identified in Policy SCLP12.1 are set out in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework and these should be considered, and reviewed if necessary, through the production of Neighbourhood Plans.

12.9 In instances where growth in a community is fundamental to the strategy of the Local Plan, it is appropriate for this to be planned through the Local Plan as a strategic policy. In such cases however, Neighbourhood Plans may add value through creating locally specific policies on other topics. This applies to Saxmundham where the Local Plan allocates land for the development of a new Garden Neighbourhood to the south of Saxmundham.

12.10 The Neighbourhood Plans that have been made identify visions for their areas and cover a range of topics that reflect the unique local circumstances of each area. Some, but not all, of the 'made' Neighbourhood Plans allocate sites for housing, employment or others uses. Other policies cover such topics as identifying areas of Local Green Space or provision for walking and cycling. Where figures are provided below for designated neighbourhood areas that already have made Neighbourhood Plans, this provides an opportunity for these to be reviewed to identify sites that would meet the indicative minimum requirements set out. Whilst Woodbridge and Trimley St Mary have designated Neighbourhood Plan areas, as these plans are not being progressed a number is not included.

Policy SCLP12.1: Neighbourhood Plans

The Council will support the production of Neighbourhood Plans in identifying appropriate, locally specific policies that are in general conformity with the strategic policies of this Local Plan.

Where Neighbourhood Plans seek to plan for housing growth, they will be expected to plan for the indicative minimum housing requirements set out below:

Neighbourhood plan area

Indicative minimum number of dwellings[1]

Aldringham cum Thorpe

Existing Local Plan allocation of 40 dwellings, plus small scale additional development and windfall

Bredfield

20

Earl Soham

25

Easton

20

Framlingham

100 in addition to allocations in 'made' neighbourhood plan

Great Bealings

Housing development as per countryside policies

Kelsale cum Carlton

20

Kesgrave

20

Leiston

100 in addition to allocations in 'made' neighbourhood plan

Martlesham

20. This is in addition to allocation SCLP12.25.

Melton

Existing Neighbourhood Plan allocation of 55, plus windfall

Playford

Housing development as per countryside policies

Rendlesham

Existing Local plan allocations of 100, plus windfall

Saxmundham

Small scale additional development and windfall. This is in addition to Local Plan allocation SCLP12.26 which allocates land for the South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood which will deliver 800 dwellings[2].

Wenhaston with Mells Hamlet

25

Wickham Market

70

This is in addition to Local Plan allocation SCLP12.61 (in Pettistree Parish, adjoining Wickham Market)

 
Where new Neighbourhood Plan areas are designated, indicative housing requirements will be based on a range of factors including the location of the settlement in relation to the strategy of the Local Plan, the position of the settlement in the settlement hierarchy and any known significant constraints to development.

1. In addition to existing permissions, allocations and dwellings with resolution to grant (as at 31.3.18). See Table 3.5. [back]
2. The South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood is within the Benhall Parish and Saxmundham. [back]