Suffolk Coastal Local Plan - Final Draft

Final Draft Local Plan

11 Built and Historic Environment

11.1 Suffolk Coastal is fortunate to have a rich and varied built and historic environment with significant heritage assets alongside contemporary developments which provide a significant boost to the local economy. The District contains around 2,300 Listed Buildings and 36 Conservation Areas, as well as numerous archaeological assets and historic parkland.

Design Quality

11.2 Design is a key principle in the creation of sustainable development and should contribute positively to making communities better for everyone. Good design is concerned not only with how development looks but how it feels and functions. Incorporating both the enhancement of local character and distinctiveness that encourages innovative and creative solutions is encouraged. The Local Plan seeks to plan positively for high quality and inclusive design by creating places that function well, and establish a strong sense of place with comfortable places to live, work and visit. As stated in paragraph 124 of the National Planning Policy Framework 'the creation of high quality buildings and places is fundamental to what the planning and development process should achieve'.

11.3 The National Planning Policy Framework also emphasises high quality design and good amenity standards as a core planning principle. It is therefore, of great importance that design principles are understood and appropriately considered by the Local Plan and planning applications. Creating well designed places that incorporate all aspects of design in an inclusive manner can help to deliver a high quality of life. The Council is committed to providing a framework for good design that contributes to improvements in crime prevention, access and inclusion, safe and connected streets, cohesive neighbourhoods, well connected green spaces, and provision of services. The Local Plan seeks to ensure these principles are brought forward over the plan period. The National Planning Policy Framework also promotes the effective use of land and it is important that this is achieved alongside delivering high quality and inclusive design.

11.4 Local distinctiveness plays an important role in enhancing local character and site specific qualities, the importance of which was highlighted through consultation feedback. The Local Plan encourages design that creates a sense of place and acknowledges local form and character. The aim of development should be to create new and exciting places where people want to live, work and visit. In this regard, design should be of its time and site specific. The National Planning Policy Framework establishes the importance of supporting innovative and outstanding design. The Council encourages this across the District where it is respectful of its surroundings. In areas of more limited design quality the Council encourages development to significantly enhance design quality through innovative and creative means.

11.5 To help facilitate the understanding of local character and to support development that acknowledges and enhances the essence of local character it is important that the most appropriate information sources are referenced in relevant planning applications. Sources which may assist with identifying and assessing local character include Conservation Area Appraisals, Neighbourhood Plans, village / parish plans and the Suffolk Design Guide.

11.6 The introduction of Neighbourhood Plans in the Localism Act 2011 has encouraged local communities to take an active role in the plan-making process and prepare plans and policies that, in gaining statutory weight, have a real impact on the development of localities. In this regard, Neighbourhood Plans can, and are encouraged to, set out design policies which respond to their own local circumstances.

11.7 The Suffolk Design Guide was adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance by the Council in 1993, and revised in 2000 to acknowledge changes in national planning policy guidance. Although an ageing document, it is comprised of fundamental design principles that will continue to be important considerations. The Suffolk Local Authorities are in the early stages of reviewing the Suffolk Design Guide which will supersede the current guide, and which will be an important reference in relation to design considerations.

11.8 Local Plan consultation representations support the use of Building for Life 12 (BFL 12). Building for Life 12[1] is advocated in paragraph 129 of the National Planning Policy Framework as a tool to deliver well designed development proposals and to assess development proposals. In this regard, the Local Plan encourages all development proposals to use BFL 12 in demonstrating how the scheme meets the criteria for delivering high quality design. BFL 12 will be used as a tool to assist with design discussions during the pre-application and planning application stages, not as a prescriptive set of inflexible rules.

