East Suffolk Council - Suffolk Coastal Local Plan (Adopted September 2020)

3 Suffolk Coastal Spatial Strategy

Vision for Suffolk Coastal

3.1 The future growth of the plan area will contribute to and enhance a range of sustainable settlements made up of appropriate economic opportunities, new homes, retail and leisure provision and supported by upgraded infrastructure. The Local Plan vision for the District in 2036 is based on the vision contained in the East Suffolk Business Plan which looks to 'Maintain and sustainably improve the quality of life for everyone growing up in, living in, working in and visiting East Suffolk'.

3.2 The plan area is central to the future economic growth of the country - with major economic opportunities to be realised in relation to the Port of Felixstowe, BT and Sizewell. The plan area is also home to a variety of small and medium sized businesses in manufacturing, industrial, tourism, creative and other sectors that support a vibrant economy.

Vision for Suffolk Coastal 2018-2036

In 2036 a high quality of life for those growing up in, living in, working in and visiting the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan area will have been nurtured through a healthy economy, healthy population and healthy environment supported by suitable infrastructure. Significant levels of growth which maintain the distinctive character and role of settlements, while conserving and enhancing the built, historic and natural environments will have been planned for and delivered.

The plan area will have a diverse, strong and prosperous economy which supports key sectors and embraced new opportunities that emerge over the plan period. The stronger and more diverse economy will provide more and better paid local earnings and job opportunities, ensuring that people can stay within their communities.

Supporting the job growth, there will be sufficient homes provided of the right types and tenures to meet the needs of the local population. The need for properties targeted at younger people and to meet the needs of older people will have been addressed, as well as the provision of homes to support people moving into the area.

Communities will be healthy and active with access to a diverse landscape of rural communities, suburban areas and market towns. The area continues to have an abundance of opportunities for physical activity on the doorstep of many residents' homes and businesses. Supporting healthy and active communities will have a positive impact on the health, wellbeing and happiness of all communities.

The high quality built, historic and natural environment will have been protected, maintained and enhanced through development which is sensitive to the designated and protected areas across the plan area, including the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Special Protection Areas, River Valleys and Coastline. The natural environment will be supplemented through provision of accessible green infrastructure and other public open spaces.

Climate change is a key factor for the plan area, but the Local Plan will address issues relating to flood risk, coastal erosion and wider coastal management and adaptation, as well as ensuring that human impact is reduced and mitigated accordingly.

All communities will have fulfilled their potential by 2036 and significantly improved the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area, whilst safeguarding the prospects of current and future generations.

Strategic Priorities

3.3 Table 3.1 below identifies the strategic priorities and objectives for the Plan, to take forward the vision. These objectives are all implemented through a number of policies, as shown in the table.

Table 3.1: Strategic Priorities

Strategic Priority

Policies to deliver Objective / Strategic Priority

To support healthy, safe, cohesive and active communities through improving health, wellbeing and education opportunities for all;

Policy SCLP2.1: Growth in the Ipswich Strategic Planning Area

Policy SCLP2.2: Strategic Infrastructure Priorities

Policy SCLP3.1 Strategy for Growth

Policy SCLP3.3: Settlement Boundaries

Policy SCLP3.4: Proposals for Major Energy Infrastructure Projects

Policy SCLP3.5: Infrastructure Provision

Policy SCLP5.1: Housing Development in Large Villages

Policy SCLP5.2: Housing Development in Small Villages

Policy SCLP5.3: Housing Development in the Countryside

Policy SCLP5.4: Housing in Clusters in the Countryside

Policy SCLP5.5: Conversions of Buildings in the Countryside for Housing

Policy SCLP5.6: Rural Workers Dwellings

Policy SCLP5.8: Housing Mix

Policy SCLP5.9: Self Build and Custom Build Housing

Policy SCLP5.10: Affordable Housing on Residential Developments

Policy SCLP5.11: Affordable Housing on Exception Sites

Policy SCLP5.12: Houses in Multiple Occupation

Policy SCLP7.1: Sustainable Transport

Policy SCLP7.2: Parking Proposals and Standards

Policy SCLP8.1: Community Facilities and Assets

Policy SCLP8.2: Open Space

Policy SCLP8.3: Allotments

Policy SCLP8.4: Digital Infrastructure

Policy SCLP10.3: Environmental Quality

Policy SCLP11.1: Design Quality

Policy SCLP11.2: Residential Amenity

Policy SCLP12.1: Neighbourhood Plans

Policy SCLP12.2: Strategy for Felixstowe

Policy SCLP12.3: North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood

Policy SCLP12.18: Strategy for Communities surrounding Ipswich

Policy SCLP12.19: Brightwell Lakes

Policy SCLP12.26: Strategy for Aldeburgh

Policy SCLP12.28: Strategy for Saxmundham

Policy SCLP12.29: South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood

Policy SCLP12.31: Strategy for Woodbridge

Policy SCLP12.34: Strategy for the Rural Areas

To achieve diverse and prosperous economic growth in towns and rural areas to provide at least 6,500 new jobs in the Local Plan area;

Policy SCLP2.1: Growth in the Ipswich Strategic Planning Area

Policy SCLP3.1: Strategy for Growth

Policy SCLP3.2: Settlement Hierarchy

Policy SCLP3.3: Settlement Boundaries

Policy SCLP3.4: Proposals for Major Energy Infrastructure Projects

Policy SCLP4.1: Existing Employment Areas

Policy SCLP4.2: New Employment Development

Policy SCLP4.3: Expansion and Intensification of Employment Sites

Policy SCLP4.4: Protection of Employment Premises

Policy SCLP4.5: Economic Development in Rural Areas

Policy SCLP4.6: Conversion and Replacement of Rural Buildings for Employment Use

Policy SCLP4.7: Farm Diversification

Policy SCLP5.6: Rural Workers Dwellings

Policy SCLP12.1: Neighbourhood Plans

Policy SCLP12.2: Strategy for Felixstowe

Policy SCLP12.3: North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood

Policy SCLP12.18: Strategy for Communities surrounding Ipswich

Policy SCLP12.26: Strategy for Aldeburgh

Policy SCLP12.28: Strategy for Saxmundham

Policy SCLP12.29: South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood

Policy SCLP12.31: Strategy for Woodbridge

Policy SCLP12.34: Strategy for the Rural Areas

Policies SCLP12.7 - SCLP12.10, SCLP12.20, SCLP12.21, SCLP12.35 - SCLP12.41: allocations for employment uses

Enhance the vitality and viability of town centres and villages;

Policy SCLP2.1: Growth in the Ipswich Strategic Planning Area

Policy SCLP2.2: Strategic Infrastructure Priorities

Policy SCLP3.1: Strategy for Growth

Policy SCLP3.2: Settlement Hierarchy

Policy SCLP3.3: Settlement Boundaries

Policy SCLP3.5: Infrastructure Provision

Policy SCLP4.8: New Retail and Commercial Leisure Development

Policy SCLP4.9: Development in Town Centres

Policy SCLP4.10: Town Centre Environments

Policy SCLP4.11: Retail and Commercial Leisure in Martlesham

Policy SCLP4.12: District and Local Centres and Local Shops

Policy SCLP8.1: Community Facilities and Assets

Policy SCLP12.1: Neighbourhood Plans

Policy SCLP12.2: Strategy for Felixstowe

Policy SCLP12.18: Strategy for Communities surrounding Ipswich

Policy SCLP12.26: Strategy for Aldeburgh

Policy SCLP12.28: Strategy for Saxmundham

Policy SCLP12.31: Strategy for Woodbridge

Policy SCLP12.34: Strategy for the Rural Areas

Protect and enhance the tourism and cultural facilities across the Local Plan area;

Policy SCLP3.4: Proposals for Major Energy Infrastructure Projects

Policy SCLP6.1: Tourism

Policy SCLP6.2: Tourism Destinations

Policy SCLP6.3: Tourism Development within the AONB and Heritage Coast

Policy SCLP6.4: Tourism outside of the AONB

Policy SCLP6.5: New Tourist Accommodation

Policy SCLP6.6: Existing Tourist Accommodation

Policy SCLP12.1: Neighbourhood Plans

Policy SCLP12.11: Felixstowe Ferry and Golf Course

Policy SCLP12.12: Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club to Cobbolds Point

Policy SCLP12.13: Cobbolds Point to Spa Pavilion

Policy SCLP12.14: Spa Pavilion to Martello Park

Policy SCLP12.15: Martello Park to Landguard

Policy SCLP12.16: Felixstowe Leisure Centre

Policy SCLP12.17: Tourism Accommodation in Felixstowe

Policy SCLP12.26: Strategy for Aldeburgh

To enhance and protect the natural, built and historic environment and provide accessible green infrastructure and public open spaces;

