BMSDC Joint Local Plan Preferred Options (interactive)
Representation ID: 17282
Respondent: Cotton Parish Council
The Parish Council very strongly believes that the future plan for the District should retain and support the character of Cotton as a rural village. It would wish to see a clear distinction between Cotton and Bacton, noting that Bacton is classified in the proposals as a “Core Village”; any creeping blurring of the boundary between Cotton and its neighbouring settlements would be strongly resisted as it would undermine the character of the village. The Parish Council feels it is responsible for retaining that essential character, and has extensively consulted residents about future housing plans.
Cotton Parish Council
The Parish Council supports the proposition in the document that Cotton be in the “Hamlets” hierarchy category. It notes that under all the District’s options for the future, the Hamlets category will be likely to have to deliver about 4% of new houses.
Using the figure of 8,246 houses in Policy SP04 as the target over the period 2018-36, the hamlets category would have to come up with about 500 houses.
In 2017, in response to the first Draft Local Plan, a consultation exercise was organized in Cotton Village Hall when all parishioners were invited to give their views on where in the village they felt housing development could be undertaken, and what type of houses should be built over the next 20 years, assuming a target of no more than about 20 houses.
The event was attended by 111 individuals making up nearly 25% of the resident population.
Participants were briefed on the process and then given three coloured discs to stick on maps of the whole village. They were also offered three plastic counters to be placed in boxes representing the various house styles which might be built. Also, Parish Councillors spoke with all people attending to discuss the various options and seek views on what people wanted, and also what they didn’t want.
The outcome was a series of village maps, clearly showing those areas where development would be preferred and the types of housing it was felt will be needed over the next 20 years. Interestingly, there was support for the process and little evidence of reluctance to consider some phased housing development.
Housing style was offered in the following categories, (shown in brackets is the number of votes for each category):
• Executive Homes (5)
• Modern ‘Grand Design’ (1)
• Bungalows (62)
• Traditional Suffolk Design (64)
• Affordable/Social Housing (60)
• Well Built Three Bedroom Family Homes (16)
• Eco Homes (26)
Discussions with residents clearly showed a need for cheaper housing for younger families, properties for current residents to down-size into, and well-built three bedroomed houses for families to live in for an extended period.
The areas chosen for building consisted of ‘brownfield sites’, i.e. an area previously built on and requiring clearance before housing development could take place, and ‘greenfield sites’, where the land has not been previously developed.
Cotton’s Settlement Boundary has been unchanged for about 20 years and has become outdated; some of the suggested areas for development will require the Settlement Boundary to be adjusted accordingly. The Settlement Boundary proposed on page 220 of the consultation document for example does not include site SS0806 (see below).
All the areas suggested have services within range and house building is achievable, in some more easily than others. Sewerage capacity will be an issue at an early stage and will need to be addressed by the planning authorities.
Music Museum, Blacksmiths Road - Strong support, 6-7 houses, Subject to a wish to sell by the owners, not available for 10-20 years
Lawes Builders Yard - Medium support, 12 houses, Currently used as builders’ yard with no plans for disposal, not available for 10-20 years
Church Farm farmyard - Medium support, 10 houses, Currently used as farmyard with no plans for disposal, not available for 10-20 years
Mendlesham Road ribbon development - Strong support, 8-10 houses, The land is currently unused and may be available
Scuffins Lane, land adjoining the allotments - Strong support, 2 houses, The land is privately owned and may be available for building on the road frontage
Scuffins Lane, land on the West side - Medium support, 4-5 houses, Privately owned land
Diaper’s Field, Mill Road - Medium support, 8-10 houses, Privately owned land already offered for development by the owners in the recent ‘call for sites’
Parkers Road junction with Broad Road - Medium support, 3-4 houses, This land is unused currently but in private ownership.
The preferred ‘brownfield’ sites are not currently being offered for housing but may be, over the duration of the plan. If so, they would be seen as a priority for development with a proportionate decrease in the allocation on ‘greenfield’ sites.
Therefore, Cotton Parish Council would like to allocate all brownfield sites, including all of the farm yard at Church Farm, and introducing a new settlement boundary at Blacksmith Road to accommodate the former Museum site.
The land in Mendlesham Road will become part of an extension to the settlement boundary, with an extension to the settlement boundary in Scuffins Lane.
Following the public consultations on other sites including SS0806, we would not seek to allocate this site, as SS0806 has a number of issues including impact on drainage given its topography and history of local flooding. All other potential sites had less than strong support, and had public expressions of wanting to preserve.
We would also propose that an area in Mill Road be deemed visually important open space, as this afford views into tree lined wetland crossed by public footpaths (marked up plan to follow).
We agree with the proposed settlement boundary in the parish of Cotton as drawn on the plans, and will submit a map indicating necessary adjustments which flow from the above notes.
All the development sites identified are in private ownership. Additionally there may be some windfall sites which are within the settlement boundary and may become available for development during the life of the plan.
The Parish Council very strongly believes that the future plan for the District should retain and support the character of Cotton as a rural village. It would wish to see a clear distinction between Cotton and Bacton, noting that Bacton is classified in the proposals as a “Core Village”; any creeping blurring of the boundary between Cotton and its neighbouring settlements would be strongly resisted as it would undermine the character of the village. The Parish Council feels it is responsible for retaining that essential character.
Clerk, Cotton Parish Council
September 26, 2019