Martlesham Parish Council

The COVID-19 pandemic has made an impact on all of us in different ways. For some of you this will be a time of stress, worry and even loss, and we send you our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt sympathy. As we write on 14 May 2020, the future still remains unclear and we will all have to continue to stay alert and practise social distancing for some time. Thank you for caring for your neighbours, helping with shopping, collecting prescriptions and keeping in touch. We understand from the Home But Not Alone helpline that streets in Martlesham are taking care of each other so please keep up this excellent work.

Please remember that there are volunteers available to help and we don’t want anyone to feel that they have no support.

Here’s a reminder of the Home But Not Alone helpline for people who need urgent help and support and don’t have support available from friends, family or neighbours – 0800 876 6926.

NHS Volunteer Responders are also available to help if you have a medical condition which makes you vulnerable to COVID-19, especially if you are over 70. You also qualify if you are pregnant or have a disability. If you, or someone you know, needs a hand with collecting shopping or prescriptions, or just wants someone to talk to, please call 0808 196 3646 or visit: nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk

If you continue to struggle, please contact the clerk: [email protected] or leave a message on 01473 612632 and we will do our best to help.

Mike Irwin, Chairman

COUNCIL NEWS

Resignation of Jackie Bear
We were sad to receive the resignation of Jackie Bear, with effect from 01 June 2020. She has been a longstanding member of the council, serving for some 28 years. We will certainly miss her at meetings where she has always been the voice of sound common sense keeping us on track. She has been good at linking with local residents and passing on their views and concerns, including on planning matters. Jackie carried out invaluable work, as part of a team, to address the many problems with anti-social behaviour in the Martlesham Community Hall car park, through the installation of the barrier, CCTV and signage. She then continued as our representative on the Community Hall Management Committee. She has also recently assisted with financial controls. For many years Jackie has been active on other community organisations too, as secretary, organising and participating in fundraising events, etc.; that involvement continues.

We send Jackie our thanks for all her hard work and very best wishes for her retirement’.

Meetings
Face to face meetings are still not allowed but we will be taking up the challenge of virtual meetings as many of our councillors and staff continue to self-isolate or shield. We are planning to hold our first virtual full council meeting in June so please look out for publicity about this because, as always, you, our parishioners, will be able to attend and speak during the public forum.

Councillor vacancies
There are already two casual vacancies for councillors. The two vacancies can be filled by co-option, i.e. existing councillors can accept you on to the council at our next full council virtual meeting. Please do give serious thought to whether you can come forward to help with our work which is very varied, dealing with parish recreation facilities and amenities, planning and highways issues, financial matters and more. The clerk will be pleased to provide more information. Understandably, due to the current restrictions, your involvement at first is likely to be limited.

At the moment there is an urgent need for people with experience of or an interest in planning matters otherwise we might need to scale back input into this area. In the coming year it is likely that we will have to decide on how to progress with an update to the Martlesham Neighbourhood Plan (MNP). Whilst it has been very frustrating to see it being ignored in the case of the Suffolk Constabulary HQ site, it has proved to be an invaluable tool in other instances. It has ensured that the areas protected from development in Martlesham Heath have retained their status only because they are covered by our MNP; a recent decision of the independent Planning Inspector for the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan would have removed that status. We have also received an extra £14,000 through Community Infrastructure Levy funding because of the MNP.

If there is any way in which you can get involved, please do get in touch.

Ongoing services
The part-time staff are managing to work from home successfully so we continue to respond to consultations and planning applications, and look after our sites.

We are very grateful to our land maintenance contractor who has been very responsive to any issues arising. Please remember to keep your distance when you see the contractors at work.

Our play areas and trim trail equipment remain out of bounds following government guidelines. Thank you for respecting that. Please enjoy the trim trail route, observing social distancing at all times.

Suffolk Constabulary Force Headquarters Site
DC/20/0902/OUT – Outline planning application for up to 300 new dwellings
We lodged a detailed objection, which can be found on our website. We commented on:
• The timing of this application
• Failure to engage effectively with the local community at the appropriate stages of the Suffolk Local Plan review and with our Neighbourhood Plan process
• The complete flexibility being sought in the outline application which would in effect render detailed comments meaningless
• Incorrect and missing data
• A housing mix quite out of keeping with the woodland site setting
• Access arrangements and impact on highways.

Suffolk Coastal Local Plan Examination
– Consultation on Modifications
Consultation has opened on the Planning Inspectorate’s proposed modifications to the East Suffolk Council Local Plan for 2020 to 2036. We shall be assessing what these modifications mean for Martlesham. The deadline for comments is 5pm on Friday 10 July 2020. It is very disappointing, although not unexpected, to see that the policy for the Suffolk Constabulary HQ site, allowing a development of 300 dwellings, is retained albeit with proposed modifications. We objected to the inclusion of this policy in the Final Draft Local Plan, made detailed representations throughout the examination process and argued that it should have been referred back to a review of the Martlesham Neighbourhood Plan allowing for proper consultation. We are now restricted to commenting on the modifications proposed, not policies themselves within the plan.

Full details can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/SC-Local-Plan-Examination.

Contacting the Council
Clerk to Martlesham Parish Council, Parish Room, Felixstowe Road, Martlesham, Woodbridge IP12 4PB

Telephone: 01473 612632; please leave a message if no reply and we will get back to you as necessary.

Email: [email protected]

Website: martlesham.onesuffolk.net

Please ‘Follow Us’ on our Facebook page which is Martlesham Parish. The full address is: www.facebook.com/MartleshamParish.

Comments are closed.