11.9 The Built for Life accreditation reflects high quality design and provides confidence that appropriate consideration has been given to all aspects of design. BFL 12 operates a traffic light scoring system when assessing developments against the 12 criteria. Developments that achieve at least 9 'green' scores are eligible for the Built for Life quality mark, which indicates a high quality of design has been achieved. Developments that achieve a 'green' score for all 12 criteria can be awarded the Built for Life 'Outstanding' accreditation through an independent assessment process, with the best developments recognised at BFL 12 organised events. Residential development proposals will be supported where they perform positively when assessed, by planning officers and/or agreed upon through a dialogue between planning officers and applicant, against the Building for Life 12 guidelines.

11.10 The Suffolk Design Review Panel was established by the Royal Institute of British Architects Suffolk in 2012, to help consider the design quality of planning applications. Comprised of local design experts, the aim of the Panel is to promote and encourage high standards in design of the built environment across Suffolk. In determining planning applications, regard is given to any recommendations detailed in the reports generated by the Design Review Panel.

11.11 The Suffolk Coastal Quality of Place awards, reviewed by judges which are comprised of local design experts and chaired by a District Councillor, are a celebration of the effort being made by people across Suffolk Coastal to add to the quality of the environment, by creating high quality designs in both the built and natural environment and helping to conserve historic buildings. The best designed developments across the District are recorded on the Council's website.

11.12 Suffolk Coastal has a large proportion of older residents and as such the need for housing to meet the needs of an ageing population is increasing. The Office for National Statistics predicts the population for the over 65 age group is set to increase by 59.7% between 2014 and 2039 across Suffolk. The RTPI's recent Dementia and Town Planning Document[2] and the Alzheimer's Society state that nationally there are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. This is set to increase to 1 million by 2021 and to 2million by 2051. It is therefore important that the design of the built environment caters for people throughout their lifetime and is suitable and accessible for people regardless of age, mobility or disability. This policy establishes the considerations against which residential developments will be considered, to provide for the needs of the most vulnerable in our society.

11.13 Creating a high quality environment for the elderly and those with disabilities will also result in a high quality environment for young people, for families with young children, and ultimately for everyone. Felixstowe has established a reputation as a Dementia Friendly Town, which can be attributed to Felixstowe Town Council actively engaging with communities as a Dementia Friendly Organisation and a Dementia Action Alliance Member.

Dementia Friendly Design Principles

  • Familiar environments - functions of places and buildings are obvious, any changes are small scale and incremental;
  • Legible environment - a hierarchy of street types, which are short and fairly narrow. Clear signs at decision points;
  • Distinctive environment - A variety of landmarks, with architectural features in a variety of styles and materials. There is a variety of practical features (e.g. trees and street furniture);
  • Accessible environment - Land uses are mixed with shops and services within a 5-10 minute walk from housing. Entrances to places are obvious and easy to use and conform to disabled access regulations.

11.14 Inclusive design is concerned with understanding how we use places differently and how this can inform design decisions for the benefit of all users. Inclusive design is defined as the design of mainstream products and/or services that are accessible to and useable by, as many people as reasonably possible without the need for special adaptation or specialised design. However, it is also important that inclusive design recognises the need for specialised adaptation where necessary. The principles of inclusive design detailed in above should be considered as standard practice and at the earliest possible opportunity in the evolution of development proposals with the aim of creating balanced and mixed communities.

11.15 Developers are advised to undertake pre-application consultation with local communities when proposing development. They are encouraged to seek views regarding local community needs and expectations from a broad spectrum of the community, in relation to the design of a proposal. Applicants are encouraged to engage with communities through the use of Building for Life 12.

11.16 Policy SCLP5.8 Housing Mix details the policy requirements in relation to accessible and adaptable dwellings, under Building Regulations standard M4(2). The requirements will be met where a new dwelling makes reasonable provision for most people to access the dwelling and incorporates features that make it potentially suitable for a wide range of occupants, including older people, those with reduced mobility and some wheelchair users. This policy will help to ensure the principles of inclusive design are met.

1. Building for Life 12 - Third edition | Design Council [back]
2. Dementia and Town Planning 2017 | RTPI [back]


Policy SCLP11.1: Design Quality

The Council will support locally distinctive and high quality design that clearly demonstrates an understanding of the key features of local character and seeks to enhance these features through innovative and creative means.

