Waveney Local Plan

Beccles and Worlingham Garden Neighbourhood

Mixed use including residential development, primary school, country park, indoor/outdoor sports facilities, allotments, local shops, community centre and employment development

087 Beccles and Worlingham Garden NeighbourhoodView the site boundary by using our interactive online map.

3.7 This site (89.80 hectares) is bordered by Ellough Road to the east, the proposed Beccles Southern Relief Road to the south, M and H Plastics to the west and the built up edge of Beccles and Worlingham to the north. Industrial sites are nearby to the east and southeast. There is a former scrapyard near the centre of the site and woodland on part of the western edge but the majority of the site is in agricultural use. The land is Grade 3 or urban classification agricultural land.

3.8 The large open field making up the eastern part of the site has undergone significant changes over time and lacks any landscape features. The industrial buildings to the east and southeast and the housing to the north break up long views of the site resulting in a low quality landscape. There is potential through the layout of development to create long views across to Beccles Church from the high point on this site. The fields to the west of Oak Lane retain some landscape features such as field boundaries, hedgerows and woodland. The neighbouring M&H Plastics industrial buildings detract from the quality of the landscape in this area. The construction of the Beccles Southern Relief Road will alter the character of the landscape, introducing a harder edge and enclosing the edge of the garden neighbourhood.

3.9 The site presents an opportunity to develop a comprehensive mixed use development including housing, employment land and community facilities such as a primary school, shops, allotments and indoor/outdoor sports facilities. Comprehensive planning of the site will promote contact with nature, healthy lifestyles and wellbeing for all through the delivery of substantial green infrastructure including public open space, a country park and integrated landscaping schemes. The site is allocated for 1,250 homes. It is expected that 1,100 homes will be delivered during this plan period.

3.10 Waveney has an ageing population and the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (2017) identified a significant need for new sheltered and extra care housing and new care homes. This large site, which will likely be delivered by a number of developers provides an opportunity to deliver a retirement community comprising a care home and a proportion of extra care and/or sheltered dwellings. The development should be designed, utilising dementia friendly design principles (see Policy WLP8.29 on Design).

3.11 Built development on the site should make efficient use of land in order to maximise the land available for open space, community facilities, allotments, playing fields etc. This will contribute to the character of the garden neighbourhood. Housing should therefore be developed at a density of 30 dwellings per hectare.

3.12 The development should utilise garden city principles5. The development of the area should exhibit exceptional urban design. It should score particularly well against Building for Life criteria (see Policy WLP8.29). Developers are encouraged to seek Built for Life Quality Mark for housing development on the site.

Below: Hampstead garden suburb
088 Hampstead Garden Suburb 1 088 Hampstead Garden Suburb 2

3.13 A development of this scale provides the opportunity to deliver a new primary school to serve the new development and existing homes in the area. Community facilities should be provided alongside the primary school including indoor/outdoor sports facilities, a community centre and retail provision to create a community hub. These uses should be co-located in a central position where they are accessible for new and existing residents by sustainable modes of transport.

3.14 Open space, in addition to the country park, should be provided on site. This should include equipped play areas, allotments and amenity green space. Green buffers should be provided around the proposed employment land in the southeast corner and along the western edge of the site near to M and H Plastics. A landscaped strip should be provided along the entire southern edge of the site in order to soften the appearance of the development in the landscape and also to provide a screen between the development and the Southern Relief Road. The layout of green infrastructure on the site should reference existing and historic field boundaries and help create distinct character areas within the development. The site traverses both Beccles and Worlingham Parishes. The layout of open space on the site should be used to help protect the separate identities of the existing built-up areas. This should involve the provision of extensive multi-functional country park along the Ellough Road.

3.15 A permeable and legible network of roads and pedestrian and cycle paths should be created throughout the site providing pedestrian and cycle links through to the existing built-up area. Roads and access points should be designed to encourage people to travel into Beccles westward along the Southern Relief Road and up London Road. This will help reduce traffic on Ellough Road and on to Ingate where there is potential for air quality issues.

3.16 Employment land is needed in the area and 5 hectares of employment land should be provided in the southeast corner of the site, near to the existing employment uses. B1 office uses only should take place near the allocated housing land. A landscaped buffer should separate the employment land from housing.

3.17 An indicative masterplan has been prepared as shown in Figure 14. Development proposals should have regard to this indicative masterplan. A detailed masterplan will be required to be submitted with any planning application for the site. The detailed masterplan should be informed by consultation with the community.

3.18 Neighbourhood Plans for Beccles, Worlingham and Ellough can play a role in shaping the detailed design of development in this area, promoting local distinctiveness.

Figure 14 - Beccles and Worlingham garden neighbourhood indicative masterplan
089 Beccles and Worlingham Masterplan

Policy WLP3.1 - Beccles and Worlingham Garden Neighbourhood

Land south of the built up areas of Beccles and Worlingham, between Ellough Road and M and H Plastics site, (89.80 hectares) as defined on the Policies Map is allocated for a comprehensive mixed use development including:

  • Up to 1,250 new dwellings
  • Retirement community comprising a care home / nursing home and extra care and/or sheltered dwellings.
  • 1.5 form entry primary school (2 hectares)
  • Country Park, indoor/outdoor sports facilities, allotments, play areas and public open space (at least 25 hectares)
  • Local shops including a convenience store
  • Community centre
  • Employment development (falling under use classes B1, B2 and B8) (5 hectares)

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

  • The site will be developed at a density of approximately 30 dwellings per hectare.
  • Vehicular access should be from two points along the Beccles Southern Relief Road.
  • A permeable and legible layout should be prepared. Road layout and access should encourage traffic to travel into Beccles westwards along the Southern Relief Road.
  • Pedestrian and cycle links should be provided to Bluebell Way, Cucumber Lane, Darby Road, Nicholson Drive, Oak Lane and Cedar Drive.
  • The retirement community should be provided in a central location on the site, close to the new services and facilities.
  • The country park including a cycle path should be provided along the boundary of the site with Ellough Road.
  • A strategic landscaping scheme should preserve existing and historic field boundaries and aid in the creation of distinct character areas within the development.
  • Public rights of way on the site shall be preserved and enhanced.
  • Natural features on the site such as ponds, trees and hedgerows should be retained and incorporated into the layout of the development. Views towards Beccles Church should be created through the layout of open space.
  • A landscaped buffer should separate the employment land from housing.
  • A landscaped strip a minimum of 10 metres wide should be provided along the southern edge of the site.
  • The woodland by the western edge of the site should be retained and enhanced.
  • 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 detailed masterplan based on the indicative masterplan in Figure 14 above should be prepared in consultation with the community and submitted as part of any planning application.