Revealed: Where 85,000 new homes could be built
PUBLISHED: 08:00 05 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:04 06 January 2020
This map shows the sites across Suffolk and north Essex where councils want to build more than 85,000 homes in the coming decades.
Faced with Government targets to deliver more than 300,000 homes a year, nationally, many towns and villages across the region are expected to see huge growth, bringing permanent changes to communities.
While much of the new development will be scattered around the region in small clusters, councils have also been devising much larger schemes which could deliver hundreds or even thousands of new properties, helping to reach their imposing targets.
Three garden communities in North Essex could see a total of 43,000 new homes created at entirely new settlements; while smaller scale proposals for garden neighbourhoods could also see towns radically changed with substantial levels of housing.
Elsewhere, councils have been investigating 'masterplans' to revitalise some of the region's larger towns over the decades to come.
While some of the schemes seek to redevelop brownfield sites, much of the new development is proposed for greenfield sites, sparking concerns for the natural environment.
The information in our map has been taken from councils' Local Plans, which outline their vision for future development over 15-year periods on a range of issues including employment, the economy, infrastructure, as well as housing.
Our interactive map only includes 66 of the largest developments featured in the Local Plans. In total, these developments would account for more than 86,000 homes, and do not include the many more smaller site allocations.
Some have already had applications approved with initial work underway. Others remain in the very earliest stages of planning with little detail beyond the anticipated housing numbers. Others may never go ahead.
- Babergh and Mid Suffolk
The councils have been working together on a Local Plan which will earmark development through to 2036.
Consultation was held over the summer, with the plan now awaiting its final examination from a Planning Inspector to gain approval.
The districts face some of the biggest housing targets in Suffolk - a total of 17,568 new homes by 2036.
Of those, 7,560 would be built in Babergh and 10,008 in Mid Suffolk, which equates to 420 a year in Babergh and 568 a year in Mid Suffolk.
The largest schemes proposed for Babergh include a 550-home development at Capel St Mary and two 500-home schemes for Great Cornard and Hadleigh.
Most of Mid Suffolk's large-scale proposals are focussed on villages and towns along the A14 corridor. Stowmarket is expected to see three large developments of 400-600 homes. Villages including Thurston, Elmswell and Woolpit are also facing substantial numbers of new homes.
Babergh has included two large developments at Sproughton, to the west of Ipswich in its plan; while Mid Suffolk has large numbers proposed for Bramford, Claydon and Barham, to the north west of the town.
- Suffolk Coastal and Waveney
The two councils joined together as East Suffolk Council on April 1 of this year.
Before their unification, both had been working on their own Local Plans. Finals drafts of each plan, covering a period up until 2036, were published earlier this year. They are both awaiting the Planning inspector's final examination before being adopted, which was initially anticipated to happen before the end of 2019.
Suffolk Coastal needs to deliver 10,476 homes by 2036 at a rate of 582 a year; Waveney needs to deliver 8,223 at a yearly rate of 374.
The Local Plan for Suffolk Coastal includes one of the biggest proposed developments - the 2,000 home Brightwell Lakes scheme at Adastral Park in Martlesham Heath. The £300m scheme got the green light in April 2018, following a decade-long saga involving numerous changes as well as legal challenges from campaigners concerned by the impact on the nearby Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Local Plan also included two 'garden neighbourhoods' - one for 2,000 homes in Felixstowe and another for 800 in Saxmundham. Both schemes would include additional facilities, such as schools and recreation, but each has provoked significant local opposition.
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Most of Waveney's large-scale developments are focussed in an around Lowestoft, including plans for a 'Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood' at Kirkley Waterfront, which would provide 1,350 homes and a retirement community. Plans for another garden neighbourhood to the north of the town, would provide a further 1,300 homes. Beccles and Worlingham would also see a 1,300-home garden neighbourhood delivered by 2036.
- Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury
The two councils also joined to form West Suffolk Council on April 1. As with Suffolk Coastal and Waveney, Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury had been working separately on their Local Plans.
Forest Heath's latest 'Core Strategy' in 2010 set out plans to deliver 6,800 homes by 2031. An updated site allocations local plan from this year, gave details about where the new housing would go, including several large schemes such as a 1,300-home mixed development to the west of Mildenhall.
St Edmundsbury's Local Plan is formed from three 'Vision 2031' documents for Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill and Rural Areas.
Several 'concept statements' have been produced for large schemes including a 1,250-home mixed use development to the south east of Bury St Edmunds and a huge 2,500 home scheme to the north-east of Haverhill.
West Suffolk Council is currently carrying out a review of its Local Plan.
Ipswich Borough Council adopted its Local Plan in February 2017, covering a period up to 2031.
The plan outlines a vision for 9,777 new homes in the Ipswich Housing Market Area (IMHA) in that time.
While, many of the new homes fall outside the Ipswich borough, due to space limitations in the town, the plan also includes provision for two large developments in the town.
The Ipswich Garden Suburb to the north of the town is eventually expected to deliver around 3,500 new homes, with permission already granted for 1,915 following bids by two developers. The development will also include a primary school, railway bridge and country park. A long-term vision to redevelop part of the marina, known as the 'Island site' would provide a further 271 homes.
The council is undertaking a review of its Local Plan, to look ahead to 2036.
- North Essex Councils
Braintree, Colchester and Tendring councils are collaborating on some of the region's largest potential housing schemes - three 'garden communities', which would deliver a total of 43,000 new homes.
Together with Essex County Council, they formed North Essex Garden Communities Ltd in 2017 to take forward the proposals.
The biggest of the three communities, 'Colchester Braintree Borders' would be located off the A12 and A120, around Marks Tey, delivering up to 24,000 homes. The 'West of Braintree' scheme, on the Uttlesford border, would deliver a further 10,000 and 'Tendring Colchester Borders', near the University of Essex, another 9,000. All three schemes would include a mixture of housing, employment space, new roads, and a network of green space.
Each scheme has provoked significant opposition from some quarters of the affected communities.
NEGC Ltd ran workshops and exhibitions in October and November, with people invited to give feedback during December.
New Community Liaison Groups will be set up for each garden community, early in 2020. The delivery of the Garden Communities is subject to their being approved by an independent Planning Inspector.
Separately to the garden community schemes, each of the councils has been working on its own Local Plan to meet more immediate housing targets.
In June, a Planning Inspector backed the councils' submitted figures for housing growth up until 2033 - of 550 new homes each year in Tendring, 716 in Braintree, and 920 in Colchester.
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