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

5.15. Stoke by Clare

5.15.1 Stoke by Clare is a village with a population of 514 (2017 MYE) located at the southern end of the district adjoining the county boundary with Essex. It is approximately eight kilometres to the east of Haverhill and 26 kilometres to the south-west of Bury St Edmunds. Facilities within the village include:

  • Stoke College (independent day and boarding school)
  • a public house
  • a convenience food store
  • village hall
  • tennis courts, bowling green and a playing field.

Constraints and opportunities

  • The scale of growth will be dependent on local environmental and infrastructure capacity and will need to respect the landscape setting and attractive character of Stoke by Clare.
  • There are no nature or habitat designations in close proximity to the village.
  • Flood risk areas cover much of the southern part of the village which will influence the possible locations for growth.
  • Stoke by Clare is situated in the River Stour valley, reflected in the land that rises to the north and south of the village boundary. Any new development will need to be sensitive to the surrounding landscape characteristics.
  • There is a large conservation area and 23 listed buildings within the village which require consideration when assessing locations for new development.
  • Stoke by Clare is located on the A1092 which provides good road links for Sudbury to the east and Haverhill to the west. Cavendish is served by a bus service to Sudbury and Haverhill, with a journey time of less than half an hour.
  • Stoke by Clare lies within the rich archaeological landscape of the Stour Valley as recorded in the county Historic Environment Record (HER), and Prehistoric sites are recorded within the vicinity of this historic settlement.

Settlement status

5.15.2 Stoke by Clare is classified as an infill village in the former St Edmundsbury area Core Strategy (2010). The school, shop, and pub are sustainability indicators which warrant Stoke by Clare being categorised as a Type A village in this plan.

5.15.3 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

5.15.4 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.

5.15.5 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.

5.15.6 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.

5.15.7 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.

5.15.8 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.

Stoke by Clare settlement constraints map

Stoke by Clare

Stoke by Clare settlement maps showing SHELAA included sites

Stoke by Clare

Stoke by Clare - included SHELAA sites

2020 reference

Site name

Area (hectares)

Proposed use

Current use
planning status

Indicative capacity*[1]


Land at Ashen Lane



Parkland, allotments, playing field, playground, woodland



Land adjacent Little Paddocks



Agricultural buildings


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]