Neighbourhood Plan

Neighbourhood Plan

What’s next? | Consultation | What is it? | Why do we need it? | Aims, Vision and Objectives | The process | What’s been done so far? | Drop-In Day June 2018 | Drop-in Day July 2020 | Policies | Meeting Dates & Documents | Get involved & Comment | Closed- Household Survey – 2021 | Contacts

Neighbourhood Plan Banner | Evie Howes 2020 | former pupil Walsham CEVCP School

What’s Next?

Public Consultation

Walsham le Willows Parish Council is consulting on its draft Neighbourhood Plan, a planning policy document written by the community to guide future development in the area.

The consultation begins on  17th October 2022 with a seven-week public consultation period lasting until 2nd  December 2022.

A drop in exhibition will be held on 17th October at the Memorial Hall between 2pm and 8pm.

Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group – October 2022


To allow us to contact you if we need to clarification of your comments
To allow us to contact you if we need to clarification of your comments

What is it?

Our Neighbourhood Plan will help determine how the parish of Walsham le Willows develops to meet the needs of present and future generations. It will give the parish some influence over the type and design of the housing that is built and crucially, where it is built to best serve the needs of parishioners whilst also preserving the character of the village as much as possible.

It is a detailed plan about what matters most to the people of the parish of Walsham le Willows and sits alongside the Local Plan that is developed by the District Council which in turn sits alongside national planning policies as set by the government of the day.

Once accepted by the planning authority and the independent examiner, any modifications required are made and the plan is then put to the people of the parish in a referendum, and if passed, is then adopted by the District Council planning authority. Once adopted it has to be taken into account by the planning authorities when considering planning applications affecting the parish.

Why do we need it?

The biggest planning issue raised by most people in Walsham le Willows was concern about inappropriate development and over development.

This concern has been very well illustrated by the development of a 66 home housing estate currenty in progress outside the village envelope at the top of Wattisfield Road. Planners granted permission despite vehement Parish Council and local objections and in the face of strong evidence from traffic surveys demonstrating the location’s unsuitability for development at this scale. Because the District Council had failed to adopt an updated Local Plan and in the absence of an adopted neighbourhood plan for Walsham le Willows, the planning authority was vulnerable to pressure from central government and developers seeking to have applications for planning permission granted.

The good news however, is that the Wattisfield Road development along with the smaller one for 22 houses opposite it and yet to be started (Broadmeadow), have been included as contributing towards the current housing requirement in the Local Plan for Walsham as a core village. The remaining requirement for 8 units has since been more than fulfilled by individual builds that have been granted planing permission.

The adoption of the revised Local Plan was further delayed due to Coronavirus as well as other issues but is soon due to be adopted by the local authority (Mid-Suffolk District Council). Local plans are revised every five years and with each revision it is possible that more housing could be required by the local authority. This makes a Neighbourhood Plan an urgent priority so that the people in Walsham can influence and manage any future growth requirement to the long term benefit of the village.

Aims, Vision and Objectives

A Neighbourhood Plan strengthens our community voice in the planning process.

Draft Aims

By undertaking a Neighbourhood Plan, the steering group aim to:

  • Enable residents to influence and shape new development
  • Establish what is special about Walsham le Willows
  • Allow the village and surrounding area to develop sensitively, in terms of design, character, heritage, amenities, and enhance wildlife and the environment
  • Identify community needs for the use of developer contributions and other possible funds

Draft Vision to 2037 (15 years)

Walsham le Willows will continue to be a well-loved, historic Suffolk parish with a unique character and identity.

The natural environment, biodiversity and heritage will be enhanced and protected. Future development will be environmentally sustainable, well designed, and suitably located, integrated, and connected. The Parish will have a range of housing types and tenures to suit all ages and incomes, supported by appropriate infrastructure.

The area will continue to be a desirable place for current and future generations.


Click to Enlarge
September 2021

The Process

Project process flow chart with projected dates

Community engagement is an essential part of the process.

What’s Been Done So Far?

The objectives of the Walsham Neighbourhood Plan were based on themes proposed by group members, refined and widely endorsed by the community at the first drop-in day held 27th June 2018. With assistance from consultants, these have now been refined into aims, vision and objectives.

The the group is currently working on:

  • Policies to address the concerns raised by parishioners
  • Character appraisals to inform a Design Code
  • A Housing Needs Assessment.
  • A Household Survey

June 2018

Agreement of the Plan Boundary & people’s views collected

Logo Competition

July 2020

Housing – potential sites

More coming soon

Household Survey – 2021

The Neighbourhood Plan Household Survey has results are in.

The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and the Parish Council would like to thank all who took the time to complete the survey. These responses will be enormously helpful.

A special thanks goes to Walsham le Willows Primary School children and teachers for their contributions to the under 18s section.

Good progress is being made


The Steering Group, facilitated by our consultants (Andrea Long of CompassPoint Planning working with Rachel Leggett & Associates) and with ongoing community engagement, will produce the policies which will be part of the Walsham le Willows Neighbourhood Plan.

Once the group has drafted policies based on their work so far, the policies will be published here prior to a statutory six week consultation on the final proposed plan following which it will be submitted (with any amendments arising from consultation) to the local planning authority (MSDC). MSDC will publicise the plan for a period of six weeks before submitting it for independent examination.

