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

5.6. Freckenham

5.6.1 Freckenham has a population of 350 (2018 MYE). It is situated 5.5 kilometres south west of Mildenhall close to the boundary with East Cambridgeshire. The village has a conservation area and the parish church is a Grade II* listed building. A tributary of the River Lark (Lee Brook) flows through the centre of the village.

5.6.2 Freckenham has a recreation ground and a public house. A bookable bus service is available through the Connecting Communities initiative. The nearest doctors’ surgeries and dental practices are in Mildenhall and Red Lodge. Similarly, primary schools are in both Mildenhall and Red Lodge, and secondary schools in Mildenhall and Newmarket.

Constraints and opportunities

  • Freckenham is within the Special Protection Area Recreational Pressure buffer
  • A tributary of the River Lark runs through the village contributing to the character of the village
  • The centre of the village along the Lee Brook is covered by flood zone and would limit development in that area
  • Freckenham has a conservation area and a number of listed buildings
  • There are several Tree Preservation Orders within, adjoining and close to the settlement boundary.
  • Grade 2 agricultural land is found west of the village along the district boundary.
  • Freckenham is in relatively close to Mildenhall which offers a wide range of facilities.

Settlement status

5.6.3 The village is designated as a secondary village in the former Forest Heath area Core Strategy (2010). It is proposed that Freckenham is categorised as a Type A village in the new West Suffolk settlement hierarchy, which means that small sites for development could be allocated. 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.

5.6.4 The parish council have embarked on the process of preparing a neighbourhood plan. The neighbourhood plan area was designated by West Suffolk Council on 2 November 2018.

Site options

5.6.5 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.

5.6.6 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.

5.6.7 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.

5.6.8 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.

5.6.9 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.

Freckenham settlement constraints map


Freckenham settlement map showing SHELAA included sites


Freckenham - included SHELAA sites

2020 reference

Site name

Area (hectares)

Proposed use

Current use
planning status

Indicative capacity*[1]


Land east of North Street



grazing land



Land adjacent to Freckenham House, Mildenhall Road



Private garden



Land at Fordham Road






Land at Fordham 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]