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Village is first to have neighbourhood plan adopted




Members of the working group with St Edmundsbury Borough Councillor Clive Pollington who represents the village. Missing from the photo are working group members Simon de Laat who was on holiday and Doug Gidney who passed away suddenly and never saw the final outcome.
Members of the working group with St Edmundsbury Borough Councillor Clive Pollington who represents the village. Missing from the photo are working group members Simon de Laat who was on holiday and Doug Gidney who passed away suddenly and never saw the final outcome.

One of West Suffolk's smallest communities is the first to have a neighbourhood plan adopted to help shape future development.

The plan for Hargrave was 'made' by St Edmundsbury Borough Council following input from residents, the parish council and planning professionals over several rounds of engagement and consultation including a referendum.

It will be considered when determining planning applications for the parish and arose from a village questionnaire in 2013.

Resident Colin Painter, who was part of a working group of volunteers to help develop the plan, said: "The main thrust was to protect and enhance what we already had, but also to provide for the younger and older members of our community.

"In support of this the village was happy to support limited development through the reinstatement of a settlement boundary for the larger settlement, and also the creation of affordable housing for our younger and older residents, who would like to downsize and remain within the village.

"This plan is truly a village plan since, at every stage we consulted and sought feedback and ideas."

In a village referendum on whether the borough council should adopt the plan, 88 per cent of the 100 votes cast voted in favour. It represented a turnout of 42 per cent.

Cllr Alaric Pugh, borough council cabinet member for planning and growth, said: "This is localism in action, and for a small community to achieve this must be an incentive for other villages to look at the potential benefits."

He added there are other parish and town councils in the process of creating neighbourhood plans.



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