In so doing, permission will be granted where proposals:

a) Support inclusive design environments which are legible, distinctive, accessible, comfortable, and safe, and adopt the principles of dementia friendly design;

b) Demonstrate a clear understanding of the character of the built, historic and natural environment and use this understanding to complement local character and distinctiveness through both robust evidence, informed sources and site specific context and analysis;

c) Respond to local context and the form of surrounding buildings in relation to the following criteria:

i. the overall scale and character should clearly demonstrate consideration of the component parts of the buildings and the development as a whole in relation to its surroundings;

ii. the layout should fit in well with the existing neighbourhood layout and respond to the ways people and vehicles move around both internal and external to existing and proposed buildings;

iii. the height and massing of developments should be well related to that of their surroundings;

iv. the relationship between buildings and spaces and the wider street scene or townscape; and

v. by making use of high quality materials appropriate to the local context;

d) Take account of any important landscape or topographical features and retain and/or enhance existing landscaping and natural and semi-natural features on site;

e) Protect the amenity of the wider environment, neighbouring uses and provide a good standard of amenity for future occupiers of the proposed development;

f) Take into account the need to promote public safety and deter crime and disorder through well lit neighbourhoods and development of public spaces that are overlooked;

g) Create permeable and legible developments which are easily accessed, throughout the site and connections outside the site, and used by all, regardless of age, mobility and disability;

h) Provide highway layouts with well integrated car parking and landscaping which create a high quality public realm, avoiding the perception of a car dominated environment, and that encourage and the use of pedestrian, cycle and other sustainable modes as the most attractive modes of sustainable travel;

i) Include hard and soft landscaping schemes to aid the integration of the development into its surroundings;

j) Ensure that the layout and design incorporates adequate provision for the storage and collection of waste and recycling bins in a way which does not detract from the appearance of the development; and

Utilise measures that support resource efficiency. All major residential development proposals will be required to perform positively when assessed against Building for Life 12 guidelines. Developments should avoid red outcomes unless there are exceptional circumstances. All Building for Life 12 assessed schemes will be reviewed once built out and compared to initial BfL12 assessments.

Neighbourhood Plans can, and are encouraged to, set out design policies which respond to their own local circumstances.

Residential Amenity

11.17 The planning system plays an important role in safeguarding the quality of life of residents of the District. New development of any type is required to be located and designed with regard to the amenity of both existing and future residents to avoid generating significant harmful effects. Harmful effects can include those arising from overlooking, loss of privacy, noise, odour and light pollution and overbearing development. Residential amenity can be affected by individual developments or, as a result of cumulative impacts. There is a need to consider impacts on the development as well as from the development.


Policy SCLP11.2: Residential Amenity

When considering the impact of development on residential amenity, the Council will have regard to the following:

a) Privacy/overlooking;

b) Outlook;

c) Access to daylight and sunlight;

d) Noise and disturbance;

e) The resulting physical relationship with other properties;

f) Light spillage;

g) Air quality and other forms of pollution; and

h) Safety and security.

Development will not cause an unacceptable loss of amenity to neighbouring or future occupiers of development in the vicinity.

Historic Environment

11.18 Heritage gives places their character and individuality. It creates a focus for community pride, a sense of shared history, and a sense of belonging. Historic buildings and the historic parts of our towns and villages provide a focus for social and economic activity. Historic places that are well-maintained and well-managed add greatly to cultural life, community resilience and our individual and collective wellbeing. The conservation and enhancement of this heritage contributes directly to a healthier environment, benefiting people and offering support to thriving rural economies which are home to a large amount of the historic fabric in Suffolk Coastal.

11.19 The acknowledged quality of the built, natural and historic environments within the District is one of its key assets, making it an attractive area to live, work and visit. The District is home to around 2,300 Listed Buildings, 36 Conservation Areas, over 100 Scheduled Monuments, more than 7,300 sites of archaeological interest and 6 Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest as well as a number of locally identified historic parklands. Within the District the heritage assets characteristic of the area reflect the important coastal, cultural, farming and military history and relate to a diverse range of building typologies including resort tourism, aviation, landed estates and park and garden structures amongst many others.

