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

5.14. Risby

5.14.1 Risby is a village with a population of 876 (2018 mid-year estimate). The village is located five kilometres west of Bury St Edmunds and 16 kilometres east of Newmarket. Risby has a range of services including:

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

Constraints and opportunities

  • There is a 1.5 kilometres SPA buffer to the west towards the Breckland Special Protection Area.
  • Grade 2 agricultural land surrounds the settlement. Although not a fundamental constraint to development, preference is given to avoiding higher quality grade land.
  • County wildlife sites form a fundamental constraint to development to the north and east requiring appropriate buffers to development.
  • There are no topography issues affecting development within or around Risby.
  • Development around Risby is not constrained by potential coalescence with adjoining settlements.
  • The A14 to the south forms a defensible boundary to southward expansion of the village.
  • Conservation area and listed buildings within the existing centre are a recognised constraint to development to the north-east of the village in order to protect key views into and from the conservation area to the countryside and protect the setting of the village.
  • Cumulative impact on flows around A14 will need to be considered within Highways Agency modelling, and the A14 Infrastructure and Junction Capacity Study.
  • There are limited bus services from Risby.
  • The Calor Gas storage works to the south of Risby may restrict development to the south of the village which falls within a 500 metre precautionary buffer zone around the works.
  • Risby has historic settlement cores that focus on the green and the church, and sites of various periods in and around the village are recorded in the county Historic Environment Record (HER).

Settlement status

5.14.2 Risby 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 to redesignate Risby as a Type A village in the new West Suffolk settlement hierarchy, in recognition that the village lacks the level of services and facilities required to justify maintaining it as a local service centre. 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.

5.14.3 The former St Edmundsbury area Rural Vision 2031 (2014) allocated one site in the village. An application for 20 dwellings was approved in 2014 and the site has been completed.

Site options

5.14.4 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.

5.14.5 A number of sites in Risby have been submitted to the council by landowners and developers through the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) for potential inclusion in the local plan, but all have been deferred due to significant policy constraints or because they are not available. These sites are listed in the SHELAA and can be seen on Find My Nearest.

5.14.6 If you know of any new sites that could be suitable for allocation, or can justify how the constraints on the deferred sites can be overcome, please let us know.

5.14.7 Your comments will help in drawing up the next draft of the West Suffolk Local Plan which will be consulted on 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.

Risby settlement constraints map