Martlesham referendum sees neighbourhood plan adopted as voters back vision for area’s future

Land adjacent to BT Adastral Park in Martlesham is to be developed

Land adjacent to BT Adastral Park in Martlesham is to be developed Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

People in Martlesham have overwhelmingly voted to adopt the area’s new neighbourhood plan, which will help inform future developments.

A draft plan was put together following a series of exhibitions, feedback sessions and public meetings where locals could have their say, before a second round of consultation and the plan being approved by the Planning Inspectorate.

On Thursday, votes were cast in the referendum, with the results being counted at Suffolk Coastal District Council’s headquarters at East Suffolk House in Melton on Friday.

Of the 1,218 voters, 1,138 voted in favour of adopting the new plan – 93.4%.

Turnout was 27% of the electorate.

With the plan being formally adopted, any applications and developments will have to be mindful of the details in the document and the planning authority at Suffolk Coastal will be required to adopt policies outlined in the deed.

The plan effectively hands more control to those living in the area, as areas of land suitable for development are identified, as well as what infrastructure improvements are needed.

It also acts as a vision of the area’s future.

Most Read

Mike Irwin, chairman of Martlesham Parish Council, said: “I would like to express my thanks to the people of Martlesham who have shown their support for the team who have worked so hard for so long to produce the plan.

“The real winners in this referendum are the residents whose environment will be protected from inappropriate development.

“It forms a major part of the parish council’s plans to maintain and enhance Martlesham as a place to live, work in and visit.”

Wenhaston with Mells also held a referendum on adopting the neighbourhood plan, which was approved after 95.9% of the vote agreed to adopt the plan from a 36% voter turnout.

A Suffolk Coastal District Council spokeswoman said: “Thank you to everyone who turned out to vote in this important referendum.

“A lot of work has gone into this plan and it is great that the local community is behind it.

“By getting approval, the neighbourhood plan will help influence future planning within the area.”