Boundary issues stall Eye neighbourhood plan progress

Aerial pictures of Eye from the Town Hall
Aerial pictures of Eye from the Town Hall

Issues over the boundary of a proposed neighbourhood plan in Eye have stalled its progress.

Eye Town Council formally agreed to set up a Neighbourhood Development Plan Team, charged with forming a plan, in January. An application was subsequently made to Mid Suffolk District Council in February.

In the application, it was hoped the boundary should match that of the parish, which would include parts the airfield.

Chairman of the group, Peter Gould, has urged Mid Suffolk District Council to make a decision. At a council meeting in June it was revealed the team had been awarded the maximum £7,000 grant from Locality for its development, but this must be spent by the end of the year.

“It seems for us that any decision would be better than no decision,” he said.

“If it is the whole parish that is great. If it is less than the whole parish we will need to consider how to proceed. We would not be opposed to extending it to the whole of the airfield with the co-operation of the parishes involved.”

But a spokesperson for Mid Suffolk District Council said no decision will be made until feedback is received from Eye Town Council.

“The application was publicised by Mid Suffolk District Council and in response comments were received from a variety of organisations in relation to the possible inclusion of the former Eye Airfield within the area designation,” he said. “The adjoining parish councils in particular were concerned that the suggestion might lead to a fragmented approach to the future planning of the airfield.

“In response to these concerns we have invited Eye Town Council to consider widening the neighbourhood area designation to encompass those parts of the airfield which lie within the adjoining parishes.

“No decision will be made by Mid Suffolk on the neighbourhood area designation until feedback is received from Eye Town Council.”

Neighbourhood planning was introduced through the Localism Act 2011, with neighbourhood planning legislation coming into effect in April 2012.

Such plans can establish planning policies for the development of land in communities including where new offices and homes should be built, and what they could look like.