Waveney Local Plan

Key issues in rural areas

020 Wangford Streetscene

The rural area in Waveney is characterised by a small number of larger villages and numerous small villages and hamlets. Kessingland, located on the coast between Lowestoft and Southwold, is the District's largestvillage with a population of 4,327. Kessingland have recently prepared a Neighbourhood Plan which sets out the vision and planning policies for their community over the next 15 years.

Outside of Kessingland, Barnby and North Cove, Blundeston, Corton, Wrentham and Wangford are the largest villages with reasonable provision of everyday services and facilities. The village of Somerleyton, although much smaller, also has a good range of services and facilities. There are numerous other smaller villages which have some level of service provision and these include Brampton, Homersfield, Ilketshall St. Lawrence, Lound, Mutford, Ringsfield, Rumburgh, Shadingfield and Willingham, Westhall and Wissett. Elsewhere, the rural areas are characterised by small dispersed hamlets with limited services and facilities.

Access to primary schools can be an issue in the rural areas, with many children, including in some larger villages such as Wrentham, having to take the bus to primary school in nearby villages or towns.

In recent years, many rural settlements have lost services and facilities and have very limited access to basic services and facilities. The rural areas are generally less deprived than neighbourhoods in Lowestoft and the market towns. The rural areas have the highest proportion of those employed in managerial, professional and associate professional positions compared to the market towns and Lowestoft. House prices are higher in the rural areas than the District average.

There are limited employment opportunities in the rural areas and most residents depend on nearby towns for employment. However, there is some evidence of reverse commuting where people employed in rural industries are living in towns.

Broadband is essential for economic development and remains poor in the rural areas. Speeds tend to be slow with maximum speeds rarely exceeding 10mbs and many areas struggling to achieve speeds of 3mb