Final chance to have your say on future development of Waveney
- Credit: Archant
There's just one week left to have your say on plans which will help to shape the future development of towns and villages across Waveney.
The first draft of the Local Plan was released by Waveney District Council in July, setting out potential sites for housing and infrastructure in Lowestoft, Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth, Southwold and the rural areas in between.
The council needs to plan for 9,000 new homes, 5,000 jobs and 13,000 sqm of new retail development by 2036, and launched an eight-week consultation to give residents the chance to feedback their thoughts online or at a series of public exhibitions which have now come to a close.
And the consultation finishes next Friday, September 22.
David Ritchie, Waveney's cabinet member for planning and coastal management, said: 'Over the past seven weeks, we have received an excellent response from local people and all the feedback provided will be used to help shape the new Local Plan.
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'By 2036, Waveney will need over 8,000 new homes and 5,000 new jobs and the plan identifies key locations where growth would be possible. There is just one week left for people to have their say on the plan and I would encourage anyone who has not yet commented to get involved and help shape the future of development in the district.'
The majority of the development is planned for Lowestoft with Carlton Colville, Oulton and Oulton Broad. Nearly 5,000 homes are earmarked here, with infrastructure improvements including the Lake Lothing Third Crossing, medical centre in Oulton and sports facilities in Carlton Colville.
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The largest site being proposed is the North Lowestoft Garden Village, in Corton. This includes up to 1,400 new homes, a retirement community, employment development, primary school and local shops.
This is closely followed by 1,380 new homes that could become part of the Kirkley Waterfront and Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood. The project will also see employment development, along with a primary school, playing field and community centre.
Concerns over the amount of homes earmarked and how the town's infrastructure will cope were raised by residents at an exhibition held last month at the Riverside council offices.
One Corton resident said: 'I'm concerned about the drainage and coastal erosion.
'It's already a water-stressed area – what are the effects of 1,400 more houses going to be? How much will it alter the character of the ancient village of Corton?
'I'm not against the development and I understand we are in need of housing but it will be interesting to see how it's done.'
The plans also include 1,473 new homes for Beccles and Worlingham, along with the building of the Beccles Southern Relief Road and an extension to the medical centre. Worlingham Parish Council have launched a campaign in response to the proposal, called Death of Our Village, with fears the Beccles and Worlingham Garden Neighbourhood development, which includes 1,250 new homes at the site off Ellough Road, would have dire consequences for the village.
Wendy Summerfield, parish council chairman, said: 'We understand the need for development and affordable housing but surveys we have carried out have shown we need between 222 and 301 new homes,rather than this many.
'We feel our suggestions have been ignored.'
It also proposes 740 new homes for Halesworth and Holton, the biggest site with 215 houses, a health care facility and retirement community, sports pitches and an education/training facility, 527 for Bungay as well as an extension to the medical practice and a new community centre, along with 325 for Southwold/Reydon with improvements to the old high school playing fields.
A second consultation on the final draft of the Local Plan will be held in winter 2017/2018. The plan will then be submitted to the government, and in spring 2018 an independent examiner will hold a hearing. A report will then be issued detailing if the report has been found 'sound' and if approved the council will likely adopt the plan in early summer next year.
To have your say, visit www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/newwaveneylocalplan