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

4.5. Exning

4.5.1 Exning is a village with a population of 2,096 (2018 mid-year estimate), located to the north-west of Newmarket. Although physically close to the northern edge of Newmarket, Exning is separated by the A14 trunk road and retains its identity and integrity as a village. It is a village well served by a variety of facilities including:

  • a convenience food store
  • three Public Houses
  • a primary school
  • an employment area
  • a pre-school
  • an hotel
  • a recreation ground.

Constraints and opportunities

  • Existing capacity issues at junction 37 of the A14 trunk road north-east of Newmarket may be exacerbated by further growth.
  • Exning has land within Flood Zones 2 and 3 running north/south through the middle of the settlement and also to the east of the settlement boundary.
  • Exning has a number of known archaeological sites and an extensive conservation area which covers much of the village and extends northwards to include the Grade II* listed Glanelly Rest (formerly Exning House) and its grounds, which creates an attractive setting for the village.

Settlement status 

4.5.2 Exning 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.

4.5.3 The former Forest Heath area Site Allocations Local Plan (2019) allocates a site in the village on the south side of Burwell Road for a total of 205 dwellings. To date, no planning applications has been forthcoming in respect of this site.

Site options

4.5.4 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.

4.5.5 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.

4.5.6 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.

4.5.7 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.

4.5.8 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.

Exning settlement constraints map


Exning settlement map showing SHELAA included sites


Exning - included SHELAA sites

2020 reference

Site name

Area (hectares)

Proposed use

Current use
planning status

Indicative capacity*[1]


Land south of Burwell Road and west of Queen View



allocated SA12(a)



Land east of Heath Road



Agricultural and allotments


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]