Hundreds respond to first phase of consultation on future of Beccles

Beccles councillors Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw and Richard Stubbings with the wishing tree in Beccles

Beccles councillors Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw and Richard Stubbings with the wishing tree in Beccles Library. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Concerns over traffic and parking along with the need for more leisure facilities in Beccles have been highlighted by residents in the first stage of a development consultation.

The views were collected during the launch of the Beccles Neighbourhood Plan exhibition, set up at the library at the start of December.

The Neighbourhood Plan is an opportunity for residents young and old to share their views on the local area - likes, dislikes and what changes they would like to see.

And the exhibition, which features a wishing tree, allows residents to post their suggestions, with 300 people already submitting their thoughts.

The consultation boards have now been moved to Beccles Medical Practice where they will stay for a month before moving on to Tesco.

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Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, chairman of the Beccles area Neighbourhood Plan Operating Group, said: 'To get that level of response is really fantastic.

'The biggest areas of concern so far are roads, speeding and parking, with outdoor spaces and leisure facilities coming close behind with a real sense of frustration that we don't seem to have much funding for those in this area.'

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If approved, the Neighbourhood Plan would be used in the determination of planning applications for the Beccles area, allowing the community to influence the type of development.

A sub-committee has also been formed to make sure that young people are encouraged to put their views forward, and the group will be visiting schools to engage directly with the children.

The plan is supported by Beccles Town Council and the operating group is made up of four town councillors, although they need at least eight members of the community to join for it to be approved.

The second phase will include detailed consultation surveys, and the third phase will be to bring all the feedback together into a document. The plan will then be checked by an independent examiner and a referendum will be held to decide whether or not the plan should be brought into effect.

Some of the comments from the library exhibition are available to view on the Beccles Neighbourhood Plan Facebook page now, with the rest to follow.

For more information visit or visit the Facebook page. Comments can also be emailed to the group at

•What changes and improvements would you like to see in Beccles? Write to us using the contact details on page 35.

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