West Suffolk Local Plan (Regulation 18) Preferred Options

Part Three: Site Allocations

2.4. Mildenhall

2.4.1. Mildenhall is a market town with a population of approximately 9,054 (2019 mid-year estimate) close to the A11, 11 kilometres north-east of Newmarket, 14 kilometres south-west of Thetford and 19 kilometres north-west of Bury St Edmunds. There are a good range of services and amenities available including a fire station, a police station, a high school academy (age 11 to 18 years), primary schools, two GP surgeries, sport and leisure facilities. The town centre offers a range of shops and services including supermarkets, local convenience stores, comparison shops and services. 

Constraints and opportunities

  • The planned expansion of the town to the west will provide the opportunity to create an area of new natural greenspace, such as a country park, to maintain and protect biodiversity interests in the area.
  • The increased trend in working from home will help to strengthen the vitality and viability of businesses in the town.
  • Coalescence with surrounding settlements such as Barton Mills, Worlington and The Rows should be avoided.
  • Land to the east of the settlement lies within the Breckland Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
  • The United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) is located on the edge of West Mildenhall positioned between Mildenhall, Beck Row and West Row.
  • There are aircraft noise constraint zones to the north of the town associated with RAF Mildenhall airbase flight paths.
  • Higher levels of growth are likely to require additional or expanded schools.
  • Breckland Special Protection Area (SPA) designated for Stone Curlew, Woodlark and Nightjar and its constraint zones restrict growth to the east of the settlement.
  • Road junction capacity in the town is constrained and future growth beyond that already planned in the former Forest Heath Site Allocations Local Plan (2019) will affect capacity at the Fiveways A11/ A1101/A1065 roundabout which may require mitigation.
  • Land to the south of the settlement adjacent to the River Lark lies within flood zones 2 and 3 according to data provided by the Environment Agency.
  • The Mildenhall Hub project has brought together public services in one accessible place with better leisure facilities.
  • There is the potential for a district heating network to be provided as part of new major development.

Preferred allocations

2.4.2. The level of development proposed in Mildenhall 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.

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

2.4.4. New and existing preferred strategic and non-strategic employment and mixed use sites, as well as existing established employment areas have been identified for Mildenhall. Further details can be seen in chapter 7 employment. Each site is identified on the policies map.

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

Mildenhall settlement constraints map
 Mildenhall settlement constraints map
Mildenhall preferred allocations map
 Mildenhall preferred allocations map