West Suffolk Local Plan (Regulation 18) Preferred Options

Part Three: Site Allocations

4.7. Hopton

4.7.1. Hopton and Knettishall has a population of 634 (2019 mid-year estimate). Hopton is a village located approximately 24 kilometres from Bury St Edmunds. It has a reasonable range of facilities including a convenience food shop, a primary and pre-school, public house and leisure facilities. The role of Thetford is also acknowledged in terms of the services and facilities it provides for the residents of Hopton and other villages in the northern part of the

Constraints and opportunities

  • The west and north of Hopton are subject to numerous planning constraints including: an extensive special landscape area Weston and Hopton Fens Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and flood zones associated with the Little Ouse River.
  • There is a county wildlife site (CWS) that lies south of Nethergate Street, outside of the housing settlement boundary. There are also some sites that have been recognised as habitats for particular species, some of which lie within the current built up area.
  • The Waveney and Little Ouse Valley Fens Special Area of Conservation (SAC) is of international importance to nature conservation and is a short distance to the west of Hopton. Whilst visitors are currently welcomed, a significant increase in visitors could result in damage to vegetation on the site.
  • The village is lacking in amenity open space but there is recreational area to the south-west of the primary school.
  • There are two main clusters of listed buildings, the first at the western end of Nethergate Street and the second is centered around the crossroads and the church.
  • A conservation area designation covers the area around the church and stretches northwards to cover the properties that front on to the High Street up to Hopton House. Combined, these designations will limit new development to the east and west of the High Street, so as to protect key views into and from the countryside and to protect the setting of the village.
  • Hopton’s historic settlement core centres on The Street and the church. Multi-period sites are recorded in the county historic environment record (HER) to the south of Nethergate Street and to the west of Manor Farm at the northern boundary of Hopton. There are several locations of particular note in terms of archaeology. There should be assessment of the archaeological potential of proposed sites at an appropriate stage in the design of new developments.
  • There is a flood zone which lies to the west of Hopton, between the residential development at Fen Street and the edge of development on Nethergate Street. A large flood risk area is also located to the north-east of the village, covering Raydon Common.
  • Hopton lies on the B1111, which provides a north to south link between the A143 to Bury St Edmunds and the A1066 to Thetford and Diss. The local roads and junctions may require upgrading in order for Hopton to accommodate new development.
  • There is at least an hourly bus service from 9am (at the latest) to 5pm (at the earliest).
  • There is good provision of community infrastructure although no GP, post office or library.

 Preferred allocations

4.7.2. One site is proposed as a preferred site for residential development in Hopton providing an indicative capacity of 37 dwellings. This site is currently allocated in the former St Edmundsbury Rural Vision 2031 local plan. The level of development proposed is influenced by the overall housing requirement and the settlement strategy. This determines 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. Further information on how housing numbers have been derived can be seen in part one of the local plan.

4.7.3. Further information on alternative site options considered but not taken forward can be seen in the table of omission sites in appendix B.

4.7.4. Information on infrastructure can be seen in the draft infrastructure delivery plan (IDP) (2022) which sets out baseline data for each settlement.

Hopton settlement constraints map
Hopton settlement constraints map
Hopton preferred allocation map
 Hopton preferred allocation map