West Suffolk Local Plan (Regulation 18) Preferred Options

Part Three: Site Allocations

2.2. Bury St Edmunds

2.2.1. Bury St Edmunds is the largest town in West Suffolk with a population of 41,139 (2019 mid-year estimate), located in the centre of the district. Bury St Edmunds is a market town, hosting a twice weekly provisions market, with a range of convenience and comparison shops represented by both national and independent retailers. The town centre has a good range of services with a number of GP surgeries, sport, leisure and cultural facilities, police, ambulance and fire stations, and a hospital with outpatient The town is well served with primary and secondary schools, as well as further and higher education facilities. There are also a number of established employment areas and sites for expansion of employment uses.

Constraints and opportunities

  • The town has a strong business culture with a significant employment sector.
  • Proximity of Bury St Edmunds to the A14 makes it an attractive commuter location increasing congestion on the local road network, which in the town centre is narrow and not built to cope with a high volume of traffic.
  • The town has a bus station and a rail station which serves the wider area.
  • There are two conservation areas, one based around the town centre and the other around Victoria Street. The town has a wealth of listed buildings and a world class heritage core, including abbey ruins, cathedral and the nationally recognised Abbey Gardens and is increasingly a tourist destination.
  • Existing allocations in the town plan to deliver in the region of 5,000 new homes, two new primary schools and new open access land by 2031.
  • The increased trend in working from home will help to strengthen the vitality and viability of local centres and businesses in the town.
  • The town lies at the junction of the Rivers Lark and Linnet and the river corridors are a valuable natural resource which links the town to the wider countryside. However, there are areas of flood risk which constrains development in those parts of the town.
  • Much of the town centre is covered by an area of archaeological importance, beyond which there are other archaeological sites within and near to the town boundary.
  • Further growth will be dependent on local environmental and infrastructure capacity.

Preferred allocations

2.2.2. The level of development proposed in Bury St Edmunds 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.

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

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

2.2.5. Information on infrastructure can be seen in the draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) (2022) which sets out baseline data for each settlement.

Bury St Edmunds settlement constraints map north

Bury St Edmunds settlement constraints map north
Bury St Edmunds settlement constraints map south
Bury St Edmunds settlement constraints map south
Bury St Edmunds preferred allocations map north
 Bury St Edmunds North
Bury St Edmunds preferred allocations map south
 Bury St Edmunds South