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

Part 3 - 3. Key Service Centres

3.1. Barrow

3.1.1 Barrow is a large village with a population of 1,889 (2018 mid-year estimate), one of the highest settlement populations outside of the towns. It is just under 10 kilometres from Bury St Edmunds and is well served with a good range of day to day services and facilities, which includes:

  • a play area
  • convenience food shops
  • Barrow CEVC Primary School
  • a post office
  • two public houses
  • a GP Surgery.

Constraints and opportunities

  • The heavy soils in and around Barrow make the area susceptible to surface water flooding, demonstrated by the number of ponds around the village. This will need to be considered when future sites are developed but is an obstacle that can be overcome.
  • Consideration needs to be given to the impact on views from the west of the settlement around Denham Castle.
  • Additional or expanded services and facilities may be required depending on the scale of development proposed.
  • There are no national or habitat designations in close proximity to the village and the village does not have a conservation area.
  • The scale of growth will be dependent on local environmental and infrastructure capacity.
  • The small settlements of Denham and Burthorpe should be protected from coalescence with Barrow.
  • Barrow is fundamentally constrained to the north from the setting of the adjacent scheduled ancient monument (SAM).
  • A buffer is required to protect the county wildlife site to the south of Barrow, although there may be potential to extend the settlement in this direction providing suitable mitigation can be achieved and a defensible boundary to further development formed.
  • The county Historic Environment Record (HER) records prehistoric archaeological sites to the south of the village, which lies on relatively high ground. To the north, there is a cluster of medieval sites, and those of Roman and medieval date are recorded around The Green.

3.1.2 The parish council have embarked on the process of preparing a neighbourhood plan. The neighbourhood plan area was designated by West Suffolk Council on 26 June 2019.

Settlement status

3.1.3 The village is designated as a key service centre in the current local plan in recognition of the important role it has to play in serving the residents of the village and those who live in the surrounding rural area. Barrow provides a number of key services and facilities that meet the villages own needs, and the needs of other nearby smaller settlements. It is proposed that the village maintains its status and is designated as a key service centre in the new West Suffolk settlement hierarchy.

Site options

3.1.4 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.

3.1.5 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.

3.1.6 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.

3.1.7 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.

3.1.8 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.

Barrow settlement constraints map


Barrow settlement map showing SHELAA included sites


Barrow – included SHELAA sites

2020 reference

Site name

Area (hectares)

Proposed use

Current use
planning status

Indicative capacity*[1]


Denham Road



Grazing land



Land to the rear of 2 Stoney Lane



Agricultural and residential curtilage



Land to the east of Barrow Hill


Mixed use (residential, commercial and public open space)




Land at Bury Road






Land off Barrow Hill


Mixed use




Land to the west of Mill Lane (resubmitted as land rear of Layes Road and Mill Lane)



Residential and agricultural



Land to the east of Barrow Hill


Residential and B1 business use

Agricultural and farmyard
allocated RV10b
planning permission granted



Land at Barrow Hill, Barrow





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]