West Suffolk Local Plan (Regulation 18) Preferred Options

Part Three: Site Allocations

4.5. Great and Little Whelnetham

4.5.1. Great and Little Whelnetham are located in the eastern section of the district, approximately four miles south-east of Bury St Edmunds and have a population of approximately 1,039 (2019 mid-year estimate). The villages are designated as a local service centre with a reasonable range of services and facilities including local employment, a primary school, early year provision, a public house, village hall and post office and village store.

Constraints and opportunities

  • Great and Little Whelnetham sits within the valley of the River Lark, which includes a flood zone to the north of the settlement and runs along the A134, to the east of the settlement. A second identified flood zone follows the route of the river to the west, which joins up with the A134 at the Sicklesmere House junction.
  • The landscape character assessment notes that the villages lie within the Lark River Valley character area.
  • There are no nature or habitat designations in close proximity to the village however, there are two wildlife habitat locations of significance within the built-up area.
  • Great and little Whelnetham benefits from two open spaces within the village. One triangular green open space located centrally within Sicklesmere and a large area of recreation space and village hall to the south of the village.
  • Development should be sensitive to key protected views to the south and north-west of the settlement.
  • The A134 forms a natural boundary to the north of the existing built-up area of Sicklesmere.
  • Sicklesmere Conservation Area stretches north of the A134 from the site of the former Erskine Lodge up to Park Farm. Views into and out of the conservation area should be preserved to protect the setting of the village.
  • There are a cluster of archaeological sites between Stanningfield Road and Hawstead Lane, the circular structure in the churchyard at Little Whelnetham is a scheduled monument, and Roman sites are recorded in the county historic environment record (HER) at the north end of Great Whelnetham. Another county designated archaeological site is located opposite the village hall at the windmill, which is also a listed building.
  • The sewage works in Sicklesmere will limit development to the north-west of the settlement, due to a cordon sanitaire.
  • The villages have direct access onto the A134, linking the settlements to Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury.
  • There is at least an hourly bus service from 9am (at the latest) to 5pm (at the earliest).

 Preferred allocations

4.5.2. No areas of growth opportunity been identified in Great and Little Whelnetham due to flood zone and heritage constraints. Further information on opportunity areas can be seen in the opportunity and constraints study (2022)  produced as evidence to support this plan.

4.5.3. Further information on how housing numbers have been derived can be seen in part one of the local plan.

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

Great and Little Whelnetham settlement constraints map
Great and Little Whelnetham