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

5.7. Great and Little Thurlow

5.7.1 Great and Little Thurlow are adjoining villages with a combined population of 183 (2017 MYE). They are located centrally and towards the south of the district approximately six kilometres north of Haverhill and sixteen kilometres south-east of Newmarket. The Thurlows have a range of services including:

  • a primary school
  • a pre-school
  • an public house
  • a playing field.

Constraints and opportunities

  • The villages of Little Thurlow and Great Thurlow lie within the River Stour Valley. The land rises gradually away from the villages to the east and west.
  • Opportunities for development are fundamentally limited by the open space character of the conservation area covering the settlement.
  • Development in Great and Little Thurlow follows a linear pattern along the B1061. There is a large conservation area and 30 listed buildings within the village which require consideration when assessing locations for new development.
  • Great and Little Thurlow lie within the rich archaeological landscape of the Stour Valley, and sites of various periods are recorded in the vicinity in the county Historic Environment Record (HER). There should be assessment of the archaeological potential of proposed sites at an appropriate stage in the design of new developments.
  • A flood zone runs the length of the villages to the east of The Street and Wratting Road; this poses a considerable constraint to development opportunities in this direction. There may be a need for mitigation measures as a result of any new development in this area.
  • Great and Little Thurlow have reasonably good vehicular access through the B1061 to Newmarket and to the A143 which carries traffic between Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds. The travel-to-work public transport links to Haverhill, Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds are poor.
  • The local road infrastructure and junctions may require assessment and potential upgrading if new development is proposed in the locality.
  • There is sufficient capacity at the waste water treatment works and within the foul sewerage network to cope with the planned growth, however, there are major capacity constraints within the surface water network

Settlement status

5.7.2 The village is designated as a local service centre in the former St Edmundsbury area Core Strategy (2010). In the West Suffolk Local Plan it will be renamed a Type A village. This is because it has limited facilities but can still meet the day to day needs of its residents. 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.

Site options

5.7.3 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.

5.7.4 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.

5.7.5 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.

5.7.6 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.

5.7.7 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 and Little Thurlow settlement constraints map

Great Thurlow with Little Thurlow

Great and Little Thurlow settlement map showing SHELAA included sites


Great and Little Thurlow - included SHELAA sites

2020 reference

Site name

Area (hectares)

Proposed use

Current use
planning status

Indicative capacity*[1]


Goldings Farm, Great Thurlow



Farmyard and parking area
allocated RV19(a)
planning permission granted on slightly different site area in 2018


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]