What Stage Are We At?

The delivery of a mixed-use development on the ‘Land to the west of Mildenhall’ site has involved an extensive process prior to this stage in the preparation of this planning application. The steps, below, are designed to help you understand this process.

Step 1 – Site Allocation

At the Local Plan stage, West Suffolk Council (WSC) is required to identify and allocate sufficient land to meet demand for wide range of uses, including housing. During this stage WSC invited landowners to put forward land parcels that could meet this demand – Suffolk County Council put forward this site. Following a rigorous process to assess its development potential, WSC concluded that it was suitable for mixed-use development, and it was therefore allocated within the Local Plan. Policy SA4: Focus of growth ‘Land West of Mildenhall’ establishes it is suitable to develop this site for the uses and quantum of development set out in the policy.

Step 2 – Masterplan Preparation

Following its allocation within the adopted Local Plan, Suffolk County Council undertook the production of a masterplan, informed by an evidence base which was subject to consultation in 2021/2022. The  masterplan establishes a series of framework plans illustrating the site is capable of accommodating the development proposed within the Local Plan in terms if its land use; quantum of development;  landscape; ecology; drainage and connectivity and movement. WSC approved the masterplan for the  Land West of Mildenhall at its meeting of the Cabinet on the 8th November 2022. This masterplan is a material planning consideration in the determination of future planning applications.

Step 3 – Planning Application - This Current Stage

With the masterplan approved, Suffolk County Council is in the process of preparing an outline planning application, and is using this public consultation to obtain any feedback that will inform the final application submission. An outline planning permission allows for a decision on the general principles
of how a site can be developed. Outline planning permission is granted subject to conditions requiring the subsequent approval of one or more ‘reserved matters’ at a later date. These reserved matters

  • Access – to the site and within the site, for vehicles, cycles and pedestrians;
  • Appearance – the visual appearance of buildings;
  • Landscaping – the treatment of land (other than buildings);
  • Layout – the way buildings, routes and spaces are set out; and
  • Scale – the height, width and length of buildings.

The outline planning application should demonstrate its consistency with the adopted masterplan.

Step 4 – Delivery of Development

Upon approval of outline planning permission, there will be further details that will need to be submitted and approved by WSC. This process is called ‘discharge of conditions’ and approval of ‘reserved matters’. Alongside this, infrastructure shall need to be provided, such as highway improvements, and a number
of financial contributions will need to be paid towards additional infrastructure provision. Once these matters have been satisfied, construction works will be able to commence on site. This site will be structured into four key phases with development anticipated to start within 3 years of the approval of outline planning permission.

We recognise that you may have a number of questions having read our consultation material and therefore we have presented a series of FAQs which we hope will complete a comprehensive overview on this consultation process prior to the preparation of this planning application. The steps above are designed to help you understand this process.