Local Development Order for Stowmarket FEZ out for consultation

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A Local Development Order (LDO) covering the Stowmarket Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) is out for comment after being adopted for consultation by Mid Suffolk’s Planning Referrals Committee.

Members of the public will have 28 days to comment on the draft LDO, the first of its kind to be proposed in the district.

Once the consultation is closed the responses will be considered and the committee will decide whether or not to formally adopt the LDO, the design of which has been funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

If adopted, the LDO will allow businesses within the FEZ to erect commercial ‘B class’ buildings without returning to the committee for additional planning permission.

‘B class’ buildings are commercial buildings that house offices, factories or warehouses. Any buildings built under the LDO will still have to comply with the criteria set out in the LDO itself, including restrictions on eave height and materials and design.

These new buildings would be required to be built within a strict and pre-defined area of the FEZ, but could take place without going through the full planning process for each one.

This is the first LDO to have been adopted for consultation by Mid Suffolk District Council, and comes one week after Babergh District Council opened consultation on its first LDO.

LDOs are made by local planning authorities and give a grant of planning permission to specific types of development within a defined area. The streamlined planning process they allow creates certainty and saves time and money for those involved, without permitting unrestricted development or removing a planning authority’s oversight.

LDOs cannot provide planning permission to alter any aspect of a listed building.

Stowmarket FEZ is a site within the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Space to Innovate initiative. Businesses that move to this site will benefit from business rate relief as well as the LDO. Enterprise Zones are part of a national government scheme to support business growth.

Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council portfolio holder for business growth and increased productivity said: “The Stowmarket Food Enterprise Zone is giving our food and drink businesses, whether they work in production, packing, logistics or marketing, the chance to improve their business and offer better quality service to their customers without the full costs of applying for formal planning permission on every change they make.

“Because this Local Development Order allows businesses to construct specific buildings without referring each one to planning committee, the limits we place on this LDO are very important. This consultation period is an opportunity for everyone in Stowmarket to tell us whether we’ve got the balance right.”

Members of the public can have their say on the consultation at: www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/planning-and-building/planning/stowmarket-enterprise-park-draft-ldo