Leavenheath looks to steer future housing developments with creation of village plan
A formal plan setting out priorities for future development in a Suffolk village has been targeted for the summer, with the steering group suggesting other villages could follow suit to ensure residents’ voices are heard.
The Leavenheath village plan committee held a meeting on Tuesday to assess the results of a recent survey of residents, which will be used to help produce a document to inform how housing should be delivered in the years ahead.
The survey, which had a 36 per cent return rate after being distributed to 600 homes, was issued following the publication of the draft Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Local Plan last year, which included allocations of new homes for specific towns and villages.
Greg Deeks, a member of the Leavenheath steering group, told the Free Press that, while a village plan is not legally binding, it can help influence what types of housing people want and where it should go.
“We all think it’s important to have a plan in place,” said Mr Deeks, of Bramble Way. “It will give Babergh District Council an idea of what villagers feel is appropriate for the village.
“We know the housing is going to come, so I think this plan will be a positive thing. I know Newton Green have a very good plan.
“This has been brought about here, because Babergh is imposing a certain amount of houses on each village.
“There is a definite acceptance that there should be a few more houses. Like most villages, we want to make sure there are houses for younger people so they can stay here, because they have ties to the village.
“I think it could progress from being a village plan about housing to being a good community-based idea that can bring the whole community together, which would be a great thing in this day and age.”
He added that there will be regular open public forums in the coming months for people to express their views on the village plan.
All those who filled out the survey were entered into a £100 cash prize draw, which took place at the regular coffee morning in Leavenheath Village Hall on Saturday.