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

Part 3 - settlements

4.13. Wickhambrook

4.13.1 Wickhambrook is located in the southern part of the district 16 kilometres from Haverhill and Newmarket and 18 kilometres from Bury St Edmunds. It had a 2017 population of 1,266 (2018 mid-year estimate). It has a range of services including:

  • a primary school
  • GP Surgery
  • two pubs
  • a convenience food store and post office
  • a petrol filling station.

4.13.2 Wickhambrook comprises the core village area and a number of hamlets and small groups of dwellings such as Ashfield Green, Attleton Green, Coltsfoot Green, Meeting Green, Malting End, Boydon End, Thorns and Wickham Street (which comprises a cluster of buildings including several listed buildings around the A143 crossroads south-east of the village) and Clopton Green which are mostly or entirely separated from Wickhambrook village by the A143.

4.13.3 There are a number of small businesses locally, including two that employ more than 10 people, and the village and surrounding greens are close to HMP Highpoint.

Constraints and opportunities

  • The topography of the area means that the land to the north-west of the settlement is on higher ground where there is a risk that large scale growth would be prominent in the landscape. In addition, proximity to a number of small groups of dwellings may potentially lead to some of these settlements coalescing which would significantly affect their character.
  • Flood Zones 2 and 3 run adjacent to the eastern fringes of Thorns and Meeting Green which may potentially be a constraint to development.
  • Despite being close to the A143 the village has a limited bus service to Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill.
  • There is a conservation area at Wickham Street to the south-east of the main settlement.

Settlement status

4.13.4 Wickhambrook is designated as a local service centre in the current local plan in recognition of the role it has to play in serving the residents of the village and those who live in the surrounding rural area. It is proposed to remain in the same position in the new West Suffolk settlement hierarchy.

4.13.5 The former St Edmundsbury area Rural Vision 2031 (2014) allocated one site in the village and permission was granted for 23 dwellings on the site in 2018.

Site options

4.13.6 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.

4.13.7 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.

4.13.8 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.

4.13.9 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.

4.13.10 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.

Wickhambrook settlement constraints map

Wickhambrook

Wickhambrook settlement map showing SHELAA included sites

Wickhambrook

Wickhambrook - included SHELAA sites

2020 reference

Site name

Area (hectares)

Proposed use

Current use
planning status

Indicative capacity*[1]

WS190

Land south of Bunters Road

1.60

Residential

Agricultural
none

48

WS191

North and west of Boyden End (also known as north of Nunnery Green)

9.10

Residential

Agricultural
none

164

WS192

Land north of Bunters Road

1.30

Residential

Agricultural
none

39

WS193

Land at Nunnery Green and Cemetery Hill

1.51

Residential

Agricultural
allocated RV25(a)
planning permission granted and commenced

23

WS212

Land at Cemetery Hill

1.08

Residential

Agricultural
none

32

WS195

Land to the east of Gaines Hall

15.00

Residential

Agricultural and commercial buildings
none

450

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]