11.20 These heritage assets need to be protected and enhanced for the benefit of current and future generations. National policies require Local Plans to set out a positive strategy for the protection and enhancement of these valuable assets. It is recognised that heritage assets are significant and are a resource that cannot be replaced. Therefore, the Council intends to pursue a policy approach that incorporates a positive strategy for the protection and enhancement of the District's heritage assets.

11.21 National planning policy states that a heritage asset can be a building, monument, site, place, area or landscape, identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions because of its heritage interest. Designated heritage assets are defined in the National Planning Policy Framework as World Heritage Sites, Scheduled Monuments, Listed Buildings, Protected Wreck Sites, Registered Parks and Gardens, Registered Battlefields and Conservation Areas. It is acknowledged that large developments and small developments can have a similar impact on designated heritage assets, whether that be singularly or cumulatively.

11.22 Policy for determining proposals that would affect a heritage asset is set out in the National Planning Policy Framework. The Council will therefore rely on national policy and guidance in this regard.

11.23 Heritage protection is most effective, and the benefits of the historic environment are most likely to be seen, when local communities are engaged and encouraged to discover, understand and appreciate their history. The Neighbourhood Plan process, in this respect, plays an important role in identifying and protecting locally important/significant heritage assets. Therefore, the Council will encourage any future Neighbourhood Plans to consider identifying and protecting non designated heritage assets.

11.24 It is generally recognised that encouraging active use of a heritage asset is the best way to prevent deterioration and a proactive approach such as this is supported by the Council, where possible. In all cases there will be an expectation that any new development will enhance the historic environment or better reveal the significance of the heritage asset, in the first instance, unless there are no identifiable opportunities available. In instances where existing features are found to have a negative impact on the historic environment, the Council will encourage the removal of those features that undermine the historic environment as part of any proposed development. The Council will encourage the provision of creative and accessible interpretations of heritage assets impacted by development, where this is appropriate to the asset and the development. Such interpretations should look to promote and display the features of the asset that make it a heritage asset.

11.25 Conservation and enhancement of the historic environment should be achieved in line with Policy SCLP9.2, where possible.

11.26 Heritage assets should not be allowed to fall into a state of disrepair as a means of gaining planning permission or increasing the likelihood of such. The Council will ensure that any identified or evidential deterioration or damage to a heritage asset, as a result of deliberate or intentional neglect, will not be taken into account to secure development that would otherwise be unacceptable, in line with national planning policy.

11.27 In accordance with good practice the Council will strive to maintain a register of Listed Buildings at risk. The Council will work with owners in this respect, but also has access to a range of statutory powers, where needed. Evaluation of proposals that have an impact on buildings at risk should apportion weight to any impacts that positively enhance a building at risk.

11.28 The Retail & Commercial Leisure Town Centre Study 2017 indicates that historic and small sites contribute to a balanced mix of retail in the town centres of the District. Proposals for new shopfronts or retail uses should carefully consider the contribution to the street scene, balanced against the need for shops and services to be accessible.

11.29 Heritage Impact Assessments and/or Archaeological Assessments will be required for proposals related to, or impacting on, heritage assets and their setting and/or known or possible archaeological sites, and where there is potential for encountering archaeological sites. This is to ensure that sufficient information is provided to assess the significance of the heritage assets and to assess the impacts of development on historic assets alongside any public benefits.

11.30 Pre-application consultation with the Council is encouraged to ensure the scope and detail of a Heritage Impact Assessment and/or Archaeological Assessment is sufficient. The level of detail of a Heritage Impact Assessment and/or Archaeological Assessment should be proportionate to the scheme proposed and the number and significance of heritage assets and/or known or possible archaeological sites affected.


Policy SCLP11.3: Historic Environment

The Council will work with partners, developers and the community to conserve and enhance the historic environment and to ensure that where possible development makes a positive contribution to the historic environment.

