East Suffolk Council - Waveney Local Plan (Adopted March 2019)

Strategy for Halesworth and Holton

New homes in Halesworth and Holton

Total

Homes Built 2014-2017

38

Existing Housing Commitments7

244

Homes allocated in Local Plan expected to be delivered in plan period

480

Total Growth 2014-2036

762

7 Sites with planning permission or on Local Development Framework allocations which are expected to complete before 2036.

4.1 The strategy for Halesworth and Holton is to increase the level of housing within the town which will help deliver enhanced health and sports facilities and new employment opportunities. This will help attract younger, working age, people to the town and provide more balance to the demographics of the population. The increased levels of development will help support the town centre and enhance its role as a service centre for Holton and other nearby villages.

4.2 The Local Plan also aims to protect the individual identities of Halesworth and Holton through the selection of sites for development and through the indicative masterplans for development between the two settlements.

4.3 The Local Plan allocates land for 480 new homes in addition to the 282 which already have permission or completed since the beginning of the plan period. 2.5 hectares of land has also been allocated for employment development.

4.4 The main site for development is the Halesworth/Holton Healthy Neighbourhood, which seeks to deliver 215 new homes, a new retirement community and associated healthcare facilities, new sports facilities on the proposed Halesworth Campus and improvements to the existing Dairy Hill playing fields. The delivery of this site will be an important part of delivering the overall strategy for the town.

4.5 For Holton, a small site is allocated to provide a small amount of additional local housing. However, the village will benefit from the enhanced facilities provided in Halesworth.

4.6 Due to its proximity to the European protected sites, the growth in Halesworth will require mitigation and planning applications will require project level Habitat Regulations Assessment. More details are found in Policy WLP8.34.

Infrastructure

4.7 To deliver and support the growth plans outlined within this section the following new and improved infrastructure will be required.

Transport

  • Improvements to the cycle network as identified in the Waveney Cycle Strategy
  • Improvements to public rights of way network (in line with the Green Infrastructure Strategy) particularly to the east of Halesworth
  • Access improvements and servicing to Broadway Farm (Policy WLP4.6)

Education

  • Expansion of Edgar Sewter Primary School and/or Holton St Peter Primary School to accommodate an additional 106 pupils
  • Extension and improvements to North Suffolk Skills Centre
  • New pre-school setting on Dairy Farm (Policy WLP4.5)

Health Care

  • Extension/improvements to Cutlers Hill Surgery
  • New health facility within Halesworth/Holton Healthy Neighbourhood (Policy WLP4.1)

Community Facilities

  • Improvements to library provision
  • New community centre on Dairy Farm (Policy WLP4.5)

Green Infrastructure

  • Improvements to facilities at Dairy Hill Playing Fields (part of Halesworth/Holton Healthy Neighbourhood, Policy WLP4.1) including new junior pitches, drainage works, new pavilion and additional parking
  • Provision of new sports facilities on the Halesworth Campus (part of Halesworth/Holton Healthy Neighbourhood, Policy WLP4.1) including a sports hall, gym, new tennis/netball courts and 3G pitch and additional grass pitches
  • Natural play area on Millennium Green
  • New parks and play spaces on all development allocations

Utilities

  • Localised improvements to the sewerage network

 

Strategic Site Allocations

Figure 14 - Strategic site allocations in Halesworth and Holton

figure 14

Policy

Location

Allocation

WLP4.1

Halesworth/Holton Healthy Neighbourhood

Mixed use including residential development, health care facility and retirement community, sports pitches and education / training facility

WLP4.2

Land adjacent to Chediston Street, Halesworth

Residential development

WLP4.3

Land north of Old Station Road, Halesworth

Residential development

WLP4.4

Land west of Lodge Road, Holton

Residential development

WLP4.5

Land at Dairy Farm, Saxons Way, Halesworth

Residential development, community centre and pre-school setting

WLP4.6

Broadway Farm, west of Norwich Road, Halesworth

Employment development

© Crown copyright [and database rights] 2019 OS100042052

Halesworth/Holton Healthy Neighbourhood

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Mixed use including residential development, health care facility and retirement community, sports facilities and education / training facility

4.8 The site (22.05 hectares) comprises the former Halesworth Middle School site, North Suffolk Skills Centre, Dairy Hill playing fields and agricultural land to the east. The site is bordered by Norwich Road to the west and Harrisons Lane and Bungay Road to the north. Land on the former middle school site and Dairy Hill site is flat but the agricultural land to the east slopes down towards the village of Holton. Agricultural fields on this site are surrounded by mature trees and hedges.

