West Suffolk Local Plan (Regulation 18) Preferred Options

Part Three: Site Allocations

2. Towns

2.1. Brandon

2.1.1. Brandon is a market town located to the north of West Suffolk on the border with Breckland district and has a population of approximately 9,343 (2019 mid-year estimate). The town hosts a twice weekly provisions market and has a range of local convenience stores and comparison shops which include national and independent retailers. There are a good range of services and amenities available including GP surgeries, a police and fire station, library, open spaces, and sports provision including a leisure centre. The town has two primary schools and a free school (age 11 to 16 years). Brandon railway station is situated in the north of the settlement off Bridge Street and is on the Greater Anglia Breckland line which provides links to Thetford, Ely, Norwich and Cambridge.

Constraints and opportunities

  • Whilst this well served market town would appear to provide significant opportunities for growth, the environmental constraints, in particular the Natura 2000 sites, place a severe limit on the extent of development that can take place.
  • Land within flood zones 2 and 3 lies to the north of the settlement along the Little Ouse River which constrains development to the north.
  • Breckland Special Protection Area (SPA) designated for Stone Curlew, Woodlark and Nightjar and its constraint zones significantly restrict growth in the town. The SPA and the extent of the constraint zone is illustrated on the constraint map.
  • Sites of special scientific interest (SSSI) are Breckland Forest SSSI located to the south and east of Brandon; Weeting Heath SSSI and national nature reserve to the north-west, Breckland farmland to the north and west, and London Road Industrial Estate, Brandon SSSI, located within the employment area to the south-west.
  • There are excellent natural areas around the town giving opportunities for sport and recreation, however new development may lead to an increase in recreational disturbance to protected bird species.
  • Listed buildings in the High Street and the town centre conservation area, together with the Little Ouse riverside setting, and Brandon Country Park, create an attractive setting for the town.
  • The increased trend in working from home will help to strengthen the vitality and viability of businesses in the town.
  • There are Ministry of Defence (MOD) airbase noise constraint zones to the south of Brandon as a consequence of aircraft landing at and taking off from RAF Lakenheath.
  • There are numerous archaeological sites in and around the town with concentrations along the river valley to the north and forest to the south and east.

Preferred allocation

2.1.2. Brandon continues to function as a market town serving the retail and leisure needs of the local catchment area. However, the constraints, in particular the proximity to Breckland Special Protection Area (SPA), continue to limit opportunities for growth with strong evidence that the buffers to protect Breckland SPA continue to be justified. The council will continue to work with Natural England to determine whether any growth can be accommodated in the longer term.

2.1.3. The level of development proposed in Brandon 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 Further information on how housing numbers have been derived can be seen in part one of the local plan.

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

2.1.5. Existing established employment areas have been identified for Brandon. Further details can be seen in chapter 7 employment. Each site is identified on the policies map.

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

Brandon settlement constraints map
Brandon settlement constraints map
Brandon preferred allocations map east
 Brandon preferred allocations