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

Part 3 - settlements

3.3. Ixworth

3.3.1 Ixworth is a large village with a population of approximately 2,287 (2018 mid-year estimate for Ixworth and Ixworth Thorpe) located to the north-east of the district, around 13 kilometres from Bury St Edmunds.

3.3.2 The village has a good range of services and facilities including:

  • a play area
  • a hotel
  • two shops
  • a primary school with early years provision
  • a free school (age 11 to 16 years)
  • a public house
  • a village hall
  • a library.

3.3.3 The role of the town of Thetford is also recognised in terms of the services and facilities it provides for residents of Ixworth.

3.3.4 It has good transport links to Bury St Edmunds and Diss with a fair bus service (four to six buses daily).

Constraints and opportunities

  • Infill development between the edge of the existing settlement and the relief road to the north and the east provides small development opportunities, sufficient to support local facilities and with potentially good access to an existing bus route.
  • Roads to the north (A1088) and the east (A143) of the village provide natural barriers to growth.
  • Bangrove Wood, to the north of Ixworth, is identified as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), a designation which limits development beyond the relief road.
  • The scale of growth will be dependent on local environmental and infrastructure capacity and will need to respect the historic core and conservation area.
  • Flood risk areas along river corridors to the south and west will limit growth in these directions.
  • The conservation area and listed buildings within the existing centre are a recognised constraint on developing to the south-west of the village  protecting views into and from the conservation area to the countryside and protecting the setting of the village.
  • The county Historic Environment Record (HER) shows Prehistoric, Roman and Anglo-Saxon sites within and around the medieval settlement of Ixworth and its priory. These sites tended to overlook Mickle Mere.

3.3.5 The parish council have embarked on the process of preparing a neighbourhood plan for Ixworth and Ixworth Thorpe. The neighbourhood plan area was designated by West Suffolk Council on 20 July 2017.

Settlement status

3.3.6 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. Ixworth 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.

3.3.7 The former St Edmundsbury area Rural Vision 2031 (2014) allocates three sites for housing and mixed use development. RV12a Reeves Farm Stow Road has been built, RV12b Land off Crown Lane is currently subject of a planning application which is pending determination (DC/17/0333/FUL) and RV12c land west of A143 and south of A1088 has not yet come forward. An existing employment area off Bardwell Road is designated under policy RV4g.

Site options

3.3.8 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.

3.3.9 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.

3.3.10 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.

3.3.11 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.

3.3.12 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.

Ixworth settlement constraints map

Ixworth

Ixworth and Ixworth Thorpe settlement map showing SHELAA included sites

Ixworth

Ixworth_Thorpe

Ixworth - included SHELAA sites

2020 reference

Site name

Area (hectares)

Proposed use

Current use
planning status

Indicative capacity*[1]

WS121

Land west of Bardwell Road and south of A1088 Thetford Road

9.60

Mixed use

Agricultural
none

173

WS122

Land off Crown Lane

2.56

Residential

Agricultural
allocated RV12(b)
planning application pending decision

77

WS123

Land west of the A143 and south of A1088

10.75

Residential on the southern part of the site

Agricultural
allocated RV12(c)

80

WSE01

Manor Farm, Ixworth Thorpe

0.36

Employment

Commercial

N/A

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]