Policy SCLP2.2: Strategic Infrastructure Priorities

Policy SCLP2.3: Cross-Boundary mitigation of effects on Protected Habitats

Policy SCLP3.3: Settlement Boundaries

Policy SCLP3.4: Proposals for Major Energy Infrastructure Projects

Policy SCLP3.5: Infrastructure Provision

Policy SCLP5.14: Extensions to Residential Curtilages

Policy SCLP5.15: Residential Moorings, Jetties and Slipways

Policy SCLP6.3: Tourism Development within the AONB and Heritage Coast

Policy SCLP10.1: Biodiversity and Geodiversity

Policy SCLP10.2: Visitor Management of European Sites

Policy SCLP10.3: Environmental Quality

Policy SCLP10.4: Landscape Character

Policy SCLP10.5: Settlement Coalescence

Policy SCLP11.1: Design Quality

Policy SCLP11.3: Historic Environment

Policy SCLP11.4: Listed Buildings

Policy SCLP11.5: Conservation Areas

Policy SCLP11.6: Non-Designated Heritage Assets

Policy SCLP11.7: Archaeology

Policy SCLP11.8: Parks and Gardens of Historic or Landscape Interest

Policy SCLP11.9: Newbourne - Former Land Settlement Association Holdings

Policy SCLP12.1: Neighbourhood Plans

Policy SCLP12.2: Strategy for Felixstowe

Policy SCLP12.3: North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood

Policy SCLP12.11: Felixstowe Ferry and Golf Course

Policy SCLP12.12: Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club to Cobbolds Point

Policy SCLP12.14: Spa Pavilion to Martello Park

Policy SCLP12.18: Strategy for Communities surrounding Ipswich

Policy SCLP12.19: Brightwell Lakes

Policy SCLP12.22: Recreation and Open Space in Rushmere

Policy SCLP12.23: Land off Lower Road and Westerfield Road (Ipswich Garden Suburb Country Park)

Policy SCLP12.26: Strategy for Aldeburgh

Policy SCLP12.28: Strategy for Saxmundham

Policy SCLP12.29: South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood

Policy SCLP12.31: Strategy for Woodbridge

Policy SCLP12.34: Strategy for the Rural Areas

Promote high quality design across the Local Plan area;

Policy SCLP5.7: Infill and Garden Development

Policy SCLP9.2: Sustainable Construction

Policy SCLP10.4: Landscape Character

Policy SCLP11.1: Design Quality

Policy SCLP11.2: Residential Amenity

Policy SCLP11.3: Historic Environment

Policy SCLP11.4: Listed Buildings

Policy SCLP11.5: Conservation Areas

Policy SCLP11.6: Non-Designated Heritage Assets

Policy SCLP12.1: Neighbourhood Plans

Policy SCLP12.3: North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood

Policy SCLP12.29: South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood

Mitigate human impact on the environment and reduce contributions to climate change by conserving natural resources;

Policy SCLP3.4: Proposals for Major Energy Infrastructure Projects

Policy SCLP7.1: Sustainable Transport

Policy SCLP9.1: Low Carbon & Renewable Energy

Policy SCLP9.2: Sustainable Construction

Policy SCLP9.3: Coastal Change Management Area

Policy SCLP9.4: Coastal Change Rollback or Relocation

Policy SCLP9.5: Flood Risk

Policy SCLP9.6: Sustainable Drainage Systems

Policy SCLP 9.7: Holistic Water Management

Policy SCLP12.1: Neighbourhood Plans

Policy SCLP12.26: Strategy for Aldeburgh

To deliver at least 9,756 new homes to meet the housing requirements of the whole community including those wishing to move into the area;

Policy SCLP2.1: Growth in the Ipswich Strategic Planning Area

Policy SCLP3.1 Strategy for Growth

Policy SCLP3.2: Settlement Hierarchy

Policy SCLP3.3: Settlement Boundaries

Policy SCLP5.1: Housing Development in Large Villages

Policy SCLP5.2: Housing Development in Small Villages

Policy SCLP5.3: Housing Development in the Countryside

Policy SCLP5.4: Housing in Clusters in the Countryside

Policy SCLP5.5: Conversions of Buildings in the Countryside for Housing

Policy SCLP5.6: Rural Workers Dwellings

Policy SCLP5.8: Housing Mix

Policy SCLP5.9: Self Build and Custom Build Housing

Policy SCLP5.10: Affordable Housing on Residential Developments

Policy SCLP5.11: Affordable Housing on Exception Sites

Policy SCLP5.12: Houses in Multiple Occupation

Policy SCLP5.13: Residential Annexes

Policy SCLP5.16: Residential Caravans and Mobile Homes

Policy SCLP5.17: Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople

Policy SCLP12.1: Neighbourhood Plans

Policy SCLP12.2: Strategy for Felixstowe

Policy SCLP12.3: North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood

Policy SCLP12.18: Strategy for Communities surrounding Ipswich

Policy SCLP12.19: Brightwell Lakes

Policy SCLP12.26: Strategy for Aldeburgh

Policy SCLP12.28: Strategy for Saxmundham

Policy SCLP12.29: South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood

Policy SCLP12.31: Strategy for Woodbridge

Policy SCLP12.34: Strategy for the Rural Areas

Policies SCLP12.4 - SCLP12.6, SCLP12.24, SCLP12.25, SCLP12.27, SCLP12.30, SCLP12.32, SCLP12.33, SCLP12.42 - SCLP12.71: housing site allocations.

Improve the quality and provision of all types of infrastructure to support current and future requirements.

Policy SCLP2.2: Strategic Infrastructure Priorities

Policy SCLP3.1 Strategy for Growth

Policy SCLP3.5: Infrastructure Provision

Policy SCLP8.2: Open Space

Policy SCLP8.3: Allotments

Policy SCLP8.4: Digital Infrastructure

Policy SCLP9.1: Low Carbon & Renewable Energy

Policy SCLP12.1: Neighbourhood Plans

Policy SCLP12.3: North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood

Policy SCLP12.29: South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood

Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development

3.4 Through this Local Plan the Council is positively supporting growth and the benefits that will bring to communities across the former Suffolk Coastal area. The purpose of planning is to help achieve sustainable development as outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the Local Plan plays an active role in guiding development towards sustainable solutions, but in doing so takes into account local circumstances and reflects the character, needs and opportunities across the Local Plan area.

3.5 The NPPF, taken as a whole, constitutes the Government's view of what sustainable development in England means in practice for the planning system and in paragraph 11 provides the presumption in favour of sustainable development.

3.6 This Local Plan provides a positive and ambitious vision for the future of the former Suffolk Coastal area and provides a framework for addressing the housing needs and other economic, social and environmental priorities on which to enable local communities to shape their surroundings. The Local Plan is in accordance with the Government's presumption in favour of sustainable development and is the starting point for decision making. Where the Local Plan is absent, silent or relevant policies are out-of-date, permission should be granted unless the adverse impacts of doing so would outweigh the benefits when assessed against the policies in the NPPF or specific policies in the NPPF suggest that development should be restricted.

3.7 Footnote 6 of the NPPF provides examples of such policies as being those policies relating to sites protected under the Birds and Habitats Directives and/or designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest; land designated as Green Belt, Local Green Space, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Heritage Coast, designated heritage assets and locations at risk of flooding or coastal erosion.

Spatial Strategy for Growth

3.8 National planning policy seeks to significantly boost the supply of homes through a sufficient amount and variety of land that will come forward where it is needed, to meet the needs of groups with specific housing requirements6. The Council shares the Government's ambition and is seeking to deliver sustainable communities across the Local Plan area. Identifying a sufficient supply and mix of sites, which takes into account availability, suitability and viability, reflects the Council's ambition in regards to meeting the need for new homes.

3.9 New development across the plan area will promote and retain existing services and facilities. However, when considering how development is distributed, it is also necessary to consider the effects on existing infrastructure and the environment.

3.10 The distribution of growth across the plan area aims to deliver the vision for the Local Plan alongside the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework. The Local Plan seeks to be ambitious in respect of housing delivery led by increased economic growth and infrastructure requirements across the plan area. Increased economic growth across the plan area will provide more jobs and opportunities for better paid jobs, which will enhance local prosperity and help to address housing affordability. The need for further infrastructure has been identified by service providers and community consultation responses and increased residential development will help facilitate infrastructure delivery across the plan area and the Housing Market Area.

3.11 Across the former Suffolk Coastal District many rural communities are thriving, but consultation responses have identified that in some locations, existing services and facilities are struggling to survive and remain viable. The Local Plan seeks to ensure that opportunities for development exist in these rural communities in order to sustain the variety of thriving rural communities over the plan period and for future generations.

