Shadingfield, Sotterley, Willingham and Ellough (SSWE) Neighbourhood Development Plan - What's going on?
At an open meeting of residents at the village hall in March 2017, it was agreed that we would prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for the parishes of Shadingfield, Sotterley, Willingham and Ellough, and this was subsequently approved by Waveney DC. The Project Team for the Neighbourhood Plan has now begun its work with a view to submitting a Plan to the District Council in 2018. The Team will be sending out a flyer and questionnaire to all private residences and businesses in the SSWE parishes in early 2018 to obtain their ideas and opinions on matters such as new housing developments, community facilities and infrastructure in the parishes in the coming decades.
The resulting plan must genuinely reflect community views, and so we are keen to get responses from as many people in the parish as possible. So please look out for the flyer and questionnaire and let us have your views.
What is a Neighbourhood Plan? A Neighbourhood Plan (also called a Neighbourhood Development Plan) would set out the views of the local community on the future development of our villages. It can shape and direct future planning by identifying the local sites that residents consider to be most suitable for development and key areas for protection such as historic buildings and open spaces. It can also set out the other improvements required alongside any development, such as playing fields. However, it cannot prevent any development from taking place in an area or propose less growth than the District Council's Local Plan.
Who develops a Neighbourhood Plan? You, the residents of the villages, do! The process is led by the Joint Parish Council, but the whole community must be involved in the decision to develop a Neighbourhood Plan and in deciding what it contains. The Parish Council will also need the participation of some residents as part of the Steering Group that will take on the day-to-day tasks of preparing the Plan. There will be a community referendum at the end of the process, which will determine whether the plan will be adopted or not.
What use does it have? Once the necessary processes have been successfully completed and the Neighbourhood Plan is approved by the electorate of the parishes and adopted by the District Council, it becomes part of that Council's Local Plan and must be taken into account in making any planning decisions. If you do not have a Neighbourhood Plan, your voice will not be heard. A Neighbourhood Plan carries statutory weight, but it cannot be used to stop all development in the villages.