The policies of the National Planning Policy Framework will be applied in respect of designated and non-designated heritage assets.

All development proposals which have the potential to impact on historic assets or their settings should be supported by a Heritage Impact Assessment and/or an Archaeological Assessment prepared by an individual with relevant expertise. Pre-application consultation with the Council is encouraged to ensure the scope and detail of a Heritage Impact Assessment or Archaeological Assessment is sufficient. The level of detail of a Heritage Impact Assessment should be proportionate to the scheme proposed and the number and significance of heritage assets affected.  

Listed Buildings

11.31 Listed Buildings are designated heritage assets and, as such, are afforded a high level of protection. There are around 2,300 Listed Buildings in the District. Listed Building consent will be required for many works relating to Listed Buildings, and is a separate consent to planning permission. National planning policy relating to Listed Buildings, as designated assets, is contained in the National Planning Policy Framework and will be applied alongside policy SCLP11.4.


Policy SCLP11.4: Listed Buildings

Proposals to alter, extend or change the use of a listed building (including curtilage listed structures) or development affecting its setting will be supported where they:

a) Demonstrate a clear understanding of the significance of the building and/or its setting alongside an assessment of the potential impact of the proposal on that significance;

b) Do not harm the character of the building or any architectural, artistic, historic, or archaeological features that contribute towards its special interest;

c) Are of an appropriate design, scale, form, height, massing and position which complement the existing building;

d) Use high quality materials and methods of construction which complement the character of the building;

e) Retain the historic internal layout of the building; and

f) Remove existing features that detract from the building to enhance or better reveal its significance.

Conservation Areas

11.32 Conservation Areas are designated heritage assets and are afforded a high level of protection in national planning policy. At present, there are 36 designated Conservation Areas across the District, ranging from the centre of older villages and towns to hamlets and include open spaces and the landscape settings. Conservation Areas are an important part of the evidence base which underpins this Local Plan and to which, the Council will have regard, when determining planning applications for schemes affecting Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings. Amendments may be made to individual Conservation Area boundaries as they are re-appraised and consulted upon as part of a separate on-going programme being undertaken by the Council.

11.33 There are no Article 4 Directions in Suffolk Coastal District. Development within Conservation Areas will be required to be consistent with measures set out in the relevant Conservation Area Appraisal or Management Plan, and any related policies in the wider Local Plan. The South Felixstowe Conservation Area is identified as being 'at risk' and within this area proposals will be expected to enhance the Conservation Area. Development within Conservation Areas should take account of the relevant District Council supplementary planning guidance. For demolition of listed buildings in a Conservation Area the Listed Buildings Policy (SCLP11.4) will also apply. National planning policy relating to Conservation Areas, as designated assets, is contained in the National Planning Policy Framework and will be applied alongside Policy SCLP11.5.


Policy SCLP11.5: Conservation Areas

Development within, and which has potential to affect the setting of, Conservation Areas will be assessed against the relevant Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans and any subsequent additions or alterations. Developments should be of a particularly high standard of design and high quality of materials in order to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the area.

Proposals for development within a Conservation Area should:

a) Demonstrate a clear understanding of the significance of the conservation area alongside an assessment of the potential impact of the proposal on that significance;

b) Preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area;

c) Be of an appropriate design, scale, form, height, massing and position;

d) Retain features important to settlement form and pattern such as open spaces, plot divisions, position of dwellings, hierarchy of routes, hierarchy of buildings, and their uses, boundary treatments and gardens; and

e) Use high quality materials and methods of construction which complement the character of the area.

Proposals which involve the demolition of buildings in a Conservation Area will only be permitted where:

f) The building has no architectural, historic or visual significance; or

g) The building is structurally unsound and beyond technically feasible and economically viable repair (for reasons other than deliberate damage or neglect); or

h) All measures to sustain the existing use or find an alternative use/user have been exhausted.

