News From Stutton

New Homes Proposed For Village

Thursday, October 11, 11.00

An open meeting is being held for villagers to see and comment on proposals to build affordable homes in Stutton. 

The parish council is working with Hastoe Housing Association and Babergh District Council to build the new houses, which will be affordable to rent, that usually means at 80% of market value.

Priority will be given to those with strong local connections to Stutton when it comes to allocating the rental homes, and then works out in a ripple effect to other villages.

Parishioners are invited to view the plans at Stutton Community Hall, between 4pm-7pm, on Thursday, October 25.

Once the initial discussions have been completed, a planning application will be made to Babergh's planning department, when a fresh consultation period will be held for people to comment directly to the planning officers.

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Village Plan Forges Ahead

Friday, September 28, 14.00

Stutton residents have given an overwhelming endorsement for the village to take the next step on the road to developing a Neighbourhood Plan. 

A 'Big Tea Party', held last Saturday was part of the 'Big Conversation' in Stutton saw villagers enjoy tea and home-made cakes at the Community Hall. Between slices of Victoria sponge and scones, attendees provided their thoughts on all the issues and more importantly, the opportunities and undoubted change that will happen over the years ahead.

Mark Nowers, who chairs the Neighbourhood Plan working group, said: "We were delighted to have such a healthy turn out from the village. There was a really good, respectful debate and we have over 150 comment cards to collate and use to form a framework for the plan. A recurring theme, was housing, particularly the provision of genuinely affordable properties."

"Plans like this only work if we have conversation and input from those that are going to be affected and this is just the very beginning."

The neighbourhood Plan is designed to set out a village's view of the sort of place it would like to be in the years ahead. It also looks to address local concerns by setting out how the community expect to see land used and developed in the village (although these would have to be compatible with national and local planning policies, they still provide considerable opportunity to shape our future neighbourhood and to guide what sort of development happens where.

The Neighbourhood Plan could 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

Bill Hewlett, who has lived in Stutton for 35 years, said: "There was a real buzz in the village hall with people contributing loads of ideas, comments and concerns. It was a good first step to building a plan for Stutton.

"It won't be easy trying to balance the potential development of new housing whilst protecting and enhancing those things that make our village so special. But this is Stutton and we can do it."

The first formal part of the process is to adopt a red-line boundary for the plan area, which is intended to be the parish boundary. This will be presented by Babergh District Council for a six-week consultation period once it is submitted by Parish Council.

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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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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