Site Specific Allocations

Adopted January 2011

4. Bungay Area


Bungay Town Sign.jpg4.1 Bungay is located in the northwest corner of the District. The town is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside within the District, with the River Waveney to the north and east and gently rolling agricultural landscape to the south. The character of the town is enhanced by large areas of open grazing land and other open areas, such as the castle grounds and the allotment land in St. John's Road, which prevents the feeling of urban confinement felt in many towns of a similar size. Bungay has a population of 5,090 (2007).

4.2 The main part of the built-up area and historic core of Bungay, together with Outney Common, lie within a meander of the River Waveney which forms the boundary between Norfolk and Suffolk. The town is a typical historic market town
providing shopping, business services, educational and recreational facilities which cater not just for the town but for a number of villages in the rural hinterland, including Earsham and Ditchingham on the Norfolk side of the River Waveney.

4.3 Bungay historically dates back to pre-Norman times. Holy Trinity Church is 1000 years old and the Priory Church of St. Mary dates back to 1160. Bungay castle dates back again to Norman times and is a reminder of the strong defensive position in which Bungay lies. Much of the town was rebuilt in 1688 after being destroyed by fire; the town contains many fine Georgian buildings because of this rebuilding programme. The 17th century Butter Cross in the Market Place provides an excellent focal point to the town centre, which still retains a characteristic medieval street pattern. The historic nature of the town centre has led to its protection through the attainment of Conservation Area status.

4.4 Bungay has been forced to grow in a southward direction because of the natural barrier of the River Waveney and its adjacent areas of low lying land. Since the war, housing estates have been built fronting onto Beccles Road, Flixton Road and south of Hillside Road. In recent years new estates have located on Annis Hill and St. Johns Hill, with further expansion to the south of Hillside Road West. Much of this area is very exposed and further expansion southwards could be to the detriment of both the existing townscape and the surrounding countryside. Therefore, any future development would need to implement measures to minimise visual and landscape impact. The new estates to the south of the town have reached their natural topographical limits and further extensions into open countryside would not be desirable.

4.5 These environmental constraints will continue to play a significant role in shaping future development in Bungay. To the east and west of the town, areas are at significant level of flood risk, classified as Flood Risk Zone 3b in the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (2008).

Delivering the Core Strategy Vision for the Bungay Area

Clays Ltd.jpg4.6 The Core Strategy has highlighted several issues in the Bungay area that need to be addressed. These include the provision of employment land, housing and community facilities in order to increase its ability to meet its own needs and those of the surrounding villages. Public consultation on the preparation of the Site Specific Allocations document has assisted in identifying how these needs can be met as part of the long-term development plan.

Residential Development
4.7 Policies CS01: Spatial Strategy and CS11: Housing of the Core Strategy indicate that Bungay will be able to accommodate a limited proportion of the total housing growth in the market towns to 2025. Previously developed land will be the priority for housing development.

4.8 A number of brownfield sites that are known to exist in Bungay are small sites that cannot otherwise be allocated for housing development in this DPD. An allowance was therefore made in Core Strategy Policy CS11: Housing for an annual supply of windfall dwellings within the market towns. A proportion of future housing growth in Bungay is likely to be delivered on windfall sites in the later stages of the plan period.

4.9 The area around Bungay is mainly open countryside with some scattered rural communities. No housing development has been allocated in these areas, however, there is some potential for windfall development to meet local needs. Opportunities to deliver rural affordable housing will be considered against the criteria set out in Development Management Policy DM22: Housing Development in the Countryside.

4.10 The Council has made good progress towards meeting the target for housing delivery in the District. Locations for 98 new homes have already been identified in the Bungay area for the period 2001 to 2009, with 52 completed and 46 with planning permission.

4.11 This document allocates land for approximately 51 additional dwellings. Two small brownfield sites are to become available close to Bungay town centre. These are sites BUN2 and BUN3. In addition, a limited amount of housing has been allocated adjacent to the southern boundary of Bungay to enable the delivery of employment land (BUN1).