In all cases, proposals for demolition should include comprehensive and detailed plans for redevelopment of the site.

Non-Designated Heritage Assets

11.34 Non-designated heritage assets can vary in type and form, and should possess a degree of heritage significance that merits consideration in planning decisions. Non-designated heritage assets can be either buildings or structures, or non-built assets such as archaeological assets and parks and gardens. The Council encourages Neighbourhood Plans to identify non-designated heritage assets, examples of such can be seen in the Great Bealings and Martlesham Neighbourhood Plans. Non-designated heritage assets are not protected in the same way as Designated Heritage Assets but the identification of them as a non-designated heritage asset is a planning consideration when determining applications. The National Planning Practice Guidance states that Local Planning Authorities may identify non-designated heritage assets that are buildings and that it is helpful to have criteria in place to allow the identification of such assets.

11.35 In relation to archaeological assets, any non-designated heritage assets that are deemed to be of equal importance to a Scheduled Monument by way of a heritage assessment and/or government guidance should be considered under the same policy as a Scheduled Monument, in accordance with paragraph 194 and footnote 63 of the NPPF. In this case, Policy SCLP11.3 along with the National Planning Policy Framework will apply.

11.36 The following criteria will be used to establish if any potential non-designated heritage asset that is a building or structure meets the definition in the National Planning Policy Framework at an early stage in the process, as advised by the national Planning Practice Guidance. A building or structure must meet two or more of these significance-measuring criteria to be identified by the Council as a non-designated heritage asset. Greater weight should be attributed to the conservation of any building or structure that meets more than two of the significance-measuring criteria. The weight attributed should be reflective of the number of criteria met.

Archaeological Interest


Architectural Interest


Artistic Interest


Historic Interest

  • Recorded in the Suffolk County Historic Environment Record
  • Aesthetic value
  • Known architect
  • Integrity
  • Landmark status
  • Group value
  • Artistic value
  • Known designer
  • Association
  • Rarity
  • Representativeness
  • Social and communal value

11.37 The above criteria can be located on the Council's website and may be subject to change over time, therefore, it is advised to consult the website when utilising the criteria. The criteria are also contained in Appendix F. Whilst the criteria apply to buildings and structures, policy SCLP11.6 applies to all Non Designated Heritage Assets. The National Planning Policy Framework contains policy in relation to assessing the impact of proposals on a Non-Designated Heritage Asset.


Policy SCLP11.6: Non-Designated Heritage Assets

Proposals for the re-use of Non-Designated Heritage Assets will be supported if compatible with the elements of the fabric and setting of the building which contribute to its significance. New uses which result in harm to a Non-Designated Heritage Asset or its setting will be considered based on the wider balance of the scale of any harm or loss.

In considering proposals which involve the loss of a non-designated heritage asset, consideration will be given to:

a) Whether the asset is structurally unsound and beyond technically feasible and economically viable repair (for reasons other than deliberate damage or neglect); or

b) Which measures to sustain the existing use, or find an alternative use/user, have been fully investigated.

Neighbourhood Plans can identify Non-Designated Heritage Assets. However, the protection afforded to these should be no more than that provided to Non-Designated Heritage Assets protected by this policy. Heritage assets identified should at least meet the Council's criteria for identifying Non-Designated Heritage Assets.


11.38 Suffolk Coastal has a rich, diverse and dense archaeological landscape with the river valleys, in particular, topographically favourable for early occupation of all periods. The distinctive character of the historic environment in the District includes outstanding coastal archaeology of all dates, prehistoric burial tumuli on the open heathlands around the eastern margins of Ipswich and on the Felixstowe peninsula, the remains of Roman small towns at Felixstowe and Wenhaston, the internationally important Anglo-Saxon burial ground at Sutton Hoo, numerous medieval historic towns and villages with both above and below ground heritage assets, for example Woodbridge and Aldeburgh, and the strategically placed, Napoleonic Martello towers.

