The autumn of 2020 saw four important planning consultations to which the Trust responded. 

Government consultations

White Paper – Planning for the Future

Changes to the current planning system

Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure

West Suffolk Council

West Suffolk Council Local plan – Issues and Options consultation 

The Government White Paper sought views on a major package of proposals for the reform of the planning system in England. Its purpose was said to include the streamlining and modernisation of the planning process, and improving outcomes on design and sustainability. Not least it aimed to ensure that more land is available for development, mainly housing, where it is needed. At the same time, and in part overlapping with the White Paper, a further Departmental consultation suggested temporary amendments easing the mandatory provision of affordable housing in order to speed up house building. 

These were followed by a consultation on Housing Delivery and Public Service Information that proposed permitted development rights for the conversion of commercial properties to residential use, including within conservation areas. 

West Suffolk Council’s Issues and Options and Options consultation is the first stage in a four-year review of the former Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury local plans to produce a new West Suffolk Local Plan for the period 2020 – 2040. It raises important local issues at a time when climate change requirements will need to be implemented.

While the Trust’s responses essentially relate to Bury St Edmunds the potential impact of all four consultations on the town will be significant. At a time when we not only have to meet the challenge of climate change, we will also have to respond to the many changes that will result from Covid-19.  

Copies of BTT’s four consultation responses can be viewed below:

Government White Paper – Planning for the Future

MHCLG – Changes to the current planning system

MHCLG Supporting Housing Delivery

West Suffolk Council Local Plan – Issues and Options consultation