A new local plan for West Suffolk - #YourFuture #YourSay is being formed. This includes where new homes can and can’t be built in West Suffolk and where land should be set aside for employment growth.
In total, the future housing need identified by Government means that 15,200 more homes will be needed in West Suffolk by 2040. While 8,600 of these already have planning permission, at least 6,600 homes need to be identified through the new local plan.
When it is finalised and adopted, the West Suffolk Local Plan, which covers the period up to 2040, will be used to decide planning applications and will guide where land such as countryside is protected as well as where development for new housing or land for employment can take place.
With or without a local plan, development will still happen. But having a local plan in place means that the council and its communities will have more of a local democratic voice over the proposals that come forward. It offers greater protection to greenfield sites and the countryside, and more safeguards to stop employment land being used for housing.
The local plan will also contain the policies that will secure the delivery of affordable housing, new play areas, green public open space, health and education facilities, and transport provision.
The draft local plan includes some of the early shaping for policies on how development will address climate change, increase biodiversity, and aid people’s health and wellbeing, including through homes that can adapt to support people’s changing health needs as they grow older.
The Government sets out the several stages of public consultation that a draft local plan must go through. The draft West Suffolk Local Plan completed its first stage of public consultation in 2020, on the issues and options.
The preferred options consultation has now been held and will lead to further changes to the draft local plan. There will then be another public consultation next year, 2023, on the 'submission' draft of the plan. Finally, the plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State who will appoint a Planning Inspector to carry out an independent examination. Only after the Planning Inspector has found the plan acceptable, can the local plan be recommended to a meeting of the council to seek its adoption.
You can find out more at West Suffolk Local Plan Review