Initial Draft Policies
Following on from defining Objectives across the six Topic areas the Working Party spent time refining relevant policies that could be considered against future planning applications , large or small, once our Neighbourhood Plan is finally approved.
The policies needed to reflect the tone and nature of policies in the emerging new Local Plan, the first draft of which can be referenced here.
The context in which the policies have been developed is the District Council being under pressure to increase the number of housing units to meet housing need in East Cambridgeshire. Housing will need increase and Sutton village will inevitably have to accommodate a significant increase of new housing. This poses a threat but also an opportunity. If major housing sites are to be developed , we feel this ought to be located where it can be best integrated into the fabric of the village and safeguard the core of the village and its surrounding best landscapes and green spaces. The opportunity from major development comes in two phases:
- Significant improvements to infrastructure , particularly for Sport & Recreation facilities , Biodiversity and play space, and sustainable safe transport links
- Through the Community Infrastructure Levy and the substantial sums of money that can act as a legacy to support ongoing improvements to community facilities etc
These initial draft policies were published in July 2016 and are listed below:
POLICY NP1 – General development
a) Protect the historic core of the village, and ensure that all new development has mixed housing density, and provision for retirement homes, and where appropriate provision for affordable housing.
b) Major development to the north of the village should have different styles and ranges of accommodation aimed at integrating the whole site into the village, protecting the landscape and should include for at least 30 per cent affordable housing and a detailed mechanism for its delivery.
c) Integrate the existing community facilities to create a village green resource focused on new playing fields and all weather pitch, the school and the Brooklands Centre.
d) Ensure stepped development of local services, and safe transport and traffic links from the site.
POLICY NP2 – Biodiversity
a) Designate meadowland at the west and east end of the village as Local Green Space to protect it from development and enhance its benefits to wildlife and village residents. Create an informal nature reserve on the old recreation ground.
b) Promote existing and new permissive access to provide several circular routes for walkers out into the surrounding countryside from the village.
c) Protect existing landscape and wildlife features in any large scale development to the north of the village integrating new extensive landscape and wildlife areas, play areas for toddlers, juniors and youths into the plans together with allocation of land for playing fields and new burial ground and allotments.
POLICY NP3 – Business
a) Build a partnership with landowners and East Cambridgeshire District Council’s Enterprise Team to produce a plan for further development of the Elean Business Park.
b) Support development of starter business units to be available to the local workforce in suitable locations.
c) Provide a networking facility for all Sutton businesses to avail themselves of help from Enterprise East Cambridgeshire, District Council and the Skills Council.
d) Encourage local businesses to seek support for apprenticeships and meeting Room hire at the Parish Council offices.
POLICY NP4 – Local services
a) Extension of health facilities, capacity in the local school, and provision of permanent library services will be encouraged in order to keep pace with the needs of an expanding local population.
b) Retention of existing shops, services and facilities will be supported, and additional retail and community facilities encouraged to broaden the village’s offer.
POLICY NP5 – Sport and recreation
a) ‘Sport for all’ across all sections of the community should be promoted in the village, with provision made for an all-weather pitch, and consideration of a suitable location for skate board facilities.
b) In conjunction with development proposals off Mepal Road, provide new sports fields, an all-weather pitch and pavilion, play areas for toddlers, juniors and youths, and open green space linking with existing footpath network.
POLICY NP6 – Traffic and transport
a) Ensure a study of the traffic generation aspects of new development and pressure on the A142 roundabout and Mepal Road roundabout at peak travel times and during the construction phase.
b) Provide additional traffic management measurements, along with improved pedestrian, cycling and disabled access provision elsewhere in the village to address and mitigate increased traffic volumes fromnew developments.
c) Ensure safe traffic flows through any new development, ensure adequate parking is provided, and encourage convenient and safe pedestrian and cycle links to school and retail facilities in the village.