6 NPPF paragraph 59

Ambitions for Growth

Supporting business and employment

  • Provision of land to deliver significantly more than the baseline requirement of 11.7ha
  • Provision for employment and productivity growth equivalent to the creation of at least 6,500 jobs
  • Supporting the Port of Felixstowe
  • Development of a new business park
  • Sustaining and growing the rural economy
  • Supporting the vitality of town centres, district centres, local centres and local shops across the District


3.12 The former Suffolk Coastal area has a very diverse local economy, with both outstanding economic assets and potential. The plan area hosts assets and opportunities that are amongst the most significant anywhere in the UK. These matter for both current and future generations in East Suffolk and for the UK economy as a whole7. Across the plan area, the rural areas provide a variety of employment opportunities alongside the larger settlements and market towns.

3.13 The Port of Felixstowe, BT Campus at Adastral Park, offshore and renewable energy and Sizewell Nuclear Power Station perform key economic activities and provide significant opportunities that are also supported by a plethora of micro and small businesses and self employed persons. Numerous micro and small businesses, together with those people who are self employed, make a significant contribution to the local economy and the Local Plan seeks to reflect the growth ambition and potential of all businesses operating in the plan area.

3.14 To support the outstanding economic assets and variety of businesses operating in the plan area, the Council and other organisations (such as New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership) are seeking to raise the level of education, skills, and training opportunities and apprentice schemes that are available.

3.15 Alongside the need to increase skills and opportunities, the Local Plan seeks to provide the land to meet the needs of the main economic activities across the plan area. In order to maintain the significant contribution of operations like the Port of Felixstowe and Sizewell Nuclear Power Station, the Local Plan will take a positive approach to land allocations which are required to meet the demands of these sectors over the plan period which are well related to the A12 and the A14 corridors.

3.16 The former Suffolk Coastal District's population is ageing and by 2036, the number of working age people will have declined significantly unless new initiatives are developed to retain the talented younger people and attract the required skills into the area. The retention of talent and skills as well as the opportunities to attract new talent into the area is a fundamental part of the Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Strategy.

3.17 The East of England Forecasting Model (August 2016) forecasts the growth in jobs by sector and reflects trends based upon projections at the regional level and how the individual sectors have faired relative to historic growth in the region. Over the plan period (2018 - 2036) the number of jobs in the former Suffolk Coastal area is forecast to grow by 6,500, to 68,450, predominately in the service, tourism, business and professional services sectors. It is acknowledged that there is insufficient existing provision for small businesses and limited grow on space with many land owners reluctant to build employment sites speculatively. This will in part limit potential economic opportunities.

3.18 The retail sector is characterised by rapid change and changing consumer demands related to new technologies. There are limited identified development opportunities in and around the town centres in the former Suffolk Coastal area. The plan area's town centres and out of town retailing at Martlesham function within a wider retail network including the county town of Ipswich. Retail floorspace growth for goods purchased infrequently (comparison retail) is forecast to be most significant at Woodbridge and in areas East of Ipswich for regular food and other convenience shopping. Modest floorspace growth forecasts can be addressed across centres either in the area between Woodbridge, Felixstowe and Ipswich or between the other market towns. The Council's approach is to support and monitor retail and town centre development and present a clear and comprehensible range of policies to support a balance of retail and services including commercial leisure in distinctive town centres.

7 East Suffolk Economic Growth Plan.

Boosting the Supply of Housing

  • 542 new homes per year (9,756 over the lifetime of the plan - 2018-2036)
  • Increasing choice in the housing available
  • Meeting the housing needs of all sectors of the population including the growing elderly population
  • Delivering more affordable housing


3.19 It is the role of the Local Plan to set the housing requirement for the Local Plan area. The National Planning Policy Framework sets out the Government's objective to boost significantly the supply of housing. From the outset of the production of the Local Plan the Council has sought to set out an ambitious and positive strategy to promote the delivery of housing in the plan area, and increase the mix of housing available. The East Suffolk Business Plan sets out the Council's long term ambitions for East Suffolk by capitalising on the strengths of the area and enabling the Council to address more significant local challenges such as the need for new homes that are affordable and local to our communities.

3.20 The National Planning Policy Framework states that to determine the minimum number of homes needed strategic policies should be informed by a local housing need assessment conducted using the standard method set out in the National Planning Practice Guidance. The calculation of local housing need is based upon the 2014-based household projections8 and is also informed by an uplift based upon the ratio of earnings to house prices9. Using the standard method, the local housing need for the former Suffolk Coastal District is 542 dwellings per year. In accordance with Planning Practice Guidance the baseline for housing need will be 2018, and it is applied to the period to 2036.

3.21 A housing requirement of 542 dwellings per annum is considered to represent an ambitious approach to housing delivery, which will assist in meeting the needs of local communities, as well as significantly boosting the supply of housing, consistent with the Council's corporate objectives.

3.22 The Council has a commitment to delivering new housing, including affordable housing, across the plan area to meet its own objectives, and to deliver the housing needed for the area. A large amount of this housing is already accounted for through dwellings that are being built, those already allocated through previous Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans and those with planning permission. The role of this Plan is to review and roll forward existing allocations and to identify further opportunities for new housing development to come forward to meet the identified requirement.

3.23 In addition to the number of houses needed, there is also a need to address housing affordability and to increase the mix of housing, in particular addressing demographic changes which are seeing the population of the elderly in the Local Plan area continue to rise.

8 2014-based household projections as published by the Office for National Statistics in July 2016.

9 Ratio of median workplace earnings to median house prices as published by the Office for National Statistics in March 2019.

Provision of Infrastructure

3.24 The term infrastructure covers a wide variety of facilities and services, including roads, railways, schools, health services, police facilities, waste facilities, green infrastructure and digital and communications infrastructure. Across the former Suffolk Coastal District, it is acknowledged that there are existing issues in relation to infrastructure provision and capacity, such as schools that are at or reaching capacity, locations where roads and junctions are approaching capacity and broadband provision can be insufficient in some rural parts of the plan area.

3.25 Enhancements to existing infrastructure, and the provision of new infrastructure, are a central part of the strategy for growth over the Local Plan period. The Council has shared ambitions along with other Councils and organisations, including infrastructure providers, for the delivery of strategic infrastructure improvements as outlined in Section 2. These include improvements to the A12 and A14, improvements to rail capacity, sustainable transport and enhanced digital infrastructure. Such infrastructure improvements will help to support economic growth in the District and to improve the quality of life for residents.

3.26 In addition to strategic scale infrastructure, to support development in the plan area improvements to infrastructure will be delivered. The Local Plan has sought to identify growth in locations where there may be opportunities for infrastructure improvements alongside development such as increased provision for education and leisure facilities. Specific improvements for infrastructure alongside development are identified throughout the Plan and detailed in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework, Appendix B. The Council has worked closely with a number of infrastructure providers throughout the production of the Plan to inform policies and infrastructure requirements.

Distribution of Growth

Garden Neighbourhoods

3.27 The Local Plan proposes two garden neighbourhoods at Felixstowe10 and Saxmundham11. The principles of Garden Cities are well established on a larger scale and many examples of best practice are found around the country. Opportunity exists through land allocations to follow the principles of Garden Cities as Garden Neighbourhoods for the plan area which provide generous provision of green spaces, range of local facilities including schools, shops, meeting places and other community spaces alongside opportunities for recreation, walking and cycling. The variety of green spaces and community facilities are to be supported by employment opportunities and a wide choice of new housing to meet a range of needs, designed in a way which acknowledges and protects the historic environment whilst providing environmental benefit and enhancements and are supported by the most up to date digital infrastructure.

10 Part of the Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood is also within the parish of Trimley St Mary.

11 Part of the Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood is also within the parish of Benhall and Sternfield.

Felixstowe

3.28 Large scale development through a Garden Neighbourhood is proposed for Felixstowe to enable the delivery of modern leisure facilities, education provision, residential units and other facilities to meet the needs of the town as well as the District and beyond. The current leisure provision at the Leisure Centre and Brackenbury Sports Centre, have reached the end of their useful life and need to be modernised. Felixstowe is the largest town in the plan area and has significant opportunities for future economic growth supported by the Port of Felixstowe, associated industries and tourism. Felixstowe is well served in respect of services and facilities but directing growth to this area will support the focus on the continued regeneration of the town as well as minimising the need to travel to access employment opportunities and essential services and facilities. The Local Plan seeks to address these issues through a comprehensive strategic garden neighbourhood masterplan for land north of Felixstowe, well connected to the existing town, which will deliver leisure provision, residential units, employment opportunities, education provision, community facilities, open spaces, green infrastructure and other supporting infrastructure.

3.29 Previous Local Plans, through the Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan identified a variety of allocations and area specific policies for communities neighbouring Felixstowe. The villages of Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary were identified for growth which is being delivered. The Area Action Plan identified a need for additional Primary School provision, including an early years setting in this part of the plan area. This Local Plan seeks to identify a site to meet this identified requirement, through engagement with Suffolk County Council, to aid the overall provision in the communities neighbouring Felixstowe.

