Saxmundham Neighbourhood Plan

“Save Our Sax – Rethink the Plan” – our message as Public Examination into District Council’s Local Plan opens on Tuesday 20th August

Saturday, August 17th, 2019 10:53 pm

On Tuesday (20th August) a Planning Inspector starts the formal Public Examination of the Local Plan, proposed by Suffolk Coastal District Council.  This Plan has huge implications for Saxmundham, with its proposal for 800 new dwellings in a new so-called “South Saxmundham Neighbourhood” (SSGN), to be built between the railway and the A12.  Saxmundham Town Council and the Saxmundham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group have objected to the proposals, while accepting that the town will continue to grow significantly over the next 2 decades.  We consider there should be a somewhat lower level of increase in new housing over the Plan period to 2036, and that it should be located to the east as well as to the south.

The hearing is open to all.  Saxmundham Town Council will be represented (with speaking rights) at the hearings.  The venue is:

East Suffolk House, Station Road, Melton, Woodbridge IP12 1RT

This is immediately opposite Melton Railway Station, at the premises of what is now East Suffolk Council.  The session on Tuesday starts at 9.30 a.m.

Before that, from about 8.45 a.m., the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group are holding a short demo/vigil/photo opportunity outside the building with a banner saying “Save Our Sax: Rethink the Plan”.  We would be delighted if any residents want to join us for 30 to 45 minutes.

We aim to hold a second vigil, also with the banner, in the morning of Thursday 5th September, which is the day on which the Inspector will look in most detail at the issues directly relating to Saxmundham and the SSGN.  If you can join us then, that would also be great.

We believe the Plan as it currently stands has major defects.  The SSGN is too large, and is badly located for such a dense development up against the ever-busier A12. We have made counter-proposals for where future housing should mainly be located.  This Public Examination is the last chance to get the District Council to see sense and make a better set of plans for Saxmundham’s future. 

We are confident that we have strong backing from Saxmundham’s residents for our proposals to change the Plan – answers to our household survey show that the District Council’s plans enjoy very little support – the majority think growth proposed is too large, and the location is wrong.

For details of the hearings, and for all the (many!) documents relating to the Local Plan, you can click here (and from it to the document library, where you will find the draft Local Plan itself which is a ‘heavy’ pdf):

The Planning Inspector can only say whether the Plan is lawful and “sound” from a planning perepctive – he cannot rewrite it just because he thinks there is a better solution.  But we believe the current SSGN proposal are unsound on several grounds, whic we have set out in a  set of “Hearing Satements” which are on the website via the above link.