We wish to correct some inaccuracies in the statement made by Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC) officers in the article included in the July 25 edition, ‘Boundary issues stall Eye plan progress.’
The comment that adjoining parish councils were particularly concerned about the area proposed in the application is simply not true. In fact, all but one of the comments made by neighbouring parishes supported the application as made and wished to be kept in touch as the plan developed. The one response which expressed concern over the proposed plan boundary crossing the airfield raised valid points but concluded that it would wish to enter a dialogue with Eye and this has happened with no facilitation from MSDC.
Indeed, of the 13 consultation responses received, only two could be said to be truly opposed to the area included for designation (the whole of Eye parish).
To imply, as the article does, that a decision is contingent on on feedback from Eye, conveniently ignores the fact that consultation comments were received at the end of March. MDSC has not offered any formal written communication about its responsibility to decide on the area proposed ‘as quickly as possible,’ as it is obliged to do under the Localism Act.
The Eye neighbourhood plan was devised as a genuine attempt to engage the town and others to work with MSDC in what is likely to be a very important few years for Eye’s economic development. The whole team has always made it clear that it supports sustainable economic development in and around Eye and that it wants community involvement.
The best way of doing this was felt to be through a neighbourhood plan which, if adopted via a referendum, would have legal status. This ambition, however, has, effectively, been blocked by MSDC’s indecision.
As we were quoted in the article, any decision is better than no decision, and MSDC’s delay over four months has frustrated community involvement as well as leading this team to question MSDC’s true commitment to localism.
R Berry, M Carr and P
Gould, Eye town council
lors and members of NP
team, and G Hazelwood,
Member of NP team, Eye