Saxmundham and the A12

3.30 The A12 is a well used road which provides connections to many communities with the East Suffolk branch line also serving these communities. Directing development to locations well related to the A12 will enable opportunities to make more use of the road and rail connections between Ipswich and Lowestoft. Increasing the level of development in these locations will help to sustain the existing communities and enhance the level of services and facilities found in this part of the plan area.

3.31 A large proportion of development is focused on the Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood to enable the delivery of required education infrastructure, utilise the connections provided by the railway station and support the improvements to the A12 proposed as part of the Suffolk Energy Gateway Four Villages bypass. Saxmundham is geographically well placed to provide employment opportunities for the communities in the north of the plan area and improve the connections between Ipswich and Lowestoft. The emergence of Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station will also further support the strategic growth of Saxmundham as a Market Town with a variety of services and facilities.

3.32 Consultation responses have highlighted the need for further education provision, improvements to the capacity of the medical practice and congestion issues in relation to the B1119 and B1121 crossroads and access to the supermarkets on Church Street. This Local Plan seeks to address these issues through a comprehensive garden neighbourhood masterplan for Saxmundham which will provide employment opportunities, primary school, residential units and other supporting infrastructure.

Rural Areas

3.33 The former Suffolk Coastal area has a large number of communities in the rural areas and public consultation responses highlighted there is a need for appropriate development to be encouraged in some of these settlements. The strategy reflects the need to support the numerous villages across the plan area by recognising the possibility of higher levels of growth in some communities. Through allocation of appropriate sites some settlements will welcome higher levels of growth than has been experienced in previous Local Plans. Increasing the amount of development in rural areas reflects the need to provide more housing opportunities for people with a local connection to live in rural areas and to deliver more affordable housing to meet local needs. New housing should also help support existing services and facilities in the rural areas such as schools, employment opportunities, public houses, shops as well as supporting the extension of broadband and mobile provision into these areas, and also help to deliver infrastructure enhancements.

Communities Neighbouring Ipswich

3.34 The communities neighbouring Ipswich have in the past seen large proportions of growth directed towards them which has resulted in the established communities of Rushmere St Andrew, Kesgrave and Martlesham. These locations provide a comprehensive range of services and facilities which meet the needs of the local community and those of surrounding settlements. In April 2018, the Council granted outline planning permission (DC/17/1435/OUT) for the delivery of 2,000 homes at Brightwell Lakes12 as set out in the 2013 Core Strategy. The Brightwell Lakes site is significant in terms of infrastructure provision and housing delivery and therefore it is not currently considered appropriate to focus the strategy of the Plan on development in this part of the plan area. However opportunities are taken to plan positively for specific sites, including redevelopment of the Martlesham Police Headquarters and development of land at Humber Doucy Lane to support the delivery of housing in Ipswich Borough.

3.35 Over the plan period, there are opportunities for development associated with Neighbourhood Plans that will be reviewed to accommodate the relatively limited level of development expected in these locations. Public consultation responses highlighted the rapid expansion of some locations (such as Framlingham and Leiston) as well as the planning permission associated with Brightwell Lakes. Taking these into account and the objectives for growth in other parts of the District, the Local Plan Review does not focus on growth of these towns.

Policy SCLP3.1: Strategy for Growth

The Council will deliver an ambitious plan for growth over the period 2018 - 2036 in the plan area by:

a. Supporting and facilitating economic growth through the supply of more than the baseline requirement of 11.7ha of land for employment uses to deliver at least 6,500 jobs and to enable the key economic activities to maintain and enhance their role within the UK economy;

b. Sustain and support growth in retail, commercial leisure and town centres including facilitating provision towards plan period forecasts of between 4,100 - 5,000 sqm of convenience retail floorspace and between 7,700 - 13,100 sqm of comparison retail floorspace;

c. Significantly boosting the supply of housing, the mix of housing available and the provision of affordable housing, through the delivery of at least 542 new dwellings per annum (at least 9,756 over the period 2018 - 2036);

d. Ensuring the provision of infrastructure needed to support growth;

e. Protecting and enhancing the quality of the historic, built and natural environment across the District.

The strategy for growth will seek to provide opportunities for economic growth and create and enhance sustainable and inclusive communities through:

f. The delivery of new Garden Neighbourhoods at North Felixstowe and South Saxmundham;

g. Utilising opportunities provided by road and rail corridors, including a focus on growth in the A12 and the A14 corridors;

h. New employment allocations based around key transport corridors;

i. Strategies for market towns which seek to reflect and strengthen their roles and economies;

j. Appropriate growth in rural areas that will help to support and sustain existing communities.

12 Previously known as Adastral Park. References in this document to Adastral Park relate to the adjoining area of employment uses occupied principally by BT.

Key Diagram

3.36 The Key Diagram below illustrates the spatial strategy that this Local Plan seeks to deliver.

04 Key Diagram

(c) Crown copyright and database rights 2020

Spatial distribution of residual housing requirement

3.37 Whilst the total requirement is 9,756 dwellings over the period 2018 - 2036, a large proportion of this is already accounted for in outstanding planning permissions, dwellings where there is a resolution to grant planning permission subject to completion of a Section 106 agreement and existing allocations review and carried forward from adopted Local Plans and those contained in 'made' Neighbourhood Plans'. The Local Plan also provides a contingency to allow for flexibility in the delivery of sites. Table 3.2 below explains the residual housing figure that this Local Plan will need to provide for.

Table 3.2 - Residual housing need calculation

 

Number of dwellings

Outstanding planning permissions (31.3.18)

3,609

Dwellings with resolution to grant planning permission, subject to S106 (31.3.18)

2,41313

Allocations in current Local Plan or Neighbourhood Plans (without permission or resolution to grant subject to S106) (31.3.18)

976

Total commitments (31.3.18)

6,998

Housing requirement (2018 - 2036): (542 x 18)

9,756 (542 dwellings per annum)

Residual need (requirement minus commitments)

9,756 - 6,998 = 2,758 residual need.

This is the minimum to be planned for in the Local Plan, however a contingency will also be incorporated.

13 2,000 dwellings relate to the Brightwell Lakes development.

3.38 Table 3.3 below details the distribution of the residual figure (including the contingency) for new housing across the plan area up to 2036, through proposed allocations and requirements for Neighbourhood Plans. This reflects the strategy of the Plan to direct more significant levels of the plan area's growth to Felixstowe and Saxmundham through the creation of two new Garden Neighbourhoods, to focus growth on the A12 and A14 corridors and to support rural communities. The strategy also reflects opportunities to set out a positive approach to future uses on brownfield sites and to enabling adjoining authorities to deliver their housing requirement. The figures include indicative minimum housing numbers provided for settlements with designated Neighbourhood Plan areas, as the expectation is that those Neighbourhood Plans will allocate sites to meet their requirement consistent with the Local Plan strategy and the Settlement Hierarchy. The figures do not include any assumptions around windfall development which it is expected will come forward at a rate of at least 50 dwellings per year from 2020/21 onwards, and would therefore provide at least an additional 800 dwellings over the plan period.

3.39 Allocations for housing in this Local Plan exceed the total dwelling requirement for the period 2018 - 2036 by approximately 16.5% (approximately 1,610 dwellings), before an allowance for windfall is factored in. This over-allocation provides confidence that the overall housing requirement will be met even if some allocated sites fail to come forward. In addition there is likely to be further development which comes forward on sites not identified in the plan. These sites will either be within the Settlement Boundaries or through the exceptions and countryside policies or on additional sites identified in Neighbourhood Plans.

Table 3.3 - Spatial distribution of additional housing growth to be planned for to meet residual need (including contingency)

Location

Percentage of new growth identified in this Local Plan14

Approximate Number of units (rounded) (minimum)

Communities related to the A12

  • Saxmundham area15
  • Other A12 communities16

18%
15%

800
667

Felixstowe (including the Trimleys)17

38%

1,670

Rural Settlements

12%

528

Communities surrounding Ipswich

11%

490

Framlingham

2%

100

Leiston

2%

100

Total

 

4,355

14 Note that figures may not sum 100% due to rounding.

15 Including the part of Benhall and Sternfield Parish within the proposed Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood.

16 Woodbridge northwards.

17 Whilst Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary are identified as Large Villages in the settlement hierarchy, in terms of plan area wide spatial distribution it is appropriate to identify these villages alongside Felixstowe owing to the strong functional relationship between them.

Settlement Hierarchy

3.40 This Local Plan provides the opportunity to redefine the Settlement Hierarchy across the plan area. Whatever the size and location of a community, too much development, too soon, or of the wrong type can damage the environment and local distinctiveness and thereby impact on the quality of life. The identification of a Settlement Hierarchy is a useful policy tool for identifying the spatial distribution of development across the plan area, taking into account the role of each settlement.

