Place Services undertook the Heritage and Settlement Sensitivity Assessment for Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils which provides part of the evidence base for a new Joint Local Plan and to inform Strategic Site Allocations for the districts. The assessment ensures that the local planning authorities have up-to-date evidence about the historic environment of their settlements in their districts, including an understanding of the significance of heritage assets within them and in the immediate surrounding area. This will support the Councils by allowing them to meet the requirement of the NPPF to 'set out a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment' within their Local Plans (para 126), and will help ensure that their future site allocations are found to be sound.
This is particularly significant in relation to both districts, as the quality of the historic environment within both is high; including areas, settlement and buildings of national significance, which makes a fundamental contribution to the character of Babergh and Mid Suffolk. The historic environment therefore has a major role to play in shaping the future of both Districts. At the same time, the historic environment is sensitive to change, and can be severely adversely affected by inappropriate development. It therefore needs to be properly understood before changes are planned, to ensure that it can make a positive contribution to shaping sustainable development, to encourage the creation of communities which reflect and complement the significant historic character of the two districts.