West Suffolk Local Plan (Regulation 18) Issues and Options October 2020

Part 3 - settlements

2.2. Bury St Edmunds

2.2.1 Bury St Edmunds is the largest town in West Suffolk with a population of 41,332 (2018 mid-year estimate), located in the centre of the district. Bury St Edmunds is a market town, hosting a twice weekly provisions market, with a range of convenience and comparison shops represented by both national and independent retailers. The town centre hosts:

  • GP surgeries
  • district council offices
  • a library
  • The Abbey Gardens and a cathedral
  • a theatre
  • The Apex entertainment and conference venue
  • two cinemas
  • a public leisure centre and swimming pool
  • a museum
  • police, ambulance and fire stations
  • a hospital with outpatient services
  • Dental surgeries

all of which serve a wide rural hinterland. There are also a number of hotels to serve the growing number of tourists who visit the town.

2.2.2 The town also has seven primary schools and three secondary schools, as well as West Suffolk College and the University of Suffolk West Suffolk College campus, the main skills training and further education provider in the town. There are also number of established employment areas and sites for expansion of employment uses, including Suffolk Business Park.

2.2.3 Bury St Edmunds is considered to be one of the most sustainable locations for new development within the district because of the range of services and facilities available in the town. It has a rail station which directly connects with the towns of Ipswich, Cambridge and Ely. A bus station served by local bus operators and national express.

Constraints and opportunities

  • The town has a strong business culture with a significant employment sector.
  • Proximity of Bury St Edmunds to the A14 makes it an attractive commuter location increasing congestion on the local road network, which in the town centre is narrow and not built to cope with the volume of traffic.
  • There are two conservation areas, one based around the town centre and the other around Victoria Street. The town has a wealth of listed buildings and a world class heritage core.
  • Existing allocations in the town plan to deliver in the region of 5000 new homes, two new primary schools and new community parkland by 2031.
  • Further growth will be dependent on local environmental and infrastructure capacity.
  • The town lies at the confluence of the Rivers Lark and Linnet and the river corridors are a valuable natural resource which links the town to the wider countryside. However, there are areas of flood risk which constrains development in those parts of the town.
  • Much of the town centre is covered by an area of archaeological importance, beyond which there are other archaeological sites within and near to the town boundary.

2.2.4 Bury St Edmunds continues to function as a market town serving the retail, leisure and cultural needs of the local catchment area and there is no change proposed to its status as a town on the settlement hierarchy.

2.2.5 The former St Edmundsbury area Bury St Edmunds Vision 2031 (2014) allocated five strategic sites (4350 dwellings) together with 10 brownfield sites (638 dwellings). Of these, 1889 dwellings have planning permission as of October 2019, including two strategic sites at Moreton Hall and North West Bury St Edmunds which are under construction.

Site options

2.2.6 The level of development will be influenced by the settlement strategy which will determine the distribution of development across the district as well as the existing environmental and physical constraints and the overall capacity for growth in the settlement.

2.2.7 A number of sites have been submitted to the council by landowners and developers for potential inclusion in the local plan. Included sites in the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) that lie within or adjacent to the settlement boundary are shown on the map below, as these have passed the initial tests of being suitable, available and achievable, and so are more likely to be sites that could be suitable for allocation in the local plan.

2.2.8 It is important to note that at this stage these sites have not been selected as preferred sites for development, but we are seeking views on them to assist with the preparation of the next draft of the plan, where decisions will be made on which, if any, sites would be suitable for allocation.

2.2.9 The table below provides information on these sites, setting out information on the proposed use and planning status. Also below is a map of the main settlement constraints to assist you in making a response.

2.2.10 Your comments on these sites will help in drawing up the next draft of the West Suffolk Local Plan for consultation in 2021. This will set out the council’s preferred options for the distribution of housing and other land uses across the district. The council will also consult on the preferred sites across the district to achieve this distribution.