3.41 The National Planning Policy Framework encourages housing delivery where it will enhance or maintain the vitality of rural communities. The Local Plan seeks to encourage development in locations where people can access services and facilities and where there is a choice of transport modes including walking, cycling and public transport, recognising that in some of the more rural parts of the plan area opportunities for sustainable transport may be more limited but that some development may, nevertheless, help to sustain communities.

3.42 The overall objective of the Settlement Hierarchy is to deliver development that reflects the character of the area and contributes towards sustainable development, thereby supporting the needs of individual communities and enabling them to prosper in the long term. Generally the larger settlements have better provision of day to day facilities and are able to accommodate higher levels of growth without adversely impacting the character of the settlement.

3.43 Each category within the Settlement Hierarchy will contribute towards future growth across the plan area, with the largest levels of growth appropriate to the Major Centres and Market Towns and more limited development coming forward in the rural settlements. To facilitate this development and encourage communities to prosper, Settlement Boundaries are defined to guide the location of new development. New allocations for development are identified in some of the settlements in the hierarchy to provide certainty in respect of the location of future growth and to reflect the spatial strategy.

3.44 The Settlement Hierarchy has been defined through a scoring mechanism related to the presence of certain services and facilities. The list of services and facilities considered included:

  • Convenience stores,
  • Primary schools,
  • Village halls / community centres,
  • Play areas,
  • Employment opportunities,
  • Medical facilities,
  • Public transport and,
  • For villages, proximity to a major centre or town.

3.45 In order to be identified as a Large Village, settlements need to have a primary school, village hall / community centre and a convenience store, as part of the mix of services and facilities present.

Policy SCLP3.2: Settlement Hierarchy

The Settlement Hierarchy enables the Council to achieve its vision for the plan area, meeting the scale of development required and enhancing the quality of the built, natural, historic, social and cultural environments whilst sustaining the vitality of communities.

The development requirements for Major Centres, Market Towns, Large Villages and Small Villages will be delivered through site allocations in the Local Plan or in Neighbourhood Plans, plus through windfall development in accordance with other policies in this Local Plan.

The development requirements in the Countryside will come forward through Neighbourhood Plans and windfall sites in accordance with other policies in this Local Plan.

Settlement Type Communities
Major Centre Felixstowe
East of Ipswich18 - Kesgrave, Martlesham Heath, Brightwell Lakes19,
Purdis Farm, Rushmere St Andrew (excluding village)
Market Towns Aldeburgh
Framlingham
Leiston
Saxmundham
Woodbridge20
Large Villages Bramfield
Earl Soham
Grundisburgh
Hollesley
Knodishall
Martlesham (village)
Melton (village)
Nacton
Orford
Otley
Rendlesham
Snape
Trimley St Martin
Trimley St Mary
Wickham Market
Yoxford
Small Villages Alderton
Badingham
Bawdsey
Benhall
Blythburgh
Brandeston
Bredfield
Bucklesham
Campsea Ashe
Charsfield
Clopton
Darsham
Dennington
Easton
Eyke
Great Glemham
Hacheston
Hasketon
Kelsale
Kettleburgh
Kirton (including part of
Falkenham)
Levington
Little Bealings
Middleton
Newbourne
Peasenhall (with part of Sibton)
Pettistree
Rendham
Rushmere St. Andrew (village)
Sutton Heath
Theberton
Thorpeness
Tuddenham
Tunstall
Ufford
Walberswick
Waldringfield
Wenhaston
Westerfield
Westleton
Witnesham

18 East of Ipswich describes those settlements that are situated to the east of Ipswich and are separate from Ipswich but which are more suburban in nature than the villages to the east of Ipswich.

19 Area previously known as Adastral Park and defined by outline planning permission (reference DC/17/1435/OUT).

20 Including part of the built up area of the town extending into the neighbouring parishes of Martlesham and Melton.

 

3.46 Table 3.4 summarises the type and scale of development that would be supported within the different categories of the hierarchy. This reflects policies which are set out in later Sections of this plan.

Table 3.4 - Summary of policy approach for Settlement Hierarchy

Category of settlement hierarchy

Summary of policy approach

Major Centres

Employment

Development within existing Employment Areas (Policy SCLP4.1)

Identification of new employment allocations linked to major centres and transport corridors (Policy SCLP4.2)

Development within Settlement Boundaries (Policy SCLP3.3)

Retail

Retail uses within defined Town Centres, District Centres and Local Centres (Policy SCLP4.8)

Housing

New strategic mixed use allocation at North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood (Policy SCLP12.3)

Housing development at Brightwell Lakes (Policy SCLP12.19)

Housing development at the Police Headquarters, Martlesham Heath (Policy SCLP12.25)

Housing development within Settlement Boundaries (Policy SCLP3.3)

Market Towns

Employment

Development within existing Employment Areas (Policy SCLP4.1)

Development within Settlement Boundaries (Policy SCLP3.3)

Retail

Retail uses within defined Town Centres, District Centres and Local Centres (Policy SCLP4.8)

Housing

New strategic mixed use allocation at South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood (Policy SCLP12.29)

Housing development at Woodbridge21 (Policy SCLP12.32 and Policy SCLP12.33)

Housing development within Settlement Boundaries (Policy SCLP3.3)

Large Villages

Employment

Development within existing Employment Areas (Policy SCLP4.1)

Development of employment uses appropriate to the scale of the settlement (Policy SCLP4.2 and Policy SCLP4.5)

Retail

Retail uses within defined District Centres (Policy SCLP4.8)

Protection of local shops (Policy SCLP4.12)

Housing

New housing allocations (Section 12)

New housing development and infill within Settlement Boundaries (Policy SCLP5.1)

Small Villages

Employment

Development within existing Employment Areas (Policy SCLP4.1)

Development of employment uses appropriate to the scale of the settlement (Policy SCLP4.2 and Policy SCLP4.5)

Retail

Protection of local shops (Policy SCLP4.12)

Housing

New housing allocations (Section 12)

Small groups of new housing and infill within Settlement Boundaries (Policy SCLP5.2)

Countryside

Employment

Conversion and replacement of rural buildings for employment uses (Policy SCLP4.6)

Farm diversification (Policy SCLP4.7)

Development within existing Employment Areas (Policy SCLP4.1)

New employment uses where need is demonstrated (Policy SCLP4.2)

Retail

Protection of local shops (Policy SCLP4.12)

Housing

New housing within clusters of existing dwellings (Policy SCLP5.4)

Affordable housing on exception sites (Policy SCLP5.11)

Conversions of agricultural buildings / replacement dwellings (Policy SCLP5.3)

Rural workers' dwellings (Policy SCLP5.6)

21 Partly within Martlesham and Melton parishes.

3.47 The Settlement Hierarchy has informed the identification of land for allocation for housing in the Local Plan. Strategies for Major Centres and Market Towns are based upon the circumstances and opportunities relevant to each, as detailed in Section 12 of this Plan. The starting point is that Large Villages and Small Villages are, in principle, suitable places to accommodate new housing. Consideration has been given to other factors in determining whether a settlement is a suitable location for additional housing growth, including infrastructure capacity, the existence of suitable sites and consultation responses.

3.48 Table 3.5 below shows the anticipated level of housing delivery in each Town and Parish (for settlements in the Settlement Hierarchy). Note these figures do not include an allowance for windfall which it is anticipated will come forward across the plan area at a rate of 50 dwellings per year, and will enable housing to come forward in those settlements where allocations are not proposed. It is anticipated that, with the greater development opportunities provided by the 'Housing in Clusters in the Countryside' policy (Policy SCLP5.4), windfall development in the countryside will increase above previous levels. Therefore the 1.5% indicative level of growth for countryside locations based on completions and commitments is presented as a minimum. A Housing Trajectory which indicates delivery on a timescale over the lifetime of the Local Plan is contained in Appendix D.

3.49 As Table 3.5 shows, a significant element of the supply of housing is contained within existing permissions and those permitted on sites of five or more dwellings are shown on the Policies Maps. Alternative uses that would prejudice the quantum of residential use permitted being developed on these sites will be resisted.