4.12 The School Organisational Review is currently being undertaken by Suffolk County Council. This may present future opportunities for residential development and other uses in Bungay. The re-use of school sites will be considered against Development Management Policy DM26: Re-Use of Vacant School Buildings and Playing Fields.

4.13 Employment in Bungay is catered for in the town centre through retail and tourism, however, a deficiency of industrial land (B1, B2 and B8 uses) and particularly light industrial, has been identified in the Employment Land Study (2006). There is also an identified need for small and medium sized units to enable the growth of new businesses. These new businesses will ideally be supported by business start up units linked with the allocation of a new community centre. The employment strategy as set out in Policy CS07: Employment includes the need to deliver up 5 hectares of industrial land in the town.

4.14 Currently there are small industrial estates located within the built up area of Bungay, with Richard Clay Printing being the largest employer in terms of premises and employees. The environmental constraints are compounded by the medieval street pattern that is not conducive to modern vehicular traffic. Considering these issues, the potential for employment land is very limited, however, site BUN1 to the south of the built up area has been allocated for employment use.

4.15 The development of employment land could have implications for increased HGV traffic travelling through the town centre along the A144. Access to the south towards Halesworth will pose no significant threat to rural communities, however, when heading north to gain access to the A143 which links into wider parts of the District and surrounding areas, all traffic will pass through the town centre. Traffic considerations will need to be taken into account prior to any planning proposal.

Community Facilities
4.16 The provision of community facilities in Bungay includes two primary schools, one in Wingfield Street and another in St. Mary's Street, Bungay Middle School and Bungay High School. There are also primary schools located in several surrounding rural communities. Bungay also has a library in the town centre, a medical centre in the middle of town and a swimming pool to the south of the built up area.

4.17 The community centre, on Upper Olland Street, is in a state of disrepair and is one of the most pressing community facilities needed by local residents. Within the community centre is a well used children's nursery. This facility is an important community asset and will need to be relocated in conjunction with the delivery of a new community centre. The existing community centre is close to the town centre and historic residential areas. However, as the town has grown, residential growth has taken place to the south, some distance from the town centre. To address this shortfall, site BUN4 is allocated for a community centre which incorporates an indoor leisure area, children's nursery, business start up units and customer access centre. The whole site will be developed comprehensively, including the enhancement of the remaining open space as a play park.

4.18 A District Council Customer Service Centre is currently located in the town centre. This facility is in need of refurbishment to meet the needs of the community. The development of a new community centre provides the opportunity to develop a central, modern facility that can be used for public and voluntary sector service provision.

4.19 The Allotments, Cemeteries and Churchyards Needs Assessment (2007) identified a shortfall of allotments. Located in an area accessible by foot, cycle and public transport, site BUN5 was protected for allotment use in the Waveney Interim Local Plan (2004). This site was in use some time ago but has since become privately owned and no longer in use. This site needs to be brought back into use to meet a growing community demand. The site also has an important role in the local green infrastructure, as mature trees and shrubs provide habitat for birds and form part of a wildlife corridor through the town.

4.20 Core Strategy Policy CS14: Culture highlights the need for additional burial land. Estimates indicate the current Bungay Cemetery will reach its capacity around 2017. Therefore, site BUN6 has been allocated as an extension to the existing cemetery. The nature of cemeteries also means that this site can continue to provide a habitat for local wildlife.

4.21 There is a shortfall of open space in the general area of Bungay. Opportunities will be taken to increase open space through development proposals. There may also be opportunities through the School Organisational Review.

Transportation and Accessibility
4.22 The main road passing through the town centre of Bungay is the A144. This road connects the town to the surrounding hinterland and outlying areas. The historic town centre is not suitable for the modern HGV traffic and is a major issue in the town. Possible future traffic management options are being discussed with Suffolk County Council Highways and Bungay Town Council.

Bungay Area Site Allocations

Bungay Area Site Allocations.jpg

Bungay Area Site Allocations Table