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

Part 3 - settlements

4.3. Beck Row

4.3.1 Beck Row is a village with a population of approximately 5,561 (2018 mid-year estimate for Beck Row, Holywell Row and Kenny Hill). It is located in the north-western part of the district, around five kilometres from Mildenhall and 18 kilometres from Brandon. RAF Mildenhall is immediately to the south of the village.

4.3.2 The settlement has a range of facilities including:

  • two pubs
  • a primary school
  • a pre-school and nursery school
  • a convenience store.

4.3.3 A local nature reserve at Aspal Lane provides leisure opportunities including play areas. The village is situated close to the town of Mildenhall which provides a wider range of services and facilities.

Constraints and opportunities

  • Aspal Close County Wildlife Site (CWS), the majority of which is also identified as a local nature reserve (LNR), is located in the centre of the settlement.
  • The existing primary school has reached capacity and discussions are ongoing with Suffolk County Council and other partners concerning options for school expansion and potentially the requirement for a new school.
  • There is an hourly bus service to Mildenhall.
  • There are aircraft noise constraints to the north and south of the settlement as a consequence of aircraft landing and taking off from both RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall.
  • There is uncertainty over the consequences of the withdrawal of the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAF) from RAF Mildenhall post 2027 and the future use of the site.
  • To the west of the settlement there are areas of land within Flood Zones 2 and 3.
  • There is a high potential for encountering heritage assets of archaeological interest in and around Beck Row.
  • The A1101 forms a physical boundary to the south and confines any further development in this direction.
  • Airbase safeguard zones exist to the south and the west of Beck Row.
  • Coalescence should be avoided with the settlement of Holywell Row which lies to the east of Beck Row.

Settlement status

4.3.4 Beck Row is designated as a primary village in the current local plan as it provides basic local services and is able to accommodate small scale housing growth to meet local needs. It is proposed to remain in the same position in the new West Suffolk settlement hierarchy, where it is designated as a local service centre.

4.3.5 The former Forest Heath area Site Allocations Local Plan (2019) allocates four sites for housing, of which one scheme is complete, two are currently under construction and the fourth is subject of a planning application. There is also an existing employment site allocated.

Site options

4.3.6 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.

4.3.7 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.

4.3.8 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.

4.3.9 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.

4.3.10 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.

Beck Row settlement constraints map

Beck Row

Beck Row settlement map showing SHELAA included sites

Beck Row

Beck Row - included SHELAA sites

2020 reference

Site name

Area (hectares)

Proposed use

Current use
planning status

Indicative capacity*[1]

WS019

Site at Stock Corner Farm

0.50

Residential

Agricultural
outline permission granted on part of site

9

WS020

Site at Stock Corner Farm

11.00

Residential

Agricultural
outline permission granted on part of site

As above

WS021

Land east of Skeltons Drove

25.07

Residential

Agricultural
none

451

WS022

Land between Aspal Lane and Wildmere Lane

22.39

Residential

Agricultural
none

403

WS023

Land south of Rookery Drove

5.32

Residential

Grassland
none

96

WS025

Lamble Close

2.30

Residential

Grazing land
allocated SA11(a)
planning application pending decision

60

WS026

Land adjacent to and south of Caravan Park on Aspal Lane

4.14

Residential

Grassland
allocated SA11(b)
planning permission granted and commenced

117

WS027

Land adjacent to Beck Lodge Farm

0.60

Residential

Agricultural buildings and grazing
allocated SA11(d)
planning permission granted

12

WS028

Aspal Nursery, Aspal Lane

3.14

Residential

Residential and nursery
none

94

WS029

Land at junction of Aspal Lane and St John’s Street

1.90

Residential

Grassland
none

57

WS030

Scrapyard, Skeltons Drove

1.31

Residential

Scrap yard
planning permission granted

 

WS031

Land at the corner of Wilde Street/Aspal Lane

1.29

Residential

Grassland
planning permission granted

39

WS654

Land north of Holmsey Green

0.94

Residential

Agricultural
none

28

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]