4.9 The development of this site will help deliver the vision of the Halesworth Campus and Halesworth Health to provide additional sporting and health facilities in the town. The plans of these organisations will help promote healthier lifestyles for new residents and existing residents alike. The development of the site will include new and improved sports fields, a 3G pitch, a sports hall, community and training facilities, health care facilities, a retirement community and 215 new homes. The housing provided on the site will have excellent access to these new facilities. The site also has good access to existing facilities in the town centre, Cutlers Hill Surgery, the railway station and employment premises. Although the site sits within the gap between Halesworth and Holton and is within tributary valley farmland landscape character area, the fields comprising the eastern part of the site are well screened with mature vegetation which will limit the impact on the landscape and the potential for coalescence between Halesworth and Holton. The Halesworth Playing Fields Association will also implement its own plans to improve the existing sports facilities at Dairy Hill, which will contribute towards the Halesworth Healthy Neighbourhood.

4.10 The northwest portion of the site on part of the former middle school site will be developed to provide high quality care and accommodation for elderly residents as well as health facilities for the community. New sport facilities will be located in the centre part of the site, with new housing to the east of the site. Sports facilities on Dairy Hill will be retained in their current location. New housing and the retirement community on the site should help enable the delivery of the sports and community facilities. Access to the residential element of the development should be from Harrisons Lane. Loam Pit Lane should not be used for vehicular access but should facilitate cycle access.

4.11 The landscape in this location is sensitive to development. There is mature planting around the edges of the site which will need to be retained and enhanced to ensure there is only limited impact on the landscape.

4.12 Town Farm, a Grade II listed building sits within the site. The development should be laid out in such a way to limit the impact on the setting of this listed building.

4.13 Any planning application must be supported by the results of a programme of archaeological evaluation, including appropriate fieldwork, and should demonstrate the impacts of development on archaeological remains and proposals for managing those impacts.

4.14 There are a number of public rights of way running through the site and on the boundary of the site. These should be retained and enhanced as part of the development and provide links to the development recently approved off Hill Farm Road.

4.15 The Apollo Youth Club is located on the site of the former middle school and provides a valuable facility for children and teenagers from Halesworth and the surrounding area. A replacement for the Apollo Youth Club will be provided as part of the Halesworth Healthy Neighbourhood.

4.16 An indicative masterplan is provided in Figure 15 showing how the site could be developed. Development proposals should have regard to this indicative masterplan.

Figure 15 - Halesworth/Holton Healthy Neighbourhood indicative masterplan

 figure 15

Policy WLP4.1 - Halesworth/Holton Healthy Neighbourhood

The Halesworth/Holton Healthy Neighbourhood (22.05 hectares) as identified on the Policies Map is allocated for a comprehensive mixed use development comprising:

  • Approximately 215 dwellings;
  • Health Care Facility and Retirement Community (approximately 2.3 hectares);
  • Sports Facilities including, playing pitch, 3G pitch, and indoor sport facilities (approximately 8.6 hectares); and
  • Education/Training Facility.

The site should be developed in accordance with the following site specific criteria:

  • Residential development will be located on the northern and eastern parts of the site, which has an area of 7 hectares. The site will be developed at a density of approximately 30 dwellings per hectare.
  • The health care facility and retirement community will be located on the north western parts of the site.
  • The sports facilities will be located on the central parts of the site. Sports facilities on the site should include a 3G artificial pitch for all weather sports provision. This should be enabled by residential development on the site and appropriate delivery mechanisms and triggers will need to be agreed with the Council, in consultation with Sport England, to ensure the comprehensive development of the whole site in a coordinated and timely way.
  • Redevelopment of the site will include replacement of the Apollo Youth Club.
  • The North Suffolk Skills Centre will be retained on the site to be used for educational, voluntary and community purposes. This includes providing accommodation for local community organisations.
  • Existing facilities at Dairy Hill, including the sports pitches, martial arts school, tennis courts, bowling green and children's play space, will be retained.
  • Access to the residential development should be from Harrisons Lane.
  • Existing trees and hedges on the site will be retained. There should be tree planting along the eastern edge of the site totalling 2.5 hectares to minimise landscape impact of the site.
  • Development should be designed to encourage walking and cycling. Existing public rights of way on the site will be retained and new pedestrian access provided to include connectivity both within the site and with neighbouring parts of Halesworth. Loam Pit Lane should provide pedestrian and cycle access to the site.
  • A Transport Assessment and Travel Plan should be submitted with any planning application.
  • Any planning application is to be supported by the results of a programme of archaeological evaluation, including appropriate fieldwork, and should demonstrate the impacts of development on archaeological remains and proposals for managing those impacts.
  • A completed ecological assessment undertaken by a suitably qualified person will be required as part of any planning application.

