East Suffolk Council adopts strategy which outlines plans to develop 11,000 homes in coastal area by 2036
A blueprint to develop more than 11,000 homes across Suffolk Coastal over the next 16 years has been adopted after four years of work.
East Suffolk Council on Wednesday night adopted the local plan for the former Suffolk Coastal area, which acts as a strategy for how 11,353 homes needed over that time will be distributed.
It also acts as a key stopper to speculative developers, by demonstrating suitable land for development and giving more power to the council to refuse those considered unsustainable.
Among the biggest developments are the 2,000-home Brightwell Lakes development – which already has planning permission – as well as more than 1,500 new homes in Felixstowe and 800 in Saxmundham.
Conservative cabinet member for planning, David Ritchie, said: “The local plan sets out an ambitious vision which aligns with the vision for the council, and sets out aspirations to ensure a strong, diverse and prosperous economy.
“Provision of sufficient homes of the right types and tenures of needs, including addressing needs for younger and older people; active and healthy communities; protecting, maintaining and enhancing the high quality built historic and natural environment; and mitigating and adapting to climate change.”
He added it would support more than 6,500 jobs being created over the lifetime of the plan from provision of employment land.
The plan joins the Waveney local plan adopted last year, meaning East Suffolk has full provision for development until 2036.
However, the document has not been without its critics, particularly where development is set to be highly concentrated.
Labour councillor for west Felixstowe, Mike Deacon, urged for the plan to be paused while the uncertainty around Covid-19 and Brexit remained, and said there was too much concentration of homes in Felixstowe.
He said: “I cannot support this local plan with its concentration in Felixstowe; its destruction of large swathes of rich, agricultural land; its lack of attention to changes in employment realities and new patterns of work; and its failure to adequately sustain the essential established community life of Suffolk.”
He added: “I firmly believe the volume of development we are now faced with should be spread across the whole of Suffolk Coastal.”
Some raised concerns about specific areas and use of agricultural land, but felt it would be far worse not to have the plan in place as that would open the gates for predatory developers.
Leader of the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group Graham Elliott said: “If we don’t adopt we are at even greater risk of getting what we don’t want,” and added that the Waveney plan had already “kept developers at bay”.
The plan was approved by 34 votes to six, with four councillors abstaining.
Where will the new homes be?
Listed below are the anticipated housing numbers up to 2036 for communities where 50 or more homes are to be built.
These do not include developments where permission has already been secured or applications working through the planning system already.
Felixstowe – 1,520
Saxmundham – 800
Martlesham Heath – 300
Wickham Market – 220
Woodbridge – 220
Rushmere St Andrew – 150
Trimley St Martin – 150
Darsham – 145
Framlingham – 100
Leiston – 100
Grundisburgh – 70
Eyke – 65
Otley – 60
Benhall – 50