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

4.6. Great Barton

4.6.1 Great Barton is located towards the north-east of the district. It is six kilometres north of Bury St Edmunds with most of the village lying immediately west of the A143, and a smaller residential area to the east. It has a population of approximately 2,236 (2018 mid-year estimate). The village has a range of facilities including:

  • a pub
  • two food stores
  • a primary and pre-school
  • a post office
  • a petrol filling station
  • village hall and playing field

4.6.2 These amenities are spread out with the post office, pub, village hall and playing field separated from the majority of residents by the A143.

4.6.3 Although there is no conservation area in Great Barton there is an important area called The Park which has a distinct sylvan and historical character.

4.6.4 Proximity to the growing northern edge of Bury St Edmunds is the subject of policies in the former St Edmundsbury area Core Strategy (2010) and Rural Vision 2031 (2014) documents that require strategic development north-east of Bury St Edmunds (Policies CS11, and BV6) to maintain the identity and segregation of Great Barton and protect the setting and identity of the village and to avoid coalescence with the town through the creation of green buffers. In addition, any development in this allocation is required to be designed to be capable of accommodating a route for a bypass for Great Barton.

4.6.5 Great Barton are producing a neighbourhood development plan. The neighbourhood area was designated on 16 June 2016 and updated on 14 January 2019.

Constraints and opportunities

  • An Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) has been in place since April 2017 (and was previously in place between 2009 and 2012 when it was revoked on a technicality). Recorded levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution in 2016 were slightly below the annual mean objective but new, better positioned, monitoring commenced in January 2018 and indicates that the objective is still being breached.
  • The area known as The Park has a special character that will require consideration when assessing sites for new development.
  • The A143 creates a barrier between much of the settlement and many of the services and amenities, and may potentially constrain development due to safety issues.
  • Proximity to Bury St Edmunds is both a constraint and opportunity – the character and identity of the village must be protected by avoiding development that could lead to coalescence of the village with the north-east of Bury St Edmunds, whilst proximity offers the opportunity, through development, for foot and cycle links and improved public transport connections to the town.
  • Great Barton is well served by services and facilities in the village and provision of green open space, particularly to the north and south of the village, and recreational space to the rear of the village hall.
  • Public transport links to Bury St Edmunds are relatively good, with a reasonable bus service to the centre of town.
  • There is sufficient capacity at the waste water treatment works and within the foul sewerage network to cope with current levels of planned growth, however, capacity constraints have been identified within the surface water network.

Settlement status

4.6.6 Great Barton is designated as a local service centre in the current local plan in recognition of the role it has to play in serving the residents of the village and those who live in the surrounding rural area. It is proposed that its status is retained as a local service centre in the new West Suffolk settlement hierarchy.

Site options

4.6.7 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.

4.6.8 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.

4.6.9 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.

4.6.10 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.

4.6.11 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.

Great Barton settlement constraints map

Great Barton

Great Barton settlement map showing SHELAA included sites

Great Barton

Great Barton - included SHELAA sites

2020 reference 

Site name

Area (hectares)

Proposed use

Current use
planning status

Indicative capacity*[1]


Site B land south of Mill Road






Site A land north of Mill Road






Land adjacent to Great Barton Free Church, Mill Lane






Land at School Road


Mixed use – housing and community facilities

allocated RV18

40 (total to be determined in development brief)


Land to west of Livermere Road





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]