Beccles' Neighbourhood Town Plan - what it is and how you can influence it


Looking towards Beccles Bell Tower along the River Waveney. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Beccles Town Council is calling on people living in the town to have their say in the upcoming Beccles Neighbourhood Plan Referendum on Thursday, September 16.

The Neighbourhood Plan has been put together by local residents and Beccles Town Council over the last five years.

A neighbourhood plan would mean people living in the town would be able to influence planning proposals at a local level.

For example, people would have a greater say in the location of new developments, grant planning permission for particular developments and have a say over what new buildings should look like.

The Neighbourhood Plan would only come into effect if voted for by people living in the town.

If approved, the amount of CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) that goes to the town council to fund projects would increase from 15 to 25pc.

Beccles Town Councillors and local residents have been working for the last five years to get approval for the neighbourhood plan referendum from government which took into account comments and feedback from the wider community.

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If the neighbourhood plan is passed, it would mean that planning permission would go through both the neighbourhood plan and local plans, meaning greater community scrutiny of important planning policy decision making processes.

It also means decision making processes are unique to each area where a neighbourhood plan is introduced.

For example in Beccles, it would enable locals to have a greater say over issues affecting the town such as housing inequality, community facilities and the environment, which includes everything from traffic to heritage and tourism.

Beccles Town Council will be putting up signs around town, explaining what the neighbourhood plan is and how to vote.

Drop in sessions for questions will be held at Beccles Library this weekend on Saturday, September 4 and on the following Saturday on September 11.

It will also be advertised on the Beccles Town Council website and social media pages.

There are three ways of voting. In person on Thursday, September 16 at the Public Hall or St Lukes Church, by post or by proxy.

More information about the referendum can be found here.