Waveney Local Plan

Overall Spatial Strategy

Vision and Objectives

1.1 The vision for Waveney in 2036 for this Local Plan is based on the short term vision contained within the Council's Business Plan - the East Suffolk Business Plan - and also on the long term need to tackle the issues detailed in the previous section. It also takes into account the comments made by stakeholders and the public through consultation to date on the Local Plan.


By 2036 the quality of life for everyone growing up in, living in, working in, and visiting Waveney will have been sustainably improved. Waveney will have a healthy economy, a healthy population and a healthy environment. The District will have experienced significant levels of growth, but this growth will not have breached environmental limits and will have been supported by adequate infrastructure.

Waveney will have a stronger, more diverse economy benefiting from the growth of offshore renewable energy. The stronger economy will have reduced deprivation and increased local earnings. Tourism will remain an important year-round part of the District's economy and visitor numbers and overnight stays will have increased. Waveney's town centres will be vibrant and meet the needs of local residents, businesses and visitors alike.

There will be sufficient housing of the right types and tenures to meet the needs of the population and people moving to the District. The health of the population will have been improved through increased opportunities for people to participate in active lifestyles.

Waveney's valuable built and natural environment will have been protected, maintained and enhanced including the protected landscapes of the Broads National Park and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The delivery of key recommendations in the Council's Green Infrastructure Strategy will have ensured improvements to open space and ecological networks will have benefited the health of the population as well as that of wildlife habitats. The high quality design of new developments will be noticeable to those living in and visiting the area and new development will have respected the rich historic assets of the District.

Climate change emissions per capita will have decreased as people choose more sustainable methods to commute to work and for leisure purposes due to the District's settlements becoming more self-sufficient. More properties will benefit from protection from flooding, and coastal communities will continue to adapt to coastal change. The District will continue to have clean air and the water quality of the District's rivers will not have worsened.

Lowestoft, Carlton Colville, Oulton and Oulton Broad

Lowestoft will be a clean, attractive and vibrant town with an enhanced economy and reduced deprivation. Lowestoft, along with nearby Great Yarmouth will be important centres in the construction, operation and maintenance of offshore renewable projects. The Port of Lowestoft will be an offshore renewables centre of excellence supporting the employment of a significant number of people.

The town will benefit from improved infrastructure, including a third crossing over Lake Lothing and strategic flood risk protection, both of which are essential to allow the town to continue to grow and thrive. The population will be healthier with new opportunities for participating in sport through the creation of a sports and leisure complex at Oakes Farm, Carlton Colville and high quality open spaces within new developments. The town will have accommodated the majority of the District's growth and will have expanded in size with well designed, sustainable extensions to the urban area which have their own identity.

The town centre will be more vibrant with a viable retail offer together with improved leisure offer including a greater number of cafes, pubs and restaurants. The derelict central areas around Lake Lothing will have been successfully regenerated providing a significant number of homes in close proximity to the town centre and employment areas. The town's tourist offer will have been maintained and improved through improvements along the coast, including the creation of a destination park at the East of England Park, celebrating the most easterly point of the country. The sensitive landscapes and habitats which surround the town will have been preserved and enhanced through new developments.

Beccles and Worlingham

Beccles will have continued to fulfil its role as the largest market town in the District serving its local population including Worlingham and the surrounding smaller towns and villages in Waveney and South Norfolk such as Ringsfield, Gillingham and Toft Monks. Beccles, together with Worlingham will have grown at a rate similar to that experienced over the last 20 years and the larger population will support and improve the town centre and services and facilities in the town to the benefit of residents and tourists alike. New development will have been supported by good infrastructure and services including a country park.

The sensitive natural environment to the north of the town will have been protected. The separate identities of the two settlements will also have been preserved. New development will be of an exceptional quality of design including greener environments serving both exiting and new residents. The delivery of the Southern Relief Road will have opened up new opportunities for growth and will have diverted heavy goods traffic from the sensitive town centre. Additionally, access to the Ellough employment area by modes other than the car will have been improved.


Bungay will have continued to act as a service centre in the north west of the District supporting the large villages of Ditchingham and Earsham in South Norfolk as well as smaller villages in Waveney. It will have a larger number of employment premises which will help make the town more self-sufficient and will have experienced modest levels of housing growth which will have helped support the town centre. The open areas within the town will have been protected, as will the sensitive landscapes outside of the town.

Halesworth and Holton

Halesworth will provide a more significant role as a service centre to the south of the District benefiting surrounding villages in Waveney and Suffolk Coastal such as Wissett, Walpole and Wenhaston. Together with Holton, it will be the second largest market town in the District after Beccles and Worlingham. The historic town centre will be vibrant and will have been supported by new housing and retail development. The town will have enhanced sports and leisure facilities following the completion of the Halesworth Campus and improved facilities at Dairy Hill and will have additional health facilities and an enhanced employment offer, all of which will have helped attract younger people and families to the town. The separate identities of Halesworth and Holton and the sensitive landscape surrounding them will have been protected.

Southwold and Reydon

Southwold will continue to prosper as a unique historic town and tourist destination. Reydon will continue to function as part of the Southwold and Reydon area, providing local services and some employment development. New housing growth in the area will have provided homes with a range of tenure and will have made homes more affordable for those working in the area. The sensitive built and natural environment of the area will have been protected from and enhanced by new development.

Rural Areas

Through allowing more growth than in recent years, settlements in the rural areas will become more sustainable and more vibrant. Through the provision of a wide range of types and tenures of housing, new homes will be more affordable in the rural areas, allowing people with a local connection or those who work in the rural areas to live in the rural areas. New housing will also help support existing services and facilities in the rural areas such as small rural schools and pubs. New development in rural villages will have increased the coverage of high-speed broadband.


1.2 The objectives to deliver this vision are:


  1. To improve health, wellbeing and education opportunities for the population
  2. To meet the housing requirements of the whole community (both urban and rural) including those wishing to move into the area.
  3. To enhance and protect the natural and built environment
  4. To reduce contributions to climate change and mitigate the effects and conserve natural resources
  5. To achieve sustained and resilient economic growth in towns and rural areas
  6. To enhance the viability and vitality of town centres and service provision in villages
  7. To significantly improve the quality of urban design across the District
  8. To improve the quality and provision of all types of infrastructure.