A very warm welcome to our website. The Wickham Market Neighbourhood Plan is being created by local residents, community groups and businesses and will shape how the parish changes in the coming years. This website is to help you understand what the Plan means for our community and how you can get involved.
Update from the NP Chairman (September 2018)
Wickham Market Neighbourhood Plan committee first met in June 2015 and much has been achieved since then. The SCDC "Core Strategy", covering the period 2010 to 2027, was published in July 2013. The "Site Allocations and Site Specific Policies" document has now been ratified and was published in February 2017. Whilst these are very good documents, it is acknowledged that their housing provision of 8,670 is too low and further housing will be required before 2027. In these SCDC documents Wickham Market was not allocated any housing as we have had 115 houses built since 2010, this was considered to be more than our quota for the plan period, however it is noted that Wickham Market is writing its own Neighbourhood Plan.
SCDC have now written the First Draft of their revised Local Plan which covers the period 2016 - 2036. This plan expects Wickham Market to provide 100 houses through the Neighbourhood Plan but also allocates the site adjacent to the Wickham Place Hopkins Homes development for 120 houses. This site is in Pettistree but will be included in the Wickham Market Settlement Boundary.
Official approval to proceed with our Neighbourhood Plan was given by Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) on 12 Jan 16; when adopted our document will be the guiding document for planning decisions in the Parish of Wickham Market. Our Neighbourhood Plan will cover the period 2011 - 2036. These dates have been chosen as in 2011 there was a census and this gives a good baseline and 2036 is the furthest date for which there are government population projections. In the SCDC documents Wickham Market was not allocated any housing as we have had 115 houses built since 2010 which was considered to be more than our quota for the plan period.
The Neighbourhood Plan was launched at an Open Parish Meeting on 15 May 16. We have applied for and received the first part of a Locality Grant. Over 1000 leaflets have been distributed to all Wickham Market residents and 113 have been returned with comments suggesting what should be included. A Housing Needs Assessment has been conducted by an independent consultant suggesting that the village may have to accept between 30 - 110 houses by 2036.
Our second Open Day was held on 6 Nov 16 when we presented our Draft Vision which was generally well received by all. We have now written our Objectives to achieve this vision.
We commissioned a Heritage and Character Assessment and this has now been received and can be found on the web site. Unfortunately, this did not tell us much more than the recently revised Conservation Area Appraisal. We have also commissioned a Landscape Appraisal which is now complete, this is a good document and looks at where development would cause least harm from a landscape perspective.
A Site Assessment document was commissioned looking at all the packets of land surrounding the Wickham Market Settlement Boundary. This AECOM document suggested that only two sites within Wickham Market were suitable for housing development, Simon's Cross Allotments and the Old School Farm site. Simon's Cross allotments is only suitable as the landowner has agreed to provide an alternative allotment site very close by with a 1000-year lease at a peppercorn rent. It has been agreed that only part of the Old School Farm site is suitable if the development is to preserve some key views and prevent coalescence with Pettistree.
It is evident that a new car park is required in Wickham Market and this car park should be large enough to accommodate the business parking currently situated in the Long Stay car park. SCC do not like the access to our proposed site so possible alternatives are being investigated.
The land that was chosen for business development adjacent to the telephone exchange and Riverside Industrial Estate is not suitable as the landowner does not wish to make it available. The Pump Track provision received a number of negative comments and as the land is subject to a covenant this suggestion is not being pursued.
The Neighbourhood Plan is now being drafted before undergoing two rounds of scrutiny, it is hoped that the referendum will be in October 2019.
Cllr Dick Jenkinson, Chairman of Wickham Market Neighbourhood Plan Committee
About our Parish
There were lots of very useful comments collected for the Draft Vision Open Day. They are available to view on the Documents page.
There was a great turn out from the village for the Draft Vision Open Day. Over 142 people came to see and hear about the draft vision for the village. Each of the working groups had displays showing the results of the recent survey which was used to feed in to the vision. There were lots of opportunities for villages to discuss and comment on the findings. There were also displays by the George pub project team and Lehmann House project. The NP chairman Dick Jenkinson gave a presentation on progress so far and the draft vision. See Documents for a copy of the slides. Pictures taken at the event can be seen in the Gallery.