Martlesham Neighbourhood Plan
June 2016 - news update
At the Annual Parish Meeting in April, Mike Irwin, chairman of the Parish Council, gave a brief presentation on the main findings which will be taken into account in preparing the Plan. This is here.
Since the Annual Meeting, we've been awarded a grant to help us complete the Plan and a professional consultant has been engaged to help prepare it. Our aim is to have it ready to submit to a Planning Inspector by Jan 2017. Before that we will be seeking residents' comments on the draft Plan.
Please see the Survey Pages - the data relating to Q34 in the survey (how much do people value the open spaces between built up areas) has been added - sorry about the previous omission. The short answer is that there is overwhelming importance attached to those open areas, especially between Martesham Heath and Kesgrave and between Martlesham and Woodbridge.
A flyer was sent out with the August 2015 Martlesham Monthly. However there were problems with its distribution and it didn't reach everyone. If you missed it you can download it from here
Please take time to have a look through it - we'd really like to get your feedback on the issues mentioned, or your views on any other topics you think should be considered.
In particular have a look at the section about the Neighbourhood Plan Boundary and the discussions we've had with BT about their proposed development.
5 May 2015 - The Neighbourhood Plan boundary has finally been approved.
Following the public consultation which closed on 9 March SCDC has approved an amended version of our proposed boundary. The following changes have been made by SCDC to our submitted boundary:-
- Seckford Heights, Woodbridge FC site, Dukes Park, and the south side of California will be covered by the Woodbridge Neighbourhood Plan (please note this does NOT mean that these areas will move out of Martlesham Parish - the parish boundary will remain unchange).
- The whole of the BT site (ie the area known as Adastral Park within the BT security fence) plus the development land so the south and east of Adastral Park have been excluded from the Neighbourhood Plan boundary. SCDC's reasons for this are set out on Page 2 of the Decision Notice which can be downloaded from their website here. The full consultation website is here
- This decision notice states that "Any grant of planning permission will be subject to a condition requiring a masterplan to be produced. The community would have input into the masterplan.......The combined neighbourhood plan / masterplan approach is considered to provide a strong local input / influence and a strong framework to ensure the physical and social integration between existing and future communities, service provision and land uses over the next 15 to 20 years."
- We intend to press for meaningful community involvement prior to any planning consent being given. The Planning Application pre-dates SP20 and is now some 6 years old and much has changed since then (for example the emergence of a much busier retail park). In addition the process of developing the Local Plan, and the subsequent Inspection process raised a number of issues which were not covered by the planning application - for example mitigating open spaces, country park availability etc - all of which could impact on the local area.
- The NP will have influence on all other future development in the Parish, will seek to protect our open spaces and woodlands and maintain the quality of life we all appreciate and enjoy.
The Residential Survey results
The preliminary results of the survey are now available here.
The BT site
Our original application for our Neighbourhood Plan boundary in July 2013 (sic) was rejected by SCDC, on the grounds that the BT site was of strategic importance to the whole of Suffolk Coastal and beyond, and it should therefore be excluded from the scope of the Martlesham Neighbourhood Plan. We have discussed this at length with SCDC, our case being that the BT development (if it goes ahead following the outcome of the NANT legal challenge which is going to the Court of Appeal in 2015) will have a big impact on the whole area, and that it was not in the spirit of localism for the community to have no say in it. We now have agreement in principle from SCDC that the community will have a say, in a meaningful way, about what happens on the BT site and we are working to get that agreement formalised.
Against that background, we have concluded that it is very important for the parish as whole to have a Neighbourhood Plan for the remainder of the parish, excluding the BT site, and we are working hard to get a Neighbourhood Plan in place by mid 2015.
Background to the Neighbourhood Plan
A public meeting was held in the Spring of 2013 to see how people felt about producing a Neighbourhood Plan (NP) for Martlesham. The result was overwhelming support for going ahead. As a result, in July that year the Parish Council submitted an application for the designation of the Neighbourhood Plan Area on behalf of the NP Team to Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC).
A Project Plan Team was established and a number of working groups having been looking at the various issues affecting the Parish under the headings of housing, roads and transport, environment, recreation and leisure.
Many of the volunteers subsequently took part in an event to draft a long term Vision for the area.
We also held three public events where residents were invited to comment on the issues, which they felt should be taken in to account in preparing the plan and here are the issues they raised. The outcome of the public events has helped us to shape many of the questions which are in the survey being sent to all households in September 2014, so everyone in Martlesham now has a chance to input to the Plan.
Once the survey is complete, we will publish the results in November and use the outcome to help us write the actual Neighbourhood Plan. Residents will get a further chance to comment on the Plan before we submit to Suffolk Coastal. SCDC is required by law to hold a referendum where a simple majority of those who take part is needed for the Plan to be finally submitted to a Planning Inspector (whom we will appoint). If the Inspector approves the Neighbourhood Plan, it will form part of the planning policy documents for the Martlesham Parish.
Why Martlesham 2028 ?
Because the Neighbourhood plan will play a big part in influencing how the Parish will evolve up to around 2028.
The December 2013 Newsletter is here