See the plan here.
The Neighbourhood Plan was created following comprehensive and lengthy community consultation. It considered numerous aspects of Leiston ranging from its history, infrastructure, facilities, employers, housing stock, heritage and even its socio-economic profile. Its objective was to identify the challenges that face the community of Leiston Parish and then, as far as is possible, seek to address those challenges.
In summary, these challenges were identified as:
As a result of the Neighbourhood Plan a vision statement, articulated by the community of Leiston, was formed. A complete copy can be found in the Neighbourhood Plan, which is available as a download. Some of the key comments from the Neighbourhood Plan that helped to inform the CLT's mission are highlighted below.
“That the town focuses its efforts on strengthening the range of services that it offers to its residents and businesses. This is particularly the case on the High Street, with the redevelopment of the former car park to offer a modern town centre where people come to meet, shop and enjoy their leisure time.”
“Leiston understands that it is not a tourist town but has still sought to make the most of the parish’s visitor assets, both in terms of its historic legacy (including the Long Shop and Leiston Abbey) and its special countryside, leading down to the sea.”
“Whilst looking to retain its young people through the provision of smaller, more affordable housing, Leiston also looks after its older and disabled residents by building housing appropriate for their needs.”
The CLT's aims were further informed by a survey, commissioned by East Suffolk Council, and executed by People and Places.
Carried out in 2018, the purpose of the report is to understand the issues faced by Leiston town centre. The report identifies future priorities for sustaining and enhancing the town's vitality and viability. As a result, it is intended to inform future partnership work and project development between public bodies, private businesses and community groups.
Their investigations and surveys provided some interesting and informative statistics:
These statistics reinforced the principal aim of the CLT – to regenerate Leiston town centre.
A full report is available here.
For more statistics on the town of Leiston, including population demographics, economic prosperity and housing, read the Suffolk Observatory overview report here.