Table 3.5 Anticipated housing growth by Town / Parish 2018 - 2036

Area/Parish

Contribution (by parish)

(C) New housing allocations22

(D) Indicative contribution 2018 – 2036 (A+B+C)23

(A)

Permissions & resolution to grant permission as at 31/3/2018

(B)

Existing Allocations without permission or resolution to grant as at 31/3/2018

Total to date

(A) + (B)

Major Centres

Felixstowe

1,523

209

1,732

1,52024

3,252 (29%)

East Ipswich

         

Kesgrave

19

0

19

20

39 (<0.5%)

Martlesham Heath25

0

0

0

300

300(2.5%)

Brightwell Lakes

2,000

0

2,000

-

2,000 (17.5%)

Purdis Farm

7

0

7

-

7 (<0.5 %)

Rushmere St Andrew (excluding village)

71

0

71

15026

221 (2%)

SUB TOTAL

3,620

209

3,829

1,990

5,819 (51%)

Market Towns

Aldeburgh

39

10

49

-

49 (<0.5%)

Framlingham

349

37

386

100

486 (4%)

Leiston

507

0

507

100

607 (5%)

Saxmundham

115

65

180

80027

980 (8%)

Woodbridge (incl part of Melton28 and Martlesham29)

336

0

336

220

556 (5%)

SUB TOTAL

1,346

112

1,458

1,220

2,678 (24%)

Large Villages

Bramfield

3

0

3

-

3 (<0.5%)

Earl Soham

6

0

6

25

31 (<0.5%)

Grundisburgh

11

0

11

70

81 (1%)

Hollesley

38

0

38

-

38 (<0.5%)

Knodishall

16

0

16

16

32(<0.5%)

Martlesham (village)

56

0

56

2030

76 (1%)

Melton (village)

20

55

75

-

75 (1%)

Nacton

5

0

5

-

5 (<0.5%)

Orford

1

10

11

-

11 (<0.5%)

Otley

38

0

38

60

98 (1%)

Rendlesham

10

100

110

-

110 (1%)

Snape

0

0

0

-

0 (0%)

Trimley St Martin

161

360

521

150

671 (6%)

Trimley St Mary

105

0

105

-

105 (1%)

Wickham Market (with part of Pettistree)

10

0

10

22031

230 (2%)

Yoxford

8

0

8

-

8 (<0.5%)

SUB TOTAL

488

525

1,013

561

1,574 (14%)

Small Villages

Alderton

10

0

10

-

10 (<0.5%)

Badingham

16

0

16

-

16(<0.5%)

Bawdsey

14

0

14

-

14 (<0.5%)

Benhall

11

0

11

5032

61 (0.5%)

Blythburgh

5

0

5

-

5 (<0.5%)

Brandeston

0

0

 0

-

0 (0%)

Bredfield

10

0

10

20

30 (<0%)

Bucklesham

13

0

13

30

43 (<0.5%)

Campsea Ashe

6

0

6

12

18 (<0.5%)

Charsfield

21

0

21

20

41 (<0.5%)

Clopton

2

0

2

-

2 (<0.5%)

Darsham

22

0

22

14533

167 (1.5%)

Dennington

1

10

11

 2534

36 (<0.5%)

Easton

24

0

24

20

44 (<0.5%)

Eyke

1

0

1

65

66 (0.5%)

Great Glemham

2

0

2

-

2 (<0.5%)

Hacheston

12

0

12

-

12 (<0.5%)

Hasketon

2

0

2

-

2 (<0.5%)

Kelsale

12

30

42

20

62 (0.5%)

Kettleburgh

4

0

4

16

20 (<0.5%)

Kirton (with part of Falkenham)

2

0

2

12

14 (<0.5%)

Levington

1

0

1

20

21 (<0.5%)

Little Bealings

2

0

2

-

2 (<0.5%)

Middleton

3

0

3

-

3 (<0.5%)

Newbourne

7

0

7

-

7 (<0.5%)

Peasenhall (with part of Sibton)

13

0

13

14

27 (<0.5%)

Pettistree35

1

0

1

-

1 (<0.5%)

Rendham

1

0

1

-

1 (<0.5%)

Rushmere St Andrew (village)

27

0

27

-

27 (<0.5%)

Sutton Heath

0

0

0

-

0 (0%)

Theberton

0

0

0

-

0 (0%)

Thorpeness

12

0

12

-

12 (<0.5%)

Tuddenham St Martin

1

0

1

25

26 (<0.5%)

Tunstall

77

0

77

-

77 (0.5%)

Ufford

44

0

44

-

44 (<0.5%)

Walberswick

2

0

2

-

2 (<0.5%)

Waldringfield

4

0

4

-

4 (<0.5%)

Wenhaston

6

0

6

25

31 (<0.5%)

Westerfield

55

20

75

-

75 (1%)

Westleton

6

0

6

35

41 (<0.5%)

Witnesham

24

20

44

30

74 (0.5%)

SUB TOTAL

476

80

556

584

1,140 (10%)

Shottisham and Aldringham36

Aldringham

0

40

40

-

40 (<0.5%)

Shottisham

0

10

10

-

10 (<0.5%)

SUB TOTAL

0

50

50

-

50 (<0.5%)

Countryside

All countryside

locations37

92

0

 92

-

92 (0.8%)

SUB TOTAL

92

0

92

-

92 (0.8%)

TOTAL

6,022

976

6,998

 4,355

 11,35338

22 In italics are numbers provided to designated Neighbourhood Plan areas (Policy SCLP12.1).

23 Note that percentages have been rounded to the nearest 0.5%, and therefore may not sum.

24 Note that a small part of the North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood is within Trimley St Mary parish however is included with Felixstowe in the table.

25 Total of 20 for Neighbourhood Plan area, which covers Martlesham Heath and Martlesham village.

26 Note that a small part of site allocated under Policy SCLP12.24 is within Tuddenham St Martin Parish, however is shown under Rushmere St Andrew in the table.

27 The South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood extends into Benhall parish and it is anticipated that some dwellings would be delivered in Benhall parish.

28 The made Neighbourhood Plan for Melton defines the areas of Melton considered to form part of the built-up area of Woodbridge.

29 This covers the area excluded from the approved Martlesham Neighbourhood Plan area.

30 Figure of 20 identified for Martlesham Neighbourhood Plan.

31 150 through allocation in Pettistree adjoining Wickham Market and 100 as figure for Wickham Market Neighbourhood Plan.

32 The South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood extends into Benhall parish and it is anticipated that some dwellings would be delivered in Benhall parish. This would be in addition to 50 units listed here.

33 Includes allocation for 120 dwellings at Darsham Station – Policy SCLP12.47.

34 25 additional dwellings through extension of allocated site in Site Allocations and Area Specific Policies (2017).

35 Excluding part adjoining Wickham Market –Policy SCLP12.60.

36 Under the approach to defining the settlement hierarchy Aldringham and Shottisham fall within the countryside category, however these are shown in Table 3.5 as they have existing allocations which are carried forward into this Local Plan.

37 Excluding Shottisham and Aldringham.

38 Note that this excludes any contribution from anticipated windfall of 50 units per year from 2020/21 onwards.

Settlement Boundaries

3.50 Settlement Boundaries are a policy line on a map which is used to define the built up area(s) of a settlement. The Settlement Boundaries, subject to other policies of this Local Plan, indicate where development for housing, employment and town centre development would be suitable. Inside the Settlement Boundaries, there is a policy presumption that development is acceptable in principle. Outside of these boundaries, opportunities for housing development are considerably more limited as countryside policies of restraint will apply. Settlement Boundaries are drawn to include any allocations for development that adjoin the previous boundary.

3.51 These boundaries allow for flexibility in the Local Plan by potentially allocating more development than is planned for by the allocation of specific sites, at the same time as avoiding the loss of further undeveloped land in the countryside and controlling the sprawl of existing settlements.

Policy SCLP3.3: Settlement Boundaries

Settlement Boundaries are defined on the Policies Map and apply to Major Centres, Market Towns, Large Villages and Small Villages. Land which is outside of Settlement Boundaries and which isn't allocated for development in the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plans is defined as Countryside.

New development within defined settlement boundaries will be acceptable in principle, subject to consideration of other relevant policies of the development plan.

New residential, employment and town centre development will not be permitted in the Countryside except where specific policies in this Local Plan or Neighbourhood Plans indicate otherwise.

Proposals for new residential development outside of the Settlement Boundaries and outside of land which is allocated for development will be carefully managed in accordance with national planning policy guidance and the strategy for the Countryside.

Neighbourhood Plans can make minor adjustments to Settlement Boundaries and allocate additional land for residential, employment and town centre development providing that the adjustments and allocations do not undermine the overall strategy and distribution as set out in this Local Plan.

Major Energy Infrastructure

3.52 The Suffolk Coast is at the forefront of electricity energy generation across the country both in respect of onshore and offshore energy. It is essential that major energy infrastructure projects are delivered in a planned way which takes into account the potential impact of constructing, operating and decommissioning large and nationally significant infrastructure in East Suffolk. The Council is committed to working in a collaborative partnership approach with the scheme promoters, local communities, Government, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, service providers and public bodies to ensure the best outcomes of major energy infrastructure projects can be achieved.

3.53 The Government, through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is committed to the increased delivery of Nuclear Energy Provision across the country. A new nuclear power station at Sizewell is a nominated site in the National Policy Statement for Nuclear Power Generation EN6 as part of this national package. Nuclear Energy has been generated at Sizewell since the 1960's and the operation of the site will continue beyond the plan period as a result of the separate operations that take place such as the decommissioning programme at Sizewell A and the continued production at Sizewell B and at a new station.