Land Adjacent to Chediston Street, Halesworth

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Residential development

4.17 The site (9.17 hectares) is located south of Chediston Street on sloping land on the west side of the town. The site is currently used for arable agriculture.

4.18 The site is just 600 metres from the town centre and therefore has excellent access to services and facilities. The site has good access to employment premises in the town, the railway station and the primary school. With development to the south of the site and to the east, the site constitutes a logical extension to the town.

4.19 The site sits within tributary valley farmland landscape character, which is sensitive to development. The site slopes upwards from Chediston Street to the south with high banks on parts of the northern and eastern boundary of the site. The site will therefore need to be carefully designed and landscaped to limit the potential impact on the landscape. It may be necessary to restrict building heights to 1 or 1.5 storeys on the crest of the hill.

4.20 The area to the west of Halesworth suffers from a lack of open space and children's play areas. The location of the site means that residential development would be outside of the catchment for local play spaces. It is therefore important that residential development includes provision of a new play space equivalent to a neighbourhood equipped area for play. The open space should not be positioned in a peripheral location, which will limit its value to the community.

4.21 The site is within a Minerals Consultation Area and Minerals Safeguarding Area as defined by Suffolk County Council as the Minerals Planning Authority. As such the County Council will need to be consulted on the planning application. Therefore, any planning application should be supported by evidence which assesses the quality and quantity of sand and gravel resources on site in order to help judge whether on-site resources should be used on-site during development. This may help reduce the amount of material transported on and off the site.

Policy WLP4.2 - Land Adjacent to Chediston Street, Halesworth

Land adjacent to Chediston Street, Halesworth (9.17 hectares) as identified on the Policies Map is allocated for a residential development of approximately 200 dwellings.

The site should be developed in accordance with the following site specific criteria:

    • This site should be developed at a density of approximately 30 dwellings per hectare.
    • Development should include provision of an open space of not less than 0.8 hectares in size, including a neighbourhood equipped area play space. The open space should be designed to have a street frontage on three sides or have a street corner position.
    • A landscaping scheme should be prepared to integrate the site within the landscape.
    • A Transport Assessment and Travel Plan should be submitted with any planning application.
    • A completed ecological assessment undertaken by a suitably qualified person will be required as part of any planning application.
    • Any planning application should be supported by evidence which assesses the quantity and quality of sand and gravel resources within the site in order to determine whether it is practical to make use of resources on site, in accordance with the Suffolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan.

Land North of Old Station Road, Halesworth

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Residential development

4.22 The site (0.51 hectares) is located on land to the north of Old Station Road. The site is bordered by development to the south and east and to the west has planning permission for a self build development.

4.23 The site is well contained within the landscape and development on the site would not intrude further into the countryside than development already permitted. The site is within walking distance of nearby employment premises on Norwich Road. The site also has good access to the primary school and the proposed facilities within the Halesworth/Holton Healthy Neighbourhood as described in Policy WLP4.1. The site therefore presents a sustainable opportunity for a small scale development.

4.24 Housing to the south of the site is low density of approximately 15 dwellings per hectare. There is planning permission for further housing development on land to the west of the site. The surrounding landscape only has limited capacity to accommodate new development. Low density development of 20 dwellings per hectare will be in keeping with surrounding residential development and will reduce the impact of new housing upon the surrounding landscape. Retention of trees and hedges on the site and the use of appropriate landscaping will also help to reduce the impact of development on the landscape.

4.25 The site has potential for archaeology and a programme of archaeological work will be required as part of any planning permission.

