The Referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan for

We are pleased to announce that, as more than half of those voting have voted in favour of using the Neighbourhood Plan for Shadingfield, Sotterley, Willingham & Ellough to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area, the plan will now move to the next formal stage.  Voting was 116 in favour, 18 against, a turnout of 39.2%.

We are now pleased to confrim that East Suffolk Council approved the plan on 28 June and it is now valid.

You can read the plan here:  NDP Final Version July 2023


What is a Neighbourhood Plan? A Neighbourhood Plan (also called a Neighbourhood Development Plan) sets 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.

Where can I find out more?