1. The Role of the Mid Suffolk Local Plan
1.1 The Mid Suffolk Local Plan covers the whole
of the administrative District of Mid Suffolk. The Plan area is
shown on Diagram 1. It is the intention of the
Plan, in support of a plan-led system which the Secretary of State
for the Environment is promoting, to provide:-
Guidance - to help people plan the use of their land confidently
and sensibly and to help the District Planning Authority to interpret
the public interest consistently and to the long term benefit of
Incentive - by allocating land for particular types of
development, the District Council can stimulate development to provide
homes and job opportunities whilst at the same time protecting the
Control - which ensures that developers cannot ultimately
insist for private reasons on a change which would be against the
public interest, and that people affected by proposals for change
can have their views considered.
The three main components of a plan-led
town and country planning system.
|What is a Local Plan?
1.2 The Local Plan is a document setting out detailed
policies and specific proposals
for the development and use of land. It will guide the District
Planning Authority in most day-to-day planning decisions. The preparation
and regular review of Local Plans gives local communities the opportunity
to participate in planning choices about where development should
|A document to guide decision-making.
1.3 Policies perform two functions:-
(i) they indicate the response of the District Planning Authority
to different types of land use and development; and
(ii) they set out the criteria against which applications for
planning permission are considered.
The function of policies and proposals.
Therefore they provide the basis for development control.
Proposals also have two functions:-
(i) they define areas within which particular policies apply;
(ii) they identify individual sites for a particular type of
development or land use. These are sometimes known as land
Taken together, the policies and proposals therefore express the
objectives of the Local Plan. For ready identification, policies
are printed in BOLD CAPITALS whilst proposals are
printed in CAPITAL ITALICS.
|The function of policies and proposals.
The Policy Context in which
the Local Plan has been Prepared
|1.4 National context -
the Government prepares national guidance to be taken into account
both in preparing local plans and in decisions on individual planning
applications. The aim is to secure consistency of approach by setting
out clearly the Government's priorities for land use and development.
Since 1988, the Government has been issuing guidance in the form of
Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPGs) on subjects
such as Housing, Countryside and the Rural Economy and Tourism.
|1.5 Regional context - the Government
issues regional planning guidance setting out broad strategic policies
where there are planning issues which, though not of national scope,
apply across regions or parts of regions and which need to be considered
on a scale wider than the area of a single local authority. A Regional
Planning Guidance Note (RPG6) has been issued for East Anglia.
The strategy seeks to disperse investment in jobs from the most prosperous
and congested areas in the west of the region, and Cambridgeshire
in particular, to those areas in Norfolk and Suffolk where the improvement
in trunk roads is expected to increase their attractiveness for economic
development. The extent to which this can be achieved in practice
depends on the consistency of the policies operated by the planning
authorities for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
||Strategic guidelines for
|1.6 County Structure Plan - the overall
guidance for planning in Suffolk is provided by the County Structure
Plan. This document sets out County-wide policies on housing, including
figures for the amount of new housing in each District, the rural
economy, strategic transport and highway facilities, mineral working,
waste treatment and disposal and other land use subjects covered in
more detail in Local Plans. The preparation of the Mid Suffolk Local
Plan has been carried out to conform with the adopted County
Structure Plan (Incorporating Alterations 1, 2 and 3) which
was adopted in June 1995. The Mid Suffolk Local Plan takes account
of the Structure Plan’s overall strategy and the balance it
creates between development and conservation and how proposed development
will be served by transport and other infrastructure.
||The scope of the County Structure Plan.
| Which Planning Guidance takes Precedence?
1.7 In the event of conflict between the provisions
of a Local Plan and those of a County Structure Plan, it is the
Local Plan that will prevail unless the County Council have previously
stated that they consider the Local Plan is not in general conformity
with the Structure Plan and the Local Plan has not subsequently
been altered or replaced.
In addition to these statutory planning documents, the law courts
held that the Government’s statements of planning policy (such
as PPGs) are material considerations which must be taken
into account, where relevant, in decisions on planning applications.
|The status of the Local Plan.
| Keeping the Local Plan Up-To-Date
|1.8 The policies and proposals of the Local Plan have
been presented in a way that will allow them to be monitored and,
where necessary, reviewed. The effectiveness of the Plan will very
much depend on keeping it up-to-date. To assist in this updating process,
the Local Plan includes objectives and specific targets
against which its performance can be measured and these are clearly
highlighted in the text. The stated objectives and targets help to
identify the District Planning Authority's priorities and provide
a consistent basis for monitoring whether the Plan is achieving its
original intentions and what parts of the Plan need to be strengthened
|| Setting objectives and
targets against which
to measure progress.
|The Form and Presentation of the Local Plan
|1.9 The Mid Suffolk Local Plan consists of a Written
Statement and a Proposals Map. The Written Statement sets out the
principal contents of the Plan, namely its policies and proposals
together with a brief justification as to why they have been put forward
by the District Planning Authority as a basis for deciding planning
applications. Each chapter covers a different land use subject or
group of subjects. The chapter is introduced by referring to a set
of objectives and is concluded by targets that the Local Plan hopes
to achieve. The Written Statement is concluded by explaining the ways
in which the Plan will be implemented, by which agencies and over
||The Written Statement.
|1.10 The Proposals Map has the task of illustrating
how the policies and proposals of the Written Statement apply, defining
sites for particular developments or land uses and the areas to which
policies will be applied. The Map is on an Ordnance Survey base and,
to allow greater clarity, it is accompanied by Inset Maps at a larger
scale. There are Inset Maps for all the towns and villages in the
Plan area. Separate Inset Maps have been prepared for Stowmarket town
centre and for major industrial estates and recreation sites. For
purposes of identification the boundaries of each Inset Map are shown
on the Proposals Map.
||The Proposals Map.
|1.11 Stowmarket Strategic Development Area
- A separate chapter has been prepared to amplify the policies and
proposals relating to major development in Stowmarket. This reflects
the importance attached to the development and the District Planning
Authority’s commitment to a sustainable form of development.