This month, our news covers four current issues:

1.    Waveney’s Final Draft Local Plan will set the local planning rules until 2036. We have responded to say that we welcome the proposed 40% target for affordable housing in new developments locally. Our priority is housing that meets the needs of our community and we believe this target will help.

We are, however, concerned that this target could encourage developers to make the remaining 60% of houses profitable executive type homes beyond the reach of most local people. The plan includes a good policy for the mix of housing in new developments and we have urged that this is applied equally to both the market and affordable housing elements to ensure both are made up of a mix of house styles and sizes.

This really matters because the plan will allow the development of 220 houses on land adjacent to Copperwheat Avenue in Reydon. This will be relatively low density and include a green space and play area. We welcome these aspects but are concerned about the size of the development which should be an absolute maximum.

The plan also assumes the development of 69 houses on a playing field at St Felix School will proceed. We opposed this scheme but it has been allowed to enable investment in the school. It remains unclear if the contested approval for this development will stand. If not and the scheme is abandoned, we do not think there should be changes to what is proposed at Copperwheat Avenue or any other major development added to the plan.

2.    Proposed Reydon Gravel Pit: Suffolk County Council continue to propose a new extension of Wangford Gravel Pit into Reydon. This is an unjustified development in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and we oppose its inclusion in the Suffolk Mineral and Waste Plan. Meanwhile, Cemex, the operator, intends to make a pre-emptive Planning Application for this new gravel pit ahead of the completion of Suffolk’s plan. We will oppose this too, not least because the new operator of the Henham gravel pit has found plenty of workable stone there so there is no shortage of locally available material.

3.    Health: We continue to monitor the effects of changes in local provision, particularly new management of the local Out of Hospital Team which appears problematic. This, and the chaos of sudden and poorly communicated changes in the blood testing service, are issues we will be pursuing with the Clinical Commissioning Group who we hope to meet in July.

4.    Sewage and Smells: Along with others, we remain unconvinced by assurances from Anglian Water that our local sewerage system is adequate. Even the promised new “dosing” of key parts of the system to reduce the unacceptable smells has only just been started which reflects poor management as well as a poor system. Waveney District Council are soon to hold a Scrutiny Review of the performance of Anglian Water and we hope that this leads to effective action and investment by the company.