Photo: Steve Hood


10 February 2021

The steering group working on the Boxford Neighbourhood Plan met recently (by Zoom of course!) to review progress. Despite the restrictions of Covid 19 on movement and face to face meetings, sufficient has been achieved to embark on stage 3 of the project which is drafting the full plan. Looking further ahead, stage 4 which we hope to begin in September will see the preparation of the plan for submission to Babergh District Council whose scrutiny and examination will be the final stage 5 leading to a referendum which we are predicting for a year hence- February/March 2022.

This means that we have completed stages 1 and 2 and we wanted to thank all those we have talked to in the village and especially those who have responded to us as a result of reading the website, picking up the extracts on social media, being interviewed or simply offering views, invariably helpful and positive. It is very encouraging to sense the affection for Boxford, the pride and appreciation in its community spirit (how lucky are we to have it this last year) and the enthusiasm amongst all ages to look after its best characteristics but also to ensure its future.

The two completed stages saw us establish an evidence base and the project plan, developing a vision and objectives and then consulting and seeking input on these early ideas. That input has been invaluable in the areas of housing, education, transport, village businesses, buildings and scenic beauty, green spaces and village infrastructure. We have exchanged and shared views on some of the most important and challenging subjects, affordable housing for the younger, future residents, and the village car parking and safe pedestrian access being top of many people's list. Thanks again to all those who have commented. I also take this opportunity to thank my fellow steering group members, Hugh Phillips (co-chairman), Andrew Good and Roger Loose for bringing their considerable skills to bear on the work thus far. We are guided by a very knowledgeable professional consultant Andrea Long.

There is much to do but we have taken the bold step of booking the village hall for Thursday 8th July in the early evening and Saturday 10th July in the morning. We are hoping to stage an exhibition of the principal components of the draft plan on those two half days. Please put the dates in your diary, hoping like us that current restrictions will have been sufficiently lifted to allow us to stage the event. Who knows, the bar might be open!

In the meantime, please follow any updates in the Box River News, on the website or social media and please continue to respond to our requests for information, comment and assistance. It's a plan being written for you.

David Burden- Co-chairman