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Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan

Background 

Attleborough is a growth town with plans to build 4000 new homes in the next 15 - 20 years, which could mean a population increase of approximately 10000 people, doubling the size of the town since 2001.  Indeed, since 2001 almost 1000 of those new homes have already been approved by the Planning Authority, Breckland Council.  

When Breckland Council decided to stop work on a dedicated plan for development in Attleborough at the beginning of 2013 and to incorporate development plans for the town in a District-wide Local Plan, Attleborough Town Council decided to use the powers granted by the Localism Bill to produce a Neighbourhood Plan.  The Town Council believes that producing the Local Plan will take too long and that, in the meantime, there will be more speculative, large-scale planning applications.

Because the scale and location of any likely development will affect neighbouring parishes, particularly Besthorpe and Old Buckenham, the Town Council has worked with their representatives to agree the Neighbourhood Plan Area, which was approved by Breckland in October 2013.

 

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The Town Council believes growth in the town should be driven by employment.  It also wants to see substantial, meaningful improvements to services and facilities, so that Attleborough retains its character and remains a pleasant place to live and work.  

The Neighbourhood Plan will investigate how the town can attract a mix of employment but especially more engineering and technical jobs.  In addition to employment, it will examine infrastructure and services, including: 

            Solutions to Attleborough’s traffic congestion problems

            Improvements to health and social care facilities

            Significant upgrades to the town’s sports and leisure facilities

            Providing school places for an additional 2,000 school and pre-school children.

            Upgrades to water, gas and electricity supplies, and waste water disposal           

These are among key issues that have been highlighted over the years during various meetings, consultations and studies.  However, they are not an exhaustive list and it will be for the community to decide on priorities.  

Producing the Neighbourhood Plan 

Producing a Neighbourhood Plan will be a major undertaking.  An Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has been set up which comprises representatives of the Town Council, District Council, Besthorpe and Old Buckenham PCs, schools, the business community, health sector and the Attleborough Community Team.  Some professional help will be used to make sure the Plan meets legal requirements but it is hoped that local experience and expertise can be used to produce the Plan. 

The Neighbourhood Plan was launched with community at events in October 2013.  First, on 11th October, the High School had a project day looking at the issues and making proposals.  The result of their work was on display on 12th October when the general public were invited to provide their ideas.  

The Steering Group is working towards identifying issues and options for the public to comment on.  The current effort is centred on the following areas: 

Employment – encouraging engagement with local businesses and identifying potential employment sites. 

Health and Social care which is focused on the services and infrastructure needed to support the growth and will probably be centred on the Station Rd surgery and Connaught Hall area. 

The Attleborough Academy and Queens Square area with the emphasis on education, sport and leisure opportunities.  A sport and leisure study has been commissioned. 

Redevelopment of the current Banham Poultry and station sites but also including the old Grampian Foods factory.           

It is hoped the Plan can be written by mid-2015, after which there will be a referendum to seek the approval of local people. 

Funding 

Any Plan produced will need to be deliverable.  We will be working with landowners, developers and statutory bodies to see how the infrastructure and services could be provided.  One of the things we have asked the consultants is to look at possible funding streams.  In addition, we hope to establish a Developer Sub Group to the Steering Group which will look at coordinating developer contributions so that they are coordinated with the Plan.  

Coordination with the Breckland Local Plan 

The Breckland Local Plan is being produced in parallel with the Neighbourhood Plan but will not be complete until 2016.  To make sure that the Plans do not conflict and to save duplication we will produce a Memorandum of Agreement with Breckland which will identify what will be covered by each Plan. 

Further Information 

Follow the Attleborough NP Stearing Group link at the top of the page to see more information about what the Steering Group is doing, including 

            Neighbourhood Plan Vision and Objectives

            Minutes of Steering Group Minutes

            Reports commissioned by the Steering Group as they are completed. 

The Breckland link will take you to the Breckland Planning Library where you will be able to see the documents which Breckland have commissioned or written.  In time we will extract the Attleborough documents from the Breckland site and have a dedicated Attleborough document library.