West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan

[estimated] Ended on the 5 March 2019
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(4) 9. Sustainable Growth; a Framework for the Future of West Bergholt

9.1 What do we mean by Sustainable Growth?

For most people sustainability relates to the use of the planet's resources and the impact this has on the natural environment and the resultant quality of life for its inhabitants. Whilst this remains undoubtedly true, sustainability in planning terms has widened to incorporate all the factors that sustain communities. These include:

  • Environmental matters, the health and quality of our natural and built environments.
  • Economic outlook, the opportunities to enable a prosperous community and enabling aspects such as access to jobs, ability to successfully trade and the necessary infrastructure to maintain prosperity.
  • Social and community wellbeing, covering everything from our health to the ability of people to interact with their society.

In our Neighbourhood Plan we are taking a holistic view of our community and concentrating on what will be our needs going forward, not just our immediate requirements, but the needs of our children and even grandchildren. What sustains a community now cannot be assumed to be suitable for future generations.

Our Neighbourhood Plan draws together a number of community ambitions and planning polices to enable a sustainable approach to change and development and this is incorporated in an umbrella Sustainable Development Planning policy.

9.2 The Framework for Developing Our Plan

We have adopted a strategy to meet our vision and aims. In order to do this comprehensively a framework of eight working areas which map

directly or indirectly onto the aims has been assembled:

  • Village Society and Community
  • Environment
  • Housing and Planning
  • Business, Commerce and Employment
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Community Safety
  • Communications
  • Transport, Highways & Infrastructure

The scope of each identified working area includes planning and non-planning related matters. Not all of the activities relate to the development and use of land. Therefore, whilst each working area is presented in full here, non-planning issues are identified separately as community ambitions and distinguished from the planning policies later on in this document.

Village Society and Community Facilities:

Scope: To improve and extend opportunities for all age groups and the wider community to take part in a wide range of activities including as volunteers. Identifying vulnerable people in our society and ensuring they get the support they need to maintain a thriving community support network.

Activities: Clubs, societies, volunteering and mechanisms to strengthen the community and look after the vulnerable. To provide improved community facilities which support local groups especially in the areas of community buildings, telecommunications and meeting areas.


Scope: To maintain the distinctiveness of the parish and its identity by protecting the natural and built environment for the enjoyment of future generations and to explore opportunities to create new areas of recreational open space.

Activities: The quality of our built and natural environment, its protection, enhancement and improvement.

Housing and Planning:

Scope: Support limited expansion in the parish and involve the local community in all aspects of development through consultation and active involvement to determine new housing needs.

Activities: The quantity, quality, location and provision of new dwellings in the parish.

Business and Commerce:

Scope: Creating opportunities to work and trade locally.

Activities: Seek to examine controlled expansion of existing employment opportunities or new opportunities if scope exists; maintain and, where practical, enhance the existing facilities of retail and eating and drinking.

Sport and Recreation:

Scope: Promoting increased opportunities to get active and participate in sport.

Activities: Provide new areas of open space for formal and informal sport and recreation to promote healthy living and lifestyles.

Community Safety:

Scope: Create an environment which promotes a feeling of safety where the perception and incidence of crime is low and where the chance of being the victim of a traffic related accident is minimised.

Activities: Dealing with perceived and real safety issues, whether criminal or traffic related and working with the police, the community at large and highway authority.


Scope: Keeping the community informed through a wide range of media and promoting two-way dialogue and creating the opportunity for participation in democratic processes and decision making.

Activities: To improve communications through a range of activities with our website and social media at its core to provide residents with a means to be consulted on village affairs.


Scope: Moving around in the parish on foot, bike, horse, car or bus and ascertaining the wider infrastructure requirements.

Activities: Maintain and improve existing accessibility by bus, walking and cycling. Introduce 20mph zones or streets. Improve maintenance of our highways, bridleways, pathways and verges. Investigate the infrastructure of power, water and drainage.

9.3 Umbrella Policy on Sustainable Development

Policy No.


Sustainable Development

  1. Our Neighbourhood Plan will take a positive approach to development where this brings forward a balance of housing, employment, retail and community development to ensure West Bergholt remains an attractive and vibrant place. Development located as specified in this Plan will be supported if it enhances the environmental assets in and around West Bergholt and improves access to the countryside and open spaces for residents and visitors wherever possible.
  1. Development will be supported where it can be shown that such proposals would support the continued sustainability of West Bergholt by meeting at least one of these criteria:
    1. new homes in locations allocated in the Plan of a size, type and tenure to meet local requirements; or
    2. affordable housing of size and tenure to meet the objectively assessed need; or
    3. housing that meets the local housing needs of the parish; or
    4. infrastructure associated with leisure, recreational pursuits and social and community activities within the parish; or
    5. new and expanded business premises within existing commercial locations.
  1. All development shall be designed and located having regard to the principles and advice set out in this Neighbourhood Plan and shall be located to ensure that the development does not adversely affect the

a. amenities of nearby residents; and

b. the character and appearance of that part of the village in which it is located; and

c. the social, built, heritage, cultural and natural assets of the parish.

4. All planning policies are considered necessary to make Developments sustainable and acceptable, relate directly to the Development and fairly and reasonably relate to its setting.

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