3.54 The decisions in respect of the new power station will be taken at a national level as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) with various regulators assessing safety, security and other issues through the necessary design and construction. Decisions on any other energy related projects identified as NSIPs will also be taken at a national level, taking into consideration relevant National Policy Statements. The Council would be a statutory consultee in this process. However it is considered that one of the biggest development and construction programmes faced by the Council and its communities in generations should be developed alongside the overall policy framework for East Suffolk to enable the impacts and benefits to be managed, including addressing the issues of cumulative impact and outcomes of other large scale projects.

3.55 The role of the Local Plan will be to consider the suitability of any specific proposal and the mitigation of local impacts (both positive and negative) on the communities across the plan area and to realise the economic benefits during the construction, operation and decommissioning stages. The current Sizewell site is a rural location in close proximity to the town of Leiston and other nearby settlements such as Aldringham cum Thorpe and Eastbridge. In addition the wider highway and rail network to this location is challenging. As well as the social impacts affecting the communities nearby, the environmental impacts of a site on the coast, within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and close to protected landscapes such as Sizewell Marshes and Minsmere Nature Reserve, and the impact on the Suffolk Seascape will need to be assessed both during construction and beyond. Impacts on the historic environment should be avoided, and if not possible, minimised. Opportunities to co-locate infrastructure may reduce impacts, and there may be opportunities to enhance the setting of assets through restoration after construction, operation and decommissioning. Focus should be on prevention of impact on the natural and historic environments as opposed to compensation for the effect. Where a project involves multiple consents, developers will be expected to work collaboratively with authorities to prepare a project wide Habitats Regulations Assessment.

3.56 Although the provision of nuclear energy is currently prominent, the Suffolk Coast is increasingly coming under pressure to support developments associated with the off shore energy sector and linking this into the national grid, as well as inter-continental connections to enable the exchange of electricity with other countries. Investment in a variety of major energy infrastructure projects needs to be supported by infrastructure and facilities on shore and these sectors are expected to require land to enable activities over the plan period. Where new major energy projects are proposed, potential alternative sites, located outside of designated areas should be considered at an early stage. Where possible companies and developers will be encouraged to work collaboratively and share infrastructure and facilities that serve other requirements to reduce any potential impacts during the construction, operation and decommissioning stages of projects.

3.57 The cumulative impact of hosting a variety of major energy infrastructure facilities in the area is likely to have an impact on existing and future generations. To balance this impact a variety of local economic, environmental and community mitigation and enhancement measures may be required to ensure proposed Major Energy Infrastructure Projects are acceptable in planning terms. Community mitigation and enhancement could take many different forms over the plan period, but in land use terms these could be in the form of but not limited to examples such as sports facilities, meeting places, woodland planting schemes or habitat creation. Any measures proposed would need to be in accordance with the tests for planning obligations and planning conditions set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.

3.58 The timing of the Major Energy Infrastructure Projects across East Suffolk is not yet confirmed and the planning, construction, operation and decommissioning of existing and future projects are likely to be beyond the Local Plan period but are required to have regard to the policies in the Local Plan. It is not possible to fully identify all the issues that may arise as a result of individual or cumulative projects for local communities and operators. As such, this will need to be kept under consideration alongside future reviews of the Local Plan.

3.59 A variety of local issues have been identified by the Council, as local planning authority, which need to be addressed in relation to Major Energy Infrastructure Projects. The Council will work with the local community, other local authorities, Government agencies, service providers and operators to ensure the most successful outcomes are achieved. Although Table 3.6 identifies a variety of issues that may not be relevant to every Major Energy infrastructure Project, it is intended to inform pre-application and early engagement discussions and provides an early view on potential constraints and opportunities across the plan area.

Table 3.6 - Themes that may be relevant to the consideration of energy infrastructure proposals during the construction, operation and decommissioning stages.

Theme

Issue – what do we need to consider as East Suffolk on these aspects?

Community

  • Engagement with the local community on the provision of infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Community facilities
  • Health facilities
  • Police facilities
  • Legacy and local community benefits for hosting major significant energy developments

Economic Opportunities

  • Economic strategies recognise importance of the Suffolk Energy Coast
  • Need to maximise the economic growth and balance these against economic and social impacts
  • Creation of jobs during the construction, operational and decommissioning stages of all projects
  • Realisation of local economic opportunities and benefits
  • Associated demands on local supply chain and sectors which support projects
  • Minimise adverse impacts and effects on the tourist economy in east Suffolk and maximise benefits where possible

Emergency Planning

  • Requirement for a co-ordinated Emergency Plan to be established across all organisations

Environment

  • Sites located within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coast
  • Impact on designated and protected landscapes and habitats. Projects to be supported by Habitat Regulations Assessment
  • Physical form, scale and appearance of buildings within the landscape
  • Impact on built, historic and natural environment arising from development, operation and decommissioning of projects
  • Potential impact on designated heritage assets, non-designated heritage assets, archaeological assets, and their settings, in the areas within and surrounding Major Energy Infrastructure Projects
  • Risk of significant dust deposition and damage to vulnerable landscapes including Minsmere Nature Reserve
  • Impact on Suffolk Seascape
  • Impact of light pollution to nocturnal species, on the AONB and the historic environment
  • Appropriate landscaping of sites after the decommissioning phases
  • Habitat loss and noise disturbance for species and noise disturbance regarding the historic environment
  • Effect of light and dust on nature conservation sites and the historic environment
  • Impact on tranquillity

Flood Risk Management and Coastal Change

  • Potential sites for Major Energy Infrastructure Projects located on an active coast line
  • Coastal management, erosion, adaptation
  • Flood risk related to estuaries
  • Effect of climate change on the coastline and hydrological processes
  • Detrimental impact on the sea bed and coastal foreshore environment

Health

  • Construction and transportation noise impact on local communities
  • Long term loss of tranquil areas
  • Loss of large areas of countryside used for leisure and tourism
  • Negative impact on air quality

Housing and Accommodation

  • Provision of campus style accommodation for construction workers
  • Influx of construction workers into the area and overwhelming the accommodation opportunities for local people and people visiting the area

Training and Education Opportunities

  • Availability of skills in the local area
  • Upskilling of the local workforce through appropriate training programmes and education
  • Investment in training opportunities for the local workforce

Transport Network

  • Local roads are not well suited to carrying the number or type of vehicle movements that will be necessary to enable construction and operation of Major Energy Infrastructure Projects
  • Agreement of dedicated routes with local community participation
  • Need for park and ride facilities to be created
  • Inadequate provision of laybys on the road network across Suffolk
  • Cumulative impact of other associated growth across and outside of Suffolk
  • Utilisation of existing rail networks

Policy SCLP3.4: Proposals for Major Energy Infrastructure Projects

In its role either as determining authority for development under the Town and Country Planning Act, or as consultee on Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, the Council will take into consideration the nature, scale, extent and potential impact of proposals for Major Energy Infrastructure Projects, including cumulative impacts throughout their lifetime, including decommissioning of existing plant and facilities.

The Council will work in partnership with the scheme promoter, local communities, National Grid, Government, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, service providers, public bodies and relevant local authorities to ensure significant local community benefits and an ongoing legacy of the development is achieved as part of any Major Infrastructure Projects as outlined in Table 3.6.

Proposals for Major Energy Infrastructure Projects across the plan area and the need to mitigate the impacts arising from these will have regard to the following policy requirements:

  1. Relevant Neighbourhood Plan policies, strategies and visions;
  2. Appropriate packages of local community benefit to mitigate the impacts of disturbance experienced by the local community for hosting major infrastructure projects;
  3. Community safety and cohesion impacts;
  4. Requirement for a robust Environmental Impact Assessment
  5. Requirement for a robust Habitats Regulations Assessment;
  6. Requirement for a robust Heritage Impact Assessment;
  7. Requirement for robust assessment of the potential impacts on the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty;
  8. Appropriate flood and erosion defences, including the effects of climate change are incorporated into the project to protect the site during the construction, operational and decommissioning stages;
  9. Appropriate road and highway measures are introduced (including diversion routes) for construction, operational and commercial traffic to reduce the pressure on the local communities;
  10. The development and associated infrastructure proposals will seek to deliver positive outcomes for the local community and surrounding environment;
  11. Economic and community benefits where feasible are maximised through agreement of strategies in relation to employment, education and training opportunities for the local community;
  12. Measures to ensure the successful decommissioning and restoration of the site through appropriate landscaping is delivered to minimise and mitigate the environmental and social harm caused during operational stages of projects;
  13. Cumulative impacts of projects are taken into account and do not cause significant adverse impacts; and
  14. Appropriate monitoring measures during construction, operating and decommissioning phases to ensure mitigation measures remain relevant and effective.

