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

Part 3 - 1. Introduction

1.1 This part of the document contains sections for those towns, key service centres, local service centres and villages identified in the draft settlement hierarchy in part one of the plan. Each section summarises the main opportunities and constraints for each of those settlements and goes on to provide details of those sites which have been submitted to the council as potential options for development.

1.2 Within each settlement section there is a map of the main constraints to assist you with making your response. It should be noted that the maps only show the most significant constraints. The sites and all relevant constraints can be viewed online for this consultation at Find My Nearest.

1.3 A map is included for each settlement showing the current red line development boundary and the sites submitted by landowners, developers or agents for residential, employment or mixed uses that have passed the initial analysis in the SHELAA and are identified as included sites and potentially suitable for development. All of the sites listed in this document are identified in the current Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA).

1.4 Sites in the SHELAA can also be deferred for a variety of reasons, for example if there are nature conservation or flooding issues. However, if a site is deferred it does not mean that it is automatically excluded from being selected as a site allocation, but it would have to be demonstrated that the reasons for deferral could be overcome. The deferred sites can be seen in the SHELAA and are mapped on Find My Nearest under ‘West Suffolk SHELAA sites’.

1.5 It is important to note that no decisions have been made on whether the sites in this document will necessarily be taken forward to the next stage of the local plan as a preferred allocation to meet the district’s housing requirement. We are seeking your views at this stage to assist with making these decisions.

1.6 The council has used a set of criteria to help assess the sites for inclusion in this document which are set out below:

Council assessment of sites for inclusion in Issues and Options Local Plan

1.7 Only include sites in or adjacent to towns, key service centres, local service centres and type A villages (unless it is proposed for employment uses where all included sites are shown)

1.8 Include only sites identified as ‘included’ in the SHELAA, on the basis that consultation should take place on realistic options for development.
Site density – 30 dwellings per hectare is applied except where circumstances suggest an alternative density including:

  • For sites over 100 dwellings, 40 per cent of land set aside for infrastructure, such as access and landscaping (evidenced by Natural England Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) impact zone limit).
  • Where the site is allocated in a current local plan this dwelling figure is used.
  • Where the site is subject to a current planning application or permission the dwelling number on the application is used to reflect what is considered deliverable.

1.9 It is important to note that while a figure of 30 dwellings per hectare has been applied to sites in this document as a general guide, this figure is likely to change if a site were to be allocated following a detailed analysis of its size and infrastructure and environmental constraints.

Call for sites

1.10 In order to ensure that all potential options for the distribution of new housing and employment are explored through the preparation of the Local Plan, a new call for sites accompanies this consultation. If you are aware of any other potential sites in West Suffolk that are available for development which are not identified in this document then please let us know by completing the site submission form, providing details of the site location and a map with a red outline of the site boundary.

1.11 One option being explored at this early stage in the plan preparation process is whether the provision of a new settlement would provide an appropriate method of delivering housing and associated community facilities across West Suffolk to meet our future needs.

1.12 If you know of an available site of sufficient scale to accommodate a new settlement of at least 3000 homes in West Suffolk we would like to hear from you. We have produced some guidelines of what we are looking for in the ‘new settlement call for sites guidance’.

1.13 This information will help in drawing up the next draft of the West Suffolk Local Plan in 2021, which will set out the council’s preferred options for the distribution of housing and other land uses across the district.

Are there any other potential sites for housing, employment, leisure or mixed uses you would like to identify?

Please submit a site submission form and red line plan.