Suffolk Local Plan Watch - Spring 2022

25.4.22 2 MINUTE READ

Image of Suffolk - LPW Location squares

The main opportunities in Suffolk are within West Suffolk’s Preferred Options Consultation, starting in May 2022, and the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Review of the Housing and Site Allocation Process. This could give landowners opportunities to submit further sites.  

The Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Local Plan was paused in 2021 to address concerns from the Inspector about the spatial strategy proposed and site selection process used to inform the draft Plan. The Inspectorate has since requested Babergh and Mid Suffolk reassess the housing allocations in all tiers of settlement, not simply market towns/urban areas and core villages, which could represent opportunities to landowners to re-promote their unallocated sites. The Local Planning Authority will also be reconsidering the Settlement Hierarchy and Spatial Distribution of Housing. Although no timescales have been released, Babergh and Mid Suffolk’s Joint Local Plan will progress as a ‘Part 1’ Local Plan (strategic development management policies), to be followed by the preparation and adoption of a ‘Part 2’ Local Plan (site allocations).

In addition, the Regulation 18 (Preferred Opportunities) consultation for West Suffolk closed in December 2020. After review, this will result in further opportunities from May to June 2022 from the Preferred Options (Regulation 18) consultation where there remains an opportunity to submit and promote sites through the West Suffolk Local Plan.

Ipswich Borough Council adopted the Ipswich Local Plan Review 2018-2036 on 23 March 2022, which will provide certainty for landowners and developers with those allocated sites. The next Local Plan review within East Suffolk will not progress until 2025.


Five Year Land Supply

At present, all Local Planning Authorities within Suffolk can demonstrate a 5-year supply of housing. Babergh and Mid Suffolk have the largest housing supply trajectory, evidencing 6.86 and 9.54 years supply respectively, and West Suffolk Council 5.4 years.

Whilst Ipswich Borough Council have recently adopted their Local Plan (23 March 2022), it is interesting to note that the Inspector concluded that this provides only a marginal 5.12 years supply upon adoption. Should some of the allocated sites not come forward promptly, then this may provide developers and landowners with active opportunities in future months.

For detail on emerging Local Plan position in Suffolk please click on the map below.

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Iain Hill

Partner, Planning

Iain is a planning expert who uses his extensive master planning experience to contribute to the creation of award-winning developments.

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Associate, Planning

Darren is a senior associate within Bidwells' planning department.

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Sarah Hornbrook

Associate, Planning

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