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

Part 3 - 5. Type A Villages

5.1. Barnham

5.1.1 Barnham is located to the north of the district to the west of the A134 approximately 4.5 kilometres south of Thetford, 15 kilometres south west of Brandon and 16 kilometres north of Bury St Edmunds. The village has a population of approximately 621 (ONS 2018 mid-year estimates) Barnham has a limited range of facilities including:

  • Barnham primary CEVC School
  • a village hall
  • a play area
  • Barnham Bowls club.

Constraints and opportunities

  • There is a good bus service (more than one bus per hour) with services to Thetford, Bury St Edmunds and Brandon.
  • Much of the village is designated a conservation area with 17 listed buildings and a scheduled ancient monument within the settlement boundary.
  • Barnham Camp a training site for the RAF Regiment is located approximately one kilometre north of the village.
  • An industrial site is located some two kilometres west of the settlement on part of the former RAF Barnham on Thetford Heath. This former 1950’s nuclear facility it is a scheduled monument and several buildings on the site have listed building status.
  • Development around the settlement is heavily constrained by designations protecting the natural environment. Breckland Special Area of Conservation is one kilometre to the north east, areas of the Breckland Special Protection Area surround the village which is within the stone curlew, woodlark and nightjar buffers.
  • Breckland Heath Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) lies to the west, Breckland Farmland SSSI to the north and south, and Barnham Heath SSSI to the east.
  • The village is situated in a special landscape area.

Settlement status

5.1.2 In 2010 Barnham was designated an infill village in the former St Edmundsbury area Core Strategy (2010) where normally only small-scale infill development of five homes would be allowed within the settlement boundary. The village retains some facilities including a village hall, primary school, recreation area, bus service and close proximity to Thetford are all sustainability indicators which warrants its categorisation as a Type A village in the new West Suffolk settlement hierarchy. This would mean that the opportunity for allocating small sites in or adjacent to the village could be explored through the preparation of the local plan.

Site options

5.1.3 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.

5.1.4 A number of sites in Barnham have been submitted to the council by landowners and developers for potential inclusion in the local plan, but they have all been deferred for suitability reasons. These sites are listed in the SHELAA and can be seen on Find My Nearest.

5.1.5 Due to the environmental constraints, it is likely that the only options for development to come forward in the future will be within the settlement boundary. If you know of any sites for redevelopment in this area, please let us know via the call for sites submission form.

5.1.6 Your comments will help in drawing up the next draft of the West Suffolk Local Plan which will be consulted on 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.

Barnham settlement constraints map