Our on going work and updates on current campaigns are set out below.
EXTENSION TO THE AONB
Just to recap the extension covers:
a. The south bank of the River Stour running from Manningtree to Parkeston Quay.
b. The entirety of the River Stour apart from the area in front of Parkeston Quay.
c. The Dodnash Valley d. Holbrook Park and Cutlers Wood
d. Holbrook Park and Cutlers Wood
The Society is delighted to announce that the Secretary of State has approved the extension to the AONB.
BABERGH AND MID SUFFOLK LOCAL PLAN
You will recall that we have been working with our planning consultants to challenge the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Local Plan where it relates to AONBs and project areas.
The Inspector has now issued his report confirming that the plan is sound and capable of adoption subject to the modifications that are in their report. I am pleased to be able to say that the Inspector has in the main agreed with all the comments we made against the rather loose wording proposed by Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council and I therefore attach the main modification.
The below is a report from our planning consultants as follows:
The Inspectors agree that the policy as submitted was not consistent with national policy and thus needed to be modified by (i) adding a new part 1 that sets out the approach for major development and (ii) clarifying that the criteria based clause that is now part 2 relates to non-major development that is either in the AONB or within the setting of the AONB.
The Inspectors also agree that there is no justification for treating proposals for tourism and leisure developments differently to other proposals and thus this part of the policy is removed.
Whilst other tweaks to the policy that we suggested in our consultation response on behalf of The Stour and Orwell Society have not been incorporated into the Inspectors’ Main Modifications, the revised policy wording is nonetheless a significant improvement to the original drafting which was rather supportive of proposals within AONBs and did not reflect the high threshold and policy requirements set out in national policy.
The Full Council meetings to consider the adoption of the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Local Plan took place in November and the plan has now been adopted.
We have commented on the draft Local Plan and this can be downloaded below.
HERITAGE ASSETS REGISTER
In our review of the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Preferred Options Consultation Document July 2019 (flowing from the requirements of statute and national planning policy), we note that there is an increasing focus on the protection of Heritage Assets within the Council’s area.
Heritage Assets include listed buildings, conservation areas, registered parks and gardens and scheduled ancient monuments. These assets and their settings are key elements of the broader landscape we are striving to protect in our area. The Committee considers that the Society now needs to focus on the heritage assets within our area and to assemble a Heritage Assets Register which could be used to identifyi areas that we could submit to Babergh DC for consideration as Conservation Areas.
Conservation Areas can be designated by the local planning authority and have considerable, indeed statutory, status. Their purpose would be seek to maintain the character, appearance and ambience of special areas on the Peninsula which are rich in heritage assets and thereby help achieve our broader aim of preserving and enhancing the landscape of the AONB and Additional Project Area.
We will be contacting members for suggestions on what should be included.