Policy WLP4.3 - Land North of Old Station Road, Halesworth

Land to the north of Old Station Road, Halesworth (0.51 hectares) as identified on the Policies Map is allocated for a residential development of approximately 10 dwellings.

The site should be developed in accordance with the following site specific criteria:

  • This site should be developed at a density of approximately 20 dwellings per hectare.
  • Development should include the retention of existing trees and hedgerows.
  • A planning condition relating to archaeological investigation will be attached to any planning permission.
  • A completed ecological assessment undertaken by a suitably qualified person will be required as part of any planning application

Land West of Lodge Road, Holton

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Residential development

4.26 The site (0.70 hectares) is situated behind a recent development of affordable and market housing on Lodge Road, Holton.

4.27 The existing development to the south and west of the site and the mature screening surrounding the rest of the site means development will only have a limited effect on the landscape. The site has good access to services and facilities in the village of Holton, including the primary school. Lodge Road is currently part of the National Cycle Network Route 1.

4.28 The Gavelcroft, a Grade II listed building, is located to the north west of the site. Development on the site is unlikely to impact on the setting of Gavelcroft. Retention of existing vegetation around the edge of the allocated site will help avoid impact on the listed building.

4.29 New residential development on this site should complement existing dwellings on this site and residential areas to the east, which are of a low density. New housing should reflect its rural edge of centre location and so development should be at a lower density of 20 dwellings per hectare. New dwellings should be of an appropriate height and massing which reflects the recently completed dwellings to the south and west of the site, which means that they should be of no more than two storeys in height and be of similar proportions.

4.30 There is potential for archaeology to be found on the site and any planning application will be subject to a condition requiring a programme of archaeological work.

Policy WLP4.4 - Land West of Lodge Road, Holton

Land west of Lodge Road, Holton (0.70 hectares) as identified on the Policies Map is allocated for a residential development of approximately 15 dwellings.

The site should be developed in accordance with the following site specific criteria:

    • The site should be developed at a density of approximately 20 dwellings per hectare.
    • Development should retain trees and hedges that surround the site.
    • Dwellings should be no more than two storeys in height.
    • A planning condition relating to archaeological investigation will be attached to any planning permission.
    • A completed ecological assessment undertaken by a suitably qualified person will be required as part of any planning application.

Land at Dairy Farm, Saxons Way, Halesworth

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Residential development
and community centre / pre-school setting

4.31 The site (1.44 hectares) is located to the west of Saxons Way on the south east side of the town. The site is currently not in use and is overgrown.

4.32 The site was originally allocated for housing and a community centre/customer access centre in the Site Specific Allocations Development Plan Document (2011). The site has not come forward to date as it has only very recently been marketed for development and sold to a developer. The site is of considerable importance because it is one of the last remaining development opportunities in close proximity to the town centre.

4.33 Existing community buildings in the town such as the London Road office and the Rifle Hall struggle to deliver modern fit for purpose facilities to meet the needs of the existing community and the growing community of Halesworth and Holton. To accommodate the level of growth planned for Halesworth and Holton a new pre-school setting is required. This site, with its close proximity to the town centre makes it the most suitable site to provide these facilities. The proximity to the town centre means that there is potential for linked trips which will help enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre and reduce the need to travel. The developer will be expected to provide serviced land to accommodate the provision of the community centre and pre-school. Any such land will be transferred to the Council in accordance with the payment in kind provisions of Regulation 73 of the Community Infrastructure Regulations 2010 (as amended).

4.34 Given the above, in order to ensure there is a positive planning framework for this site to deliver essential community facilities, this Local Plan reallocates the site.

4.35 The community centre should provide meeting facilities for local groups as well as office and business facilities for the Town Council and other local organisations. The pre-school can be combined into the same complex. The community buildings and the pre-school should be accommodated on approximately 0.44 hectares of the site.

4.36 To help facilitate the delivery of the community facilities and the pre-school, housing is also allocated on the site. A comprehensive approach to the development of the site, for both housing and community uses, will be required. Housing should be located on the southern part of the site (approx. 1ha). Based on the proximity to the town centre and surrounding densities, the site should be developed for approximately 40 dwellings at a density of 40 dwellings per hectare.