Bury St Edmunds settlement constraints maps

Bury St Edmunds - North
Bury St Edmunds - South

Bury St Edmunds settlement map showing SHELAA included sites

Bury St Edmunds North
Bury St Edmunds South
Bury St Edmunds central
 Bury_St_Edmunds_east
Bury_St_Edmunds_west

Bury St Edmunds – included SHELAA site

2020 reference

Site name

Area (hectares)

Proposed use

Current use
planning status

Indicative capacity*[1]

WS034
(site also forms part of WS039)

Land to south of Rougham Road

39.4

Residential

Agricultural
none

709

WS035

Land at Hollow Road Farm, Barton Hill

5.9

Residential

Agricultural
none

106

WS036

Cornwallis Court

1.3

Residential (care home)

Care home
none

40

WS548

Sentinel Works, Northgate Avenue

0.3

Residential

Commercial building
planning application - pending decision

8

WS039

Orttewell Road, south-east

103

Mixed use (possible solar park)

Agricultural and woodland
none

1854

WS040

North-east Bury St Edmunds

75

Residential (with neighbourhood centre)

Agricultural
allocated – BV6

1250

WS041

West Bury St Edmunds

44.6

Mixed use

Agricultural
allocated – BV5
DC/19/0469/HYB – pending decision

450

WS214

Tayfen Road

0.37

Residential

Brownfield site
under construction

46

WS042

Land to the south of Westley Road and east of Westley Lane

62.31

Residential

Meadow
none

1122

WS044

Land to the north of Mount Road, south of Cattishall and east of Cherry Trees, Rushbooke with Rougham

26.76

Residential

Agricultural
none

482

WS045

St Louis Middle School

1.78

Residential

Former school
none

53

WS046

Westley Road, Westley

2.5

Residential

Equestrian and housing
none

75

WS047

Moreton Hall

34

Residential

Agricultural
allocated – BV4 (under construction)

500

WS048

South-east Bury St Edmunds

74.7

Mixed use

Agricultural
allocated – BV7 – application pending decision

1250

WS049

Station Hill

5.95

Mixed use

Underused railway sidings and vacant land
allocated – BV8.
Development commenced
DC/13/0906/FUL 133 dwellings
DC/15/1520/FUL 42 residential units

300

WS050

Land at Ram Meadow

3.72

Residential, commercial, public open space and car parking

Car park, meadow and football ground
allocated – BV11

67

WS051

North-west Bury St Edmunds

78.23

Residential

Allocated – BV3 and commenced

950

WS052

Dobbies Garden Centre

1.75

Residential

Garden centre
allocated – BV10(a)

30

WS053

Land at Jacqueline Close

2

Residential

Remains of a former chalk works
allocated BV10(b)

30

WS054

Hospital site, Hospital Road

1.58

Residential

Former hospital
allocated – BV10(c)

45

WS055

Weymed site

0.37

Residential

Vacant offices
allocated – BV10(e). DC/17/1645/CLE approved October 2017

14

WS056

Garages and bus depot, Cotton Lane

0.7

Residential

Bus depot and garages
allocated – BV10(h)

50

WS273

Land at Tayfen Road

4.16

Mixed use

Commercial and gas holdings
outline planning permission granted

215 (and a 60 bed care home)

WS276

Land off Eastgate Street, Barn Lane

0.25

Residential

Garden land
none

8

WS543

Land north of Barton Hill and west of A134

6.81

Residential

Agricultural
none

122

WS552

Rathkeltair Lodge, Barton Hill

6.63

Residential

Agricultural
none

119

WS553

Thingoe Hill

1.41

Residential

Brownfield land
none

42

WS656

6 Norfolk Road

0.29

Residential

Garden land
planning approval – DC/15/2245/OUT for seven dwellings.

7

WSE24

Western Way

6

Leisure and employment

Employment uses

N/A

1. *an indicative capacity of 30 dwellings per hectare is applied unless the site is already allocated or has planning permission. For sites over 100 dwellings, 40 per cent of land set aside for infrastructure. [back]