Local plan submitted for independent scrutiny

The final draft of the West Suffolk Local Plan has now been submitted to the Secretary of State.

Once adopted, the local plan will guide where new homes may and may not be built up to the year 2040.

It includes policy designed to increase the delivery of affordable housing, improve the energy efficiency of homes and make them more adaptable to people’s changing health needs, particularly as people get older. It also allocates land for employment growth to help meet future need.

The local plan has to follow a process set out by government which has included three stages of public consultation:

The issues and options consultation in 2020;

The preferred options draft consultation in 2022;

The submissions draft consultation held earlier this year.

Having been shaped by thousands of public comments, it has now been sent to the Secretary for State who will then appoint a planning inspector to hold an independent examination in public.

Following that examination in public, the revised local plan will come back to West Suffolk Council to formally adopt. Once adopted it will be used to determine planning applications to the council which is the local planning authority.

Jim Thorndyke, cabinet member for Planning at West Suffolk Council, said: “The local plan is important to shaping where new housing is built to meet future needs and allocating land for employment.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has given their input. We have received thousands of comments over the three stages and the latest draft, supporting evidence alongside the feedback received has now been submitted for an independent planning inspector to hold an examination in public.”

The local plan submission documents, supporting documents and evidence can be viewed on the planning policy consultation portal at: https://westsuffolk.inconsult.uk/WSLPexamination/consultationHome

The submission documents can also be viewed at the council offices below during normal opening hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday:

West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 3YU;

Mildenhall Hub, Sheldrick Way, Mildenhall, Suffolk IP28 7JX;

Haverhill House, Lower Downs Slade, Haverhill, Suffolk CB9 9EE.

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