4.37 Part of the site is located within the Halesworth Conservation Area. The site is also adjacent to and in close proximity to a number of designated and non-designated heritage assets including the Grade II* listed Gothic House, and the Grade II* listed St. Marys Church. Development of the site has the potential to impact on the integrity of the conservation area and on the settings of designated and non-designated heritage assets. Development will need to be designed in order to conserve and enhance the setting of assets and the integrity of the conservation area. As such planning applications should be supported by a heritage impact assessment undertaken by a suitably qualified person.

4.38 Three species of reptile have been historically recorded on this site, as well as UK BAP Priority Species of birds. Any future development must take account of wildlife and seek to avoid impacts and include suitable mitigation measures where necessary.

4.39 Good footpath and cycle provision should be provided through the site, linking development with the town centre and the wider rights of way network.

Policy WLP4.5 - Land at Dairy Farm, Saxons Way, Halesworth

Land at Dairy Farm, Saxons Way, Halesworth (1.44 hectares) as identified on the Policies Map is allocated for a residential development of approximately 40 dwellings and a community centre and pre-school setting.

The site should be developed in accordance with the following site specific criteria:

  • The south of the site (1 hectare) should be developed for 40 dwellings at a density of 40 dwellings per hectare.
  • Housing development on this site should help to facilitate the community centre and pre-school on the northern part of the site (0.44 hectares).
  • Good footpath and cycle provision should be provided through the site, linking development with the town centre, residential areas and wider rights of way network.
  • Development should conserve and enhance the conservation area and the setting of adjacent and nearby heritage assets.
  • A heritage impact assessment undertaken by a suitably qualified person will be required as part of any planning application.

An ecological assessment undertaken by a suitably qualified person will be required as part of any planning application. No vegetation clearance should take place until the results of the assessment are completed and any necessary mitigation measures are in place. Clearance of scrub should be undertaken outside of the bird breeding season and any loss of BAP species habitat should be compensated for.

Land for the community centre and pre-school setting will be transferred to the Council in accordance with the payment in kind provisions of Regulation 73 of the Community Infrastructure Regulations 2010 (as amended).

Broadway Farm, West of Norwich Road, Halesworth (within Spexhall Parish)

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Employment development

4.40 The site (2.64 hectares) lies just to the north of the Norwich Road Industrial Estate. The site is currently in agricultural use.

4.41 The site provides a logical extension to the existing industrial areas to the north of Halesworth. The site is relatively well contained within the landscape which is of reduced quality in this location due to the pylons which run to the west of the site. Development on the site would provide valuable extra jobs to support the local economy and the growing population of Halesworth and Holton.

4.42 The pavement on Norwich Road stops short of the site boundary. This should be extended to provide pedestrian access to the site.

4.43 Although the site is well contained within the landscape, a significant amount of planting will be required to screen the development from the farmhouse which lies to the west of the site to protect its amenity. Access to the farmhouse must be retained through the development.

4.44 A Suffolk Wildlife Trust survey has revealed that there are great crested newts contained within the compound of the substation to the south of this site. A survey will be needed to determine whether they are using the southern meadow as a habitat. The Trust recommend that part of this site be set aside for species that prefer thick hedge and bramble scrub, this could be combined with the landscaping referred to above. Ecological surveys, including for bats, breeding birds, newts and reptiles should also be undertaken.

4.45 The site has a high potential for archaeology and any planning application must be supported by the results of a programme of archaeological evaluation, including appropriate fieldwork, and should demonstrate the impacts of development on archaeological remains and proposals for managing those impacts.

Policy WLP4.6 - Broadway Farm, West of Norwich Road, Halesworth

Land at Broadway Farm, west of Norwich Road, Halesworth (2.64 hectares) as identified on the Policies Map is allocated for employment development (falling under use classes B1, B2 and B8).

The site should be developed in accordance with the following site specific criteria:

  • Provision should be made for pedestrian and cycle access to the site.
  • A landscaping scheme should be provided including buffer planting to protect the amenity of the farmhouse to the west of the site.
  • An ecological assessment undertaken by a suitably qualified person will be required as part of any planning application.
  • A Transport Assessment and Travel Plan should be submitted with any planning application.
  • Any planning application is to be supported by the results of a programme of archaeological evaluation, including appropriate fieldwork, and should demonstrate the impacts of development on archaeological remains and proposals for managing those impacts.