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

Part 3 - settlements

2.3. Haverhill

2.3.1 Haverhill is the second largest town in West Suffolk with a population of 27,503 (2018 mid-year estimate), located at the south-west edge of the district adjoining the county boundary of both Essex and Cambridgeshire some 29 kilometres south-west of Bury St Edmunds and 26 kilometres south-east of Cambridge. Haverhill is a market town, hosting a twice weekly provisions market, four large food retailers, and a range of convenience and comparison shops represented by both national and independent retailers.

The town centre hosts a number of facilities which serve a wide rural hinterland:

  • a number of small sites for expansion of employment uses.
  • two secondary schools
  • seven primary schools
  • multiplex cinema
  • an arts centre
  • leisure centre
  • a number of established employment areas mostly clustered around the south-east of the town.

2.3.2 Haverhill is considered to be a sustainable location for new development within the district because of the range of services and facilities available in the town.

2.3.3 There are no national or habitat designations in close proximity to the town. There are two conservation areas, one based around the church, Gurteens Mill and Queen Street and the other covering part of the Hamlet Road area. There are parks located at either end of the town adjoining the Stour Brook. The built-up area of Haverhill is contained within the valley formed by the Stour Brook and consequently the town has developed on a broadly linear form on an east west axis.

Constraints and opportunities

  • Proximity of Haverhill to the Cambridge sub-region, particularly Addenbrookes Hospital and it's Biomedical Campuses makes it an attractive commuter location increasing congestion on the local road network, particularly the A1307, at peak times.
  • The linear pattern of development within the contours of the Stour Brook will influence the possible locations for growth.
  • Existing allocations in the town will deliver in the region of 3,900 new homes, three new primary schools and a new country park to the south-east of the town.
  • Further growth will be dependent on local environmental and infrastructure capacity.
  • Proximity of the county boundaries on the east, west and south sides of the town will influence the possible locations for growth.
  • Strong business culture with significant employment sector.

2.3.4 Haverhill 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. The former St Edmundsbury area Haverhill Vision 2031 (2014) allocated two strategic sites totalling 3,650 dwellings together with three further greenfield sites (122 dwellings) and three brownfield sites (140 dwellings). One greenfield site has now been developed with 11 dwellings and one brownfield site has been developed with 91 dwellings with a further two sites under construction. Both strategic sites have received planning permission for development and construction is well under way at the  North West Haverhill site.

Site options

2.3.5 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.

2.3.6 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. Some of these sites have already received planning permission and/or are under construction.

2.3.7 It is important to note that at this stage the sites identified 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.

2.3.8 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.

2.3.9 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.

Haverhill settlement constraints map

Haverhill

Settlement map showing SHELAA included sites

Haverhill whole

Haverhill – included SHELAA sites

2020 reference

Site name

Area (hectares)

Proposed use

Current use

Planning status

Indicative capacity*[1]

WS096

Plots 300 and 400 Haverhill Research Park

5.54

Residential

Vacant fully serviced plots allocated as strategic employment site CS9 and HV10

166

WS217

Atterton and Ellis site

0.77

Residental

Engineering works
none

23

WS097

Land south of Haverhill

135.0

Mixed use (urban extension)

Agricultural
none

2430

WS098

North-west Haverhill

47.38

Mixed use

Agricultural
allocated HV3
phase 1 commenced

Phase 1

200

Masterplan
1150

WS099

Former Castle Hill Middle School

0.87

Residential

Playing fields
allocated HV5(c) – planning application pending decision

26

WS100

Former Westfield Primary School

1.19

Residential

Former school
allocated HV6(c)
planning permission granted

37

WS102

Land south of Chapelwent Road

2.99

Residential

Land previously set aside for a middle school but no longer required
allocated HV5(a)
planning permission granted

87

WS103

Former Gasworks, Withersfield Road

0.25

Residential

Former gas works
allocated HV6(a)

10

WS104

Wisdom Toothbrush Factory

1.53

Mixed use

Factory
allocated HV7(a)

46

WS581

Gurteens Site, Haverhill

1.22

Mixed use

Mill
allocated HV7(b)

22

WS668

Jubilee walk car park, Haverhill

0.80

Mixed use

Car park
allocated HV7(e)

14

WS681

North-east Haverhill

138.0

Mixed use

Agricultural
allocated – Policy HV4
outline planning permission granted – DC/15/2151/OUT – August 2018
reserved matters applications – DC/19/0834/RM and DC/19/1940/RM – pending decision

2500

WS684**[2]

Cleales/Town Hall car park, Haverhill

1.3

Mixed use

Allocated

23

WS685**

Rear of Argos and post office, Haverhill

0.4

Mixed use

Allocated

7

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]
2. **sites omitted from the 2020 SHELAA in error. [back]