Jobs will lead way forward

THE future of Sudbury and Great Cornard for the next 20 years is being decided as councillors work towards adopting the first part of a new district plan - to be jobs-led rather than new homes-led - to replace the 2006 version.

It was approved at Babergh District Council’s full meeting last week and includes 350 new homes to be built to the north of the town as part the Chilton Woods development, better links to the town centre for pedestrians and cyclists, and what is described as a key transport issue, “improving” town centre facilities for bus passengers.

It also mentions a western bypass for Sudbury, which was first mooted 25 years ago, as a way to ease traffic flow and congestion around the town centre because of its growth over the years. It says a key environmental issue is to improve the air pollution in Ballingdon Street, Cross Street and Church Street in Sudbury.

In Hadleigh, there are plans for 250 new homes with 5.5 hectares of employment land set aside to the east of the town near Hadleigh High School.

The plan sets out the council’s vision for future growth across the district from 2011 to 2031. It says Babergh has “a realistic opportunity” to plan for the creation of 9,700 new jobs in the 20-year period covered, just under 500 new jobs per year, from a mix of retail and leisure growth in town centres and encouraging growth in other job sectors such as renewable energy and tourism. But it identifies road and rail links, and broadband technology, as issues for the local economy.

The plan includes a target of 100 new affordable homes to be built every year.

Rich Cooke, Babergh’s spatial planning policy manager, said: “There will be an opportunity to comment on limited changes only during a further public consultation round which we currently anticipate will run between July and August. At this important stage we will once again be asking residents and other interested stakeholders to let us know what they think to the changes.

“The new framework will be extremely important for the future planning of the Babergh area and the delivery of a range of identified planning-related objectives.”

In 2009, Babergh District Council started its consultations with the public on the first part of a new planning policy framework to replace the existing 2006 local plan. Key to the new framework is the draft Core Strategy - the council says the first element will be the most important part of the framework as it sets the scene for later parts of the document and any future planning documents.