Neighbourhood Plan

Why is a Neighbourhood Plan needed?

There are many facets to a Neighbourhood Plan that address all manner of community concerns around housing development but above all a Neighbourhood Plan has to identify land for future development. Without this, there is no plan that will be adopted by the local authority and subsequently put to a referendum of the people it affects for their approval. So why bother?

Winning NP Logo entry | Evie Howes,
Year Group 5 | Walsham CEVCP School

There is little choice but to embrace a degree of new housing into the future. As well as identifying land for appropriate development a Neighbourhood Plan would give the people of Walsham a voice on things like, how much housing we need, what kind of housing, where it should be located, specifically where it should not be located, what types of ownership (tenure), and not least, a voice on design standards and quality.

A Walsham le Willows Neighbourhood Plan is likely to be the only chance we have of safeguarding the character of our village as we embark on a positive vision of how our community should meet the needs of present and future generations.

Along with the Local Plan with which it has to dovetail, a Neighbourhood Plan has to be taken into account by District and County Councils when planning decisions are under consideration. The lack of coherence with the Local Plan is one of the reasons a plan may not carry the weight that it could. This must be avoided.

We need a Neighbourhood Plan to…

  • Give the village a voice, the right to be heard by those who make the Local Plans.
  • Protect and enhance the important character and identity of this historic Suffolk village.
  • Ensure suitable size and scale of development in appropriate locations.
  • Protect important assets and encourage community benefits.
  • Enable Walsham le Willows to maintain its identity as an attractive and comfortable place to live, work and play for both current residents and future generations alike.

Where are we with the plan so far


The currently identified strands of the Walsham plan have been proposed by group members and largely endorsed by the the community at first drop-in day but the biggest planning issue facing most people in Walsham le Willows is housing development. This is illustrated by the Wattisfield Road developments over which the local community and Parish Council had limited influence because of the absence of an adopted Neighbourhood Plan.

Winning NP Logo entry | Chloe Stanford,
Year Group 7 | Walsham CEVCP School
Winning NP Logo entry | Darcy Morley,
Year Group 6 | Walsham CEVCP School

The good news however, is that these two Wattisfield Road developments have been included as contributing towards the current housing requirement for Walsham as a core village. This leaves another eight plots to find to meet the current quota.

We are still waiting for the revised Local Plan to be adopted by the local authority which has been delayed due to Coronavirus, amongst other things. Local plans are revised every five years and with each revision it is possible that more housing will be required by the local authority. With a Neighbourhood Plan in place it is this ongoing growth requirement that can be influenced and managed to the long term benefit of the village.

Neighbourhood Plan Banner | Sophia Yarrow | Walsham CEVCP School

Come and join the conversation

The Ongoing Conversation

In the light of the Coronavirus outbreak, neighbourhood plan meetings have been conducted online but plans are afoot for more day long drop-in events, surveys and competitions as the easing of lockdown allows.

A series of drop-in days are planned over the coming months to gather more detailed responses to specific proposals on sites for housing.

Drop-in Day – July 23rd – 2-9pm, Church Farm Barn – Housing

A discussion paper on housing has been circulated to all households in the community and also published in the Observer. Come along to the drop-in day on 23rd July. Information will be presented to show historical development of the village to date and where development may not be able to happen for reasons of archaeological interest, flood risk, or planning restrictions such as conservation orders and covenants. If you have information on any any of these areas please come along and share them.

There will also hopefully be maps of the Elmside Lee and Wattisfield Road developments that will illustrate how a neighbourhood plan might have impacted if it had been in place prior to consent being given for these.

Primarily the the Neighbourhood Plan group needs to be formulating plans for possible requirements for development in stages of 5, 10 and 15 years into the future in order to stay one step of the regular revision of the Local Plan but doing this in a way that preserves valued and distinctive assets of the village such as footpaths, cycleways, allotments, our landscape, wildlife spaces, woodland, verges, hedgerows, water courses and nature havens, village societies, community groups and clubs and their buildings, sports facilities, school, shops and local businesses and which ameliorates the negative impacts of development as much as possible.

Do you know of any land or do you have any land that you might be thinking about putting forward now or at some point in the future? If so let us know at the drop-in event or in confidence, to

Once the group has some sites to work with areas of concern around other strands of the plan can be addressed to the long term benefit of all.

Meetings are scheduled for every second Thursday of the month unless otherwise advertised.  Usually held in the Priory Room at 7.30pm, currently meeting via Zoom at 11am or 2pm (decided at each meeting). Please check as lockdown has caused some disruption.

Please find specific dates with an indication of what is coming up and all historical records and information in the document time-line.

Phil Newby Chair | 01359 259 459

Documents listed below are a good place to start to get up to speed, these include resource documents and links on Neighbourhood Planning, the minutes from meetings and future meeting dates and an idea of what is going to be discussed and when. NB the search box here returns results based on document titles and dates, not content. To search the whole site use the search box at the top of the site on very page.
IndexDateDocument / Planned Discussion
28Later meeting Dates
Provisional Plan of meeting dates and events pencilled in for each month.
August | probably over weekend of 29-31 August | To follow up on July drop-in day and engage on other strands of the plan
September 10th
October 8th
November 12th
Spring 2021
January 14th
February 11th
March 11th
April 8th
27July 23rd 2020Open air, socially distanced, drop-in day with pre-booked slots (as required) for small groups to engage on the housing proposal for the plan.
26July 8th 2020Meeting notes to follow
25July 1st 2020Meeting notes to follow
24June 25th 2020Meeting notes to follow
23June 18th 2020Meeting Notes
Housing Needs Survey - 2015
22June 11th 2020Meeting notes
21June 4th 2020Meeting notes
20March 12th 2020Notes from Meeting
19February 13th 2020Notes from Meeting

18August 5th 2019Draft Local Plan - Notice of Consultation
View the consultation document online, and to submit your comments
Drop in Session dates and Submit your Comments

17July 11th 2019Historical development of the village ‘in a nutshell’
Housing update
166th June 2019To look at some likely potential (preferred and reserved) sites for discussion
152nd May 2019Minutes

1428th February 2019Agenda
1325th February 2019Community Infrastructure Levy and how to access it.
Includes the the link to the publicly available developer contributions database so you can see what is available.
1224th February 2019Steps towards adoption of a Neighbourhood Plan

Neighbourhood Plan Website
1122nd February 2019Draft Masterplan for proposed development of Shepherd's Grove site, Stanton
More information can be found at:

1027th January 2019BMSDC Draft Housing Land Supply Position Statement & Consultation timelines
929th November 2018
Notes from Meeting
84th October 2018Minutes
731 July 2018WleW NP Area Designation Notice
Plan Boundary
626th July 2018Minutes
527th June 2018News item 'all day' drop in session - Plan Boundary

Views collected on proposed strands of the Neighbourhood Plan...
Design | Environment | Flood Risk | Green Issues | Heritage | Housing | Jobs & Shops | | School & Early YearsSports & Lesiure | Traffic | Transport | Anything Else
431 May 2018Minutes
325th April 2018
228th March 2018
127th February 2018
Draft Mission Statement

The First Drop-In Event

The first drop in event on 27th June 2018 was a huge success.  138 signatures agreeing the Plan Boundary of the 153 who signed in.  See the news page post about this first event and see the gallery below showing what a successful event this was evidenced, not least, by the winning logo entries.

Neighbourhood Plan Logo Competition

Winning NP Logo entry | Evie Howes, Year Group 5 | Walsham CEVCP School
Winning NP Logo entry | Sophia Yarrow, Year Group 6 | Walsham CEVCP School

A big thank you from the Neighbourhood Plan group to all our young artists who took the time to think about what ‘development’ in Walsham le Willows meant to them and to express this in their artwork. And in particular, thanks to the creators of the winning entries which will now be used throughout the Neighbourhood Plan.

The five winning Neighbourhood Plan logo entries all designed by the children of Walsham le Willows Primary School are showcased above. The entries from all the runners-up also deserve to have their entries displayed and these are in the gallery below.

walsham le willows neighbourhood plan 'working together' logo

Everyone’s opinions matter!

Neighbourhood Planning Group Members

This table shows group members and current areas of interest. These people may be taking an area forward at the moment but this may evolve over time with people starting to work in groups as some strands of the plan are combined or as new people express and interest.
Members and areas of interest
Alan Twite
Alison Martin
Amanda Ellis
David Murray
Derek Sargeant
Eddie Dougall
Gordon Murray
Ian Campbell
Sports & Leisure
Jimmy Bailey
John Blakeway
History & Heritage
John Martineau
Green Issues
Kathryn Blakeway
History & Heritage
Kevin Boardley
Website and Email Inbox
Lynette Mecrow
Maggie Barber
Convenor and Local Information
Mick Mansfield
Phil Newby
Richard Belson
Sally Johnston
Suzi Steer
Trevor Roberts
Tracey Gorzelak
Green Issues & Education
Mike Ayres