Vision for Kessingland’s future approved in referendum landslide

Kessingland. Picture: MIKE PAGE

Kessingland. Picture: MIKE PAGE - Credit: Mike Page

A vision to create more affordable homes in a popular seaside resort, as well as increase facilities for older people and young families, has been given overwhelming support from residents in a referendum.

Marram Green, Kessingland.

Marram Green, Kessingland. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Kessingland's Neighbourhood Plan was voted in by a landslide 89 per cent of electors at the village-only poll held on Thursday, November 24.

Parish councillors have spent the last four years drawing up the blueprint amid fears young people are leaving to take up job opportunities and cheaper homes elsewhere.

It devised a long-term plan for three areas of new housing development, including one which would be kept exclusively for those with a connection to the village in order to encourage them to stay.

And there would also be a new children's centre built by East Coast Community Healthcare, along with a new 60-bed care home - both of which were approved by Waveney District Council's planning committee last month.

Kessingland Parish Council chairman Liam Martin. Pictire: NICK BUTCHER

Kessingland Parish Council chairman Liam Martin. Pictire: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Nick Butcher

After the vote, which had a turnout of 27 per cent, Kessingland Parish Council chairman Liam Martin said he was 'absolutely overwhelmed' at the public's support.

'It is a resounding result and worth all the hard work,' he said.

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'One of the issues that came across throughout the whole consultation was affordable housing for young people.

'The younger generation feel they're being pushed out of the market and we've come up with something that creates some housing solely for people in the village.

'I hope people who voted yes could see the social aspect of all the policies put forward in the plan and how much they're going to benefit the community in the future.'

The approval of the neighbourhood plan, by 854 votes to 103, now means it is now part of planning law.

That means the any developer making a planning application in the village has to take into account the document and demonstrate how it adheres to the policies of the neighbourhood plan.

A builder is still allowed to put forward applications that might go against parts of the plan, but has to demonstrate special reasons why it should do so.

Mr Martin thanked the Kessingland Neighbourhood Planning Team for its hard work over the last four years.

It will remain together to ensure to monitor the plan going forward and 'make sure we follow those wishes of the community', Mr Martin said.

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