News From Stutton

Plan Village's Future Over Tea And Cakes

Wednesday, September 12, 10.00

Stutton is asking villagers for their views as it looks to join the increasing number of villages across the country developing a Neighbourhood Plan. 

Everyone interested in shaping the village's future can give their thoughts at a Big Tea Party, between 4pm and 6pm on Saturday, September 22 at Stutton's Community Hall, while a survey will also be distributed separately  throughout the parish.

A Neighbourhood Plan allows villagers to have their concerns addressed by setting out how it expects land to be developed within Stutton. While the plan has to comply with the National Planning Policy Framework and Babergh District Council's Core strategy and soon to be published Local Plan, it carries considerable weight in terms of determining applications once ratified.

An added advantage is villages with a Neighbourhood Plan get 25% Community Infrastructure Levy from certain developments within their parish, but only 15% without a completed plan.

Mark Nowers, who chairs the Neighbourhood Plan working group, said: "Hundreds of communities across the country are planning their future by developing a Neighbourhood Plan.

 "The first thing we are going to do is have a Big Tea Party in the Community Hall and ask residents, among other things: 'what they love, what they would like to change and what do they see for the future of Stutton?'.

"We know that there will be a range of views expressed – some more contentious than others - and it is imperative that these are heard, respected and wherever possible incorporated in to a new plan.

"Posters, leaflets and social media all have their value, but our focus will be good old-fashioned conversation. We want to bring residents of all ages together to talk about what makes Stutton the village it is – and what we want to see next. This is just the beginning of a process that is likely to take a couple of years.

"The government has put its support behind the Neighbourhood Plan process. Communities can either shrug their shoulders and wait for things to happen, or take the opportunity to influence their future".  

The Neighbourhood Plan could also help to:

  • Protect open space used by the community from development
  • Prevent buildings used for local businesses or community facilities being converted to other uses
  • Influence what size or type of buildings are acceptable in different areas
  • Establish what type of new housing is needed by those living or working here.

Stutton's Big Tea Party takes place on Saturday 22nd September at Stutton Community Hall, between 4 and 6pm. Residents of all ages who live in Stutton are very welcome.

For any further information, please contact: Mark Nowers on 07512 182282 or email markdnowers@gmail.com or Penny Greenland on 07526 768846 or email pennygreenland@me.com

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Aqua Park Closes Completely

Tuesday, August 28, 16.00

Aqua Park bosses have confirmed they have closed the inflatable aquatics centre at Alton Park for the rest of this year. 

An outbreak of blue-green algae at the reservoir forced the £20 an hour activity to close in July and the levels recorded in the water have not been reduced to safe levels ever since.

Staff at the centre have been kept on during the rolling closures but it has now been decided it will not be safe to reopen this season.

A statement release today, Richard Drinkwater, director for Aqua Park Suffolk, said: “We are extremely disappointed that due to the ongoing warm weather, and despite our best efforts and investment in technological solutions, algal levels at Alton Water have not yet returned to safe levels.

“As a result, Aqua Park Suffolk will not reopen this season and we would like to apologise to our disappointed customers.

“Customer safety is our highest priority and we agree with Anglian Water’s decision to close Alton Water to the public.

“However, despite investing with us in ultrasound technology Anglian Water have been unable control the algal bloom at Alton Water this season.

“We would very much like to return next year, but as customer safety remains our highest priority, we will be reviewing Anglian Water’s proposals to provide a safe environment for our future customers attending Aqua Park Suffolk.

“Therefore, we will need assurance from Anglian Water that it is possible to control these algal blooms."

Aqua Park customers have been promised full refunds.

Ultrasonic devises, powered by solar panels, have been installed to try and fight the blue-green algae and readings are taken twice daily by Anglian Water to test the levels.

Sailing, surfing and other water-based sports are still banned and dog owners have been advised not to let their pet go into the water at the park, as they are likely to ingest the blue-green algae, which could make them very ill.

The rest of the park is open to visitors with walking and cycling encouraged. Visitors can take in a butterfly garden, a wildflower meadow, woodland, ponds and a bird hide. There is a new play area for children, and a tea room.

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