11.39 Some archaeological sites are designated as Scheduled Monuments, although most assets are non-designated and sometimes not known of until development proposals come forward. Scheduled Monuments are nationally significant assets and afforded great protection in the National Planning Policy Framework. The Council recognises that archaeological remains are non-renewable resources which are valuable for their own sake and for their role in education, leisure and tourism.

11.40 The Suffolk Historic Environment Record provides information about archaeological sites throughout the District and is used to identify sites that may be at risk from development. Policy SCLP11.7 requires a full archaeological assessment of sites within potential areas of archaeological importance to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected and to ensure that provision is made for the preservation of important remains, particularly those that may be demonstrably of national significance. Archaeological Assessment prior to determination may comprise a combination of desk-based assessment, geophysical survey and/or field evaluation.

11.41 The Council will work with Historic England, Suffolk County Council and the local community in identifying and protecting or relocating archaeology that comes to light as a result of erosion. The level of protection afforded should be relative to the significance and importance of the archaeological remains. The known rate of erosion should be considered when determining the significance and importance of archaeological remains and when determining whether or not relocation of the archaeological remains is required.

11.42 Where proposals affect archaeological sites, preference will be given to preservation in situ unless it can be shown that recording of remains, assessment, analysis, reporting, dissemination and deposition of archive for access and curation, will constitute appropriate mitigation for the impacts of development. Archaeological conditions or planning obligations will be imposed on consents as appropriate. Appropriate programmes of work post-consent could include some or all of:

  • further evaluation;
  • upfront excavation;
  • paleo-environmental work;
  • building survey and or monitoring;


  • control of contractor groundworks.

11.43 The provision of interpretation about archaeological work will be encouraged, as appropriate to the scale of development and the nature of the archaeological remains.


Policy SCLP11.7: Archaeology

An archaeological assessment proportionate to the potential and significance of remains must be included with any planning application affecting areas of known or suspected archaeological importance to ensure that provision is made for the preservation of important archaeological remains.

Where proposals affect archaeological sites, preference will be given to preservation in situ unless it can be shown that recording of remains, assessment, analysis report and/or deposition of the archive is more appropriate.

Archaeological conditions or planning obligations will be imposed on consents as appropriate. Measures to disseminate and promote information about archaeological assets to the public will be supported. 

Parks and Gardens

11.44 Registered Parks and Gardens are identified as Designated Heritage Assets within the National Planning Policy Framework. In addition to these, Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) 6 identifies 21 parks and gardens of historic interest of 50 hectares or more, which are important within Suffolk Coastal District. The site size threshold is considered to be an appropriate measure for identifying parklands of District-wide significance. They are identified primarily for their historic landscape significance, and also contribute towards other objectives such as the protection and enhancement of habitats. Policy relating to historic parks and gardens identified as Non Designated Heritage Assets is contained with policy SCLP11.6. The Council will keep the list of locally identified Historic Parks and Gardens under review and will designate further Historic Parks and Gardens where this is considered appropriate.


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

Within the plan area 7 parks are included in the National Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest compiled by Historic England and have the status of Designated Heritage Assets:

  • Campsea Ashe Park (Grade II* Listed)
  • Henham Park (part in Suffolk Coastal) (Grade II Listed)
  • Heveningham Hall (Grade II* Listed)
  • Glemham Hall (Grade II Listed)
  • Bawdsey Manor (Grade II Listed)
  • Woodbridge Cemetery (Grade II Listed)
  • Cliff Gardens and Town Hall Garden (Felixstowe) Grade II Listed)

Development proposals affecting these assets will be considered in relation to the policy on Designated Heritage Assets contained in the National Planning Policy Framework and guidance contained in Supplementary Planning Guidance SPG6 (or any subsequent Supplementary Planning Document).

The following historic parklands have been identified as being of District wide significance, and have the status of Non-Designated Heritage Assets. A major attribute of a parkland 'of note' is its extensive coverage within the landscape:

  • Benhall Lodge Park, Benhall
  • Boulge Park, Boulge
  • Broke Hall Park, Nacton
  • Carlton Park, Kelsale