Infrastructure

3.60 The provision of new and improved infrastructure is essential to ensure the growth planned in the plan area is sustainable. Infrastructure includes a wide range of facilities and services including schools, medical facilities, police facilities, community facilities, open space, public rights of way, roads, railways, cycle paths and flood defences.

3.61 The Council has undertaken evidence to support the Local Plan, including:

  • Economic Area Needs Assessment (2017) - identifies forecasted economic growth across the plan area and any ancillary infrastructure that may be required to facilitate such growth.
  • Economic Area Sector Needs Assessment (2017) - identifies the specific needs of economic sectors across the plan area.
  • Retail & Leisure Study (2017) - assesses the retail and leisure need across the former Suffolk Coastal District, identifying projected retail and leisure infrastructure requirements going forward.
  • Level 1 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (2018) - indicates areas of the former Suffolk Coastal District where flood defence infrastructure may be required based on allocated development.
  • Leisure Strategy - the Council's Leisure Strategy (2014) and supporting assessments identify the needs for open space and built leisure facilities across the plan area.
  • Transport modelling - analyses the effects of proposed growth on the transport network and identifies areas of the network where transport mitigation measures may be needed to accommodate growth.
  • Whole Plan Viability - assesses the policies and proposals within the Local Plan to ensure that the plan is deliverable over the plan period.
  • Water Cycle Study - considers the capacity of the water supply and treatment network in relation to potential growth.
  • Habitats Regulation Assessment - assesses the impacts of the plan in relation to potential harm to the integrity of European protected sites, under the European Habitats Directive, and identifies the needs for Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace where necessary.

3.62 The Council has worked closely with Suffolk County Council and other infrastructure providers to ascertain infrastructure requirements related to growth planned in the Local Plan. This engagement will continue throughout the implementation of the Plan. Over the plan period, the Council will continue to update its evidence base and where necessary engage with service providers, funding partners and the Government to ensure that infrastructure projects are delivered in a timely manner to the benefit of the District, the county of Suffolk and the rest of the country.

3.63 Appendix B of this Plan provides a summary of the infrastructure needed in the former Suffolk Coastal District and how and when it is expected to be delivered to support growth.

3.64 All new development has a responsibility to contribute towards the cost of new infrastructure. Infrastructure is often funded by developers either through section 106 planning obligations or the Community Infrastructure Levy. Section 106 planning obligations are bespoke agreements made between the Council and the developer where the developer either delivers new infrastructure or contributes money to fund infrastructure to meet the need that development generates. The Community Infrastructure Levy is a standard per sqm charge currently on housing and convenience retail development which the Council pools together to deliver necessary infrastructure.

3.65 The former Suffolk Coastal area has had a Community Infrastructure Levy in place since July 2015, and this is currently the main way in which the Council collects funds from development. The rates of the Levy are set out in the Council's Charging Schedule which can be found on the Council's website. The Council intends to retain the Levy for most infrastructure funding. The Council will however, need to review the Levy, particularly with respect to the larger sites allocated in the Local Plan. This is because these sites will have on-site infrastructure which may be more effectively secured through section 106 planning obligations.

3.66 Policy SCLP3.5 sets out the strategic approach to infrastructure delivery in the plan area. The policy seeks to ensure that all new developments will be well supported by new and improved infrastructure.

3.67 Most needs generated by new development will necessitate improvements to existing infrastructure rather than completely new provision. Therefore, most infrastructure provision will take place outside of development sites. This infrastructure will be funded by the Community Infrastructure Levy and other sources of funding such as the Clinical Commissioning Group

3.68 The Habitats Regulation Assessment of this Local Plan recommends that clarity is provided in the Local Plan regarding the timely delivery of required infrastructure and treatment capabilities for phosphate, ammonia and nitrogen in order to ensure that there are no significant effects on European sites. The Cross Boundary Water Cycle Study identifies water recycling centres where treatment measures are expected to be needed to ensure that the objectives of the Water Framework Directive and the Habitats Regulation Directive are not compromised. This may also include improvements to the wider wastewater network. Anglian Water, in their role as a water company, and the Environment Agency, in their environmental oversight capacity, advise that phasing of development should be provided for in this respect. However, this should only be required where the size and type of development allows for phasing and where improvement works are identified. The cumulative impact of development should also be considered when determining the need for phasing.

3.69 Opportunities may arise for the provision of open space on site as part of new housing sites. This will be assessed on a case by case basis. The provision of new open space on site increases the opportunities and accessibility for play, physical activity and recreation which contributes significantly towards the health and well-being of the population. This will be secured through planning conditions and/or section 106 planning obligations. Provision of open space can also help to mitigate impacts of recreational pressure on protected environments. The necessary infrastructure requirements should form part of the Habitats Regulations Assessment where one is required, and information will be required to be submitted to demonstrate that the infrastructure provision will not impact upon European protected sites.

3.70 Other on-site infrastructure is only likely to be necessary as part of much larger developments where a new primary school or community centre for example may be needed. However, there are specific local needs where smaller developments can enable the delivery of infrastructure that satisfies local needs on site. On-site infrastructure will generally be secured through section 106 planning obligations. The development of a new leisure centre for Felixstowe is central to the Local Plan strategy for the town, and will be delivered as part of the North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood.

3.71 Effective telecommunications, including broadband and mobile phone signals are essential for economic development and to support communities. However, coverage remains poor in some areas, particularly outside of the towns. Policy SCLP8.4 is supportive of its facilitation where necessary and appropriately designed.

Policy SCLP3.5: Infrastructure Provision

The Council will work with partners including, Suffolk County Council, Parish and Town Councils, Suffolk Constabulary, Highways England, Environment Agency, Anglian Water, Essex and Suffolk Water, UK Power Networks and the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure that the growth over the plan period is supported by necessary infrastructure in a timely manner.

Developers must consider the infrastructure requirements needed to support and service the proposed development. All development will be expected to contribute as necessary towards infrastructure provision to meet the needs generated.

Off-site infrastructure will generally be funded by the Community Infrastructure Levy. On-site infrastructure will generally be secured and funded through section 106 planning obligations.

Development will be expected to contribute to the delivery and enhancement of infrastructure which encourages active lifestyles and healthy communities, through on site provision where appropriate to the scale and nature of development and through CIL contributions. Open space should be provided on new residential development sites to contribute to the provision of open space and recreational facilities to meet identified needs, in accordance with Policy SCLP8.2.

In locations where there is inadequate capacity within local catchment schools development should contribute to the expansion or other measures to increase places available at the school. Where new primary schools are provided these should be in locations which are well located in relation to the catchments they will serve, and which maximise opportunities for walking and cycling to school. Development adjacent to existing schools should not compromise the ability of schools to expand to an appropriate size in the future.

Development will be expected to follow the principles of Holistic Water Management as set out in Policy SCLP9.7 and will not be permitted where it would have a significant effect on the capacity of existing water infrastructure. Specifically, developers should provide evidence to ensure there is capacity in the water recycling centre and the wastewater network in time to serve the development. Where there is insufficient capacity in the water recycling centre, Anglian Water will review the requirements for investment and development will need to be phased, where necessary, in order to allow time for improvement works to take place, if required.The improvements shall ensure there is no breach of environmental legislations particularly in relation to the Water Framework Directive and Habitats Regulations Directive or subsequent replacements.

Development should not be permitted where the electricity supply network cannot accommodate it. Particular regard should be had to large scale employment sites, which are regarded as particularly energy intensive development. The Council will work with UK Power Networks to ensure that development proposed in this Local Plan does not conflict with the electricity supply network.

The Council will work with the digital infrastructure industry to maximise access to super-fast broadband, wireless hotspots and improved mobile signals for all residents and businesses. All new developments must provide the most viable high-speed broadband connection. Infrastructure relating to new developments should be designed so as not to impede or obstruct connection to antennae or masts in the local vicinity. Early engagement with the relevant digital infrastructure provider should be undertaken to avoid such a scenario.

To support the provision of waste management infrastructure, where the size of the development allows for it 'bring sites' should be included in the design and layout of developments to encourage recycling measures and to reduce the demand on Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Enabling Development

3.72 The concept of enabling development, whereby an exception to planning policy is permitted in order to allow for development that will provide sufficient public benefit, is one supported by the Council where appropriate. Across the plan area, a number of successful examples have been delivered through partnerships between landowners, service providers, local communities and the Council.

3.73 The Council consider that enabling development could be required in a number of circumstances such in the conservation of a heritage asset, enhancement of sports facilities, coastal defence and flood adaptation measures where necessary. The exceptional individual circumstances where enabling development may be supported by the Council in exceptional circumstances needs to be justified, transparent and deliverable as a comprehensive package, with clear community benefits.

3.74 Over the plan period the public benefits associated with enabling development are expected to change and the Council will keep this under review through regular monitoring. If considered necessary, the Council may introduce a Supplementary Planning Document to provide further detail and justification in respect of enabling development.