Further modifications may proposed and made before submitting the plan to a local referendum of the people of the parish of Walsham le Willows. The outcome of the the referendum willthen hopefully lead to adoption of the plan by MSDC as part of their planning policy for the parish of Walsham le Willows.


These policies are being worked up now.

Meeting Dates & Documents

From September 2021 the Steering Group are working with consultants engaged by the Parish Council as a ‘qualifying body’ that can access funding for this purpose.

The group will meet monthly, working to a timetable set by the consultants to the end of the current financial year. Meetings will take place either face to face or and sometimes by Zoom on the first Wednesday of each month (this will be noted at the end of the minutes of each meeting). Extra meetings may be added where needed.

The steering group includes two Parish Councillors and the group will report back to the Parish Council on a monthly basis.

Documents, meeting notes, resources are listed below as work on the plan proceeds. Find future meeting dates and an idea of what is going to be discussed and when (although all subject to change). NB the search box here returns results based on document titles and dates, not content. To search the whole site, including this content use the search box on the homepage.
IndexDateDocument / Planned Discussion
46December 2nd 2021Draft Minutes
45November 5thBabergh & Mid_Suffolk Land Supply Statements
The MSDC position is that they have a 9.54 year supply - they are required to have 5 as a minimum. This along with the fuflilled housing allocation for Walsham takes off the pressure for more development and gives time to get a neighbourhood plan adopted that will then allow the village to have more control over future developemt in terms of location, density and design.
44November 4th 2021Draft Minutes
43October 7th 2021Minutes
42September 14th 2021Sally, Ian, Gordon Alison's Walks
Walk Your Way Around The Parish - Introduction
Hartshall Lane
The Nether Regions
Wind in the Willows
41September 13th 2021Minutes
Draft Aims and Vision Statements
Outline Proposal & Timetable
Project Plan
Skills Audit Template
Download-Report to Parish Council Template
Declaration of Interests Form
Communications Plan

40July 14th 2021Parish Council appoint consultants to work with Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group: Andrea Long of compasspoint planning workiing in partnership with Rachel Legget and Associates
39March 4th - May 13th 2021Various agendas, minutes extracted from emails
38January 21st 2021Draft Agenda
37January 7th 2021Meeting cancelled due to the impact of family committments of lockdown.

Local Plan Online Meeting - notes by Suzi Martineau
36November 26th & December 10th 2020Both these meetings were cancelled the latter due to technical issues.
35November 12th 2020Minutes
34October 29th 2020Cancelled
33October 15th 2020Minutes
32September 17th 2020 | Memorial Hall 7pmNotes from meeting

Due to Covid restrictions places are limited to 15 but this is an opportunity for anyone who was involved prior to Covid to find out what the core group have been doing over lockdown and to hear about the latest twists and turns in thinking, both the group’s and the government’s.

Outline agenda

• Feedback from housing consultation event
• Update on incoming changes in planning law and neighbourhood plans
• What we need to do going forwards
31September 3rd 2020Agenda - First sift of sites and process for future development to be agreed beginning with the suggestions which emerged from exhibition day on 23rd. Opportunity to get ahead of the game as the government has indicated a desire for a more truncated approach to Neighbourhood Planning. To focus on development and agreeing a way ahead.
3013th August 2020Core group Meeting 7pm | Notes | discussion was about the first proposals coming out of the consultation day plus the implications of the new planning proposals from Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick

Due to increasing work commitments and the fact that more progress has made during lockdown than previously the group agreed to a fortnightly format to keep momentum.
298th August 2020Walsham Neighbourhood Plan makes the Bury Free Press
28July 30th 2020Core group Meeting 5.30pm | Notes | reflection on outcomes of exhibition day and to formulate plans for next steps
27July 23rd 2020An open air (barn door open), socially distanced, exhibition day to engage the community on the housing proposal for the plan.

The large master plan for sites location worked extremely well and has revealed some useful leads as well as some patterns about where and where not people want to see development happen.

Focus now on housing policies and planning the next drop in day for Environment (possibly Sept 10th In Church Farm Barn)

Documents will be added to this timeline soon.
26July 8th 2020Core group Meeting - planning and preparation for exhibition day
25July 1st 2020Core group Meeting - planning and preparation for exhibition day
24June 25th 2020Core group Meeting - planning and preparation for exhibition day
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

You can also leave your comments the Walsham le Willows Facebook Forum .

Get Involved & Comment

Neighbourhood Plan Comment Form
Please leave your comments there or by completing this form with thoughts and suggestions and any offers of help.
There will not be many communications other than for consultations with you as a parishioner. There will probably be one household survey. You may unsubscribe at any time.


This table shows group members and current areas of interest. These people may be taking an area forward at the moment but this will evolve as the plan progresses. The role of scribe for noting action points from each meeting will be taken on a rotating basis by all members.
Members and areas of interest with contact details where available
Jimmy Bailey
Mapping & Strategy
Maggie Barber
Local Information
Richard Belson Parish Councillor
Ian Campbell
Sports & Leisure
Sally Johnston
Phil Newby Chair
Alison Martin
Nick Mecrow Parish Councillor
Gordon Murray
Suzi Steer

walsham le willows neighbourhood plan 'working together' logo

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