Residents in both Halesworth and Oulton will be asked to decide whether Neighbourhood Plans for their areas should be used to determine future planning applications.
The Halesworth Neighbourhood Plan was prepared by Halesworth Town Council and contains a vision for the future of Halesworth and sets out clear planning policies to 2036.
The Oulton Neighbourhood Plan was developed by Oulton Parish Council and will be used by East Suffolk Council and the Broads Authority to help make planning decisions in the parish. The plan also contains ‘community actions’, which will be used by Oulton Parish Council and the local community to enhance Oulton as a place to live.
When finalised, the Neighbourhood Plans will act as guides to development in Halesworth and Oulton and will be required to be used by anyone making or deciding a planning application.
Cllr David Ritchie, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Planning and Coastal Management said: “Neighbourhood planning gives residents the opportunity to get directly involved in shaping their local areas, determining the location of any new development and providing guidance for what new buildings or developments should look like. I would encourage those living in Halesworth and Oulton to get involved and take part in their respective referendum on 2 February.”
Both plans have been through 6-week public consultations last year and an independent examination. The examinations found the plans meet all legal requirements, subject to some modifications.
As a result, the Broads Authority and East Suffolk Council has concluded that the Neighbourhood Plans should proceed to referendums. The referendums will take place on Thursday 2 February and will ask residents to vote on whether East Suffolk Council should use the Halesworth Neighbourhood Plan to help determine planning applications in the neighbourhood area, and whether the Broads Authority and East Suffolk Council should use the Oulton Neighbourhood Plan to help determine planning applications in the Oulton neighbourhood area.
Residents living in the relevant neighbourhood areas and who are registered to vote can vote in the referendum. Photo identification is not required to vote in these elections.
Copies of the Halesworth Neighbourhood Plan and information on the referendum is also available to view at Halesworth Library or the Council’s Marina Customer Services Centre in Lowestoft.
Copies of the Oulton Neighbourhood Plan and information on the referendum can be viewed at Lowestoft Library or the Council’s Marina Customer Services Centre.
If you have any questions about the Neighbourhood Plans, please call 01394 444557, email email@example.com or write to East Suffolk Council, Planning Policy and Delivery Team (Neighbourhood Plans), Riverside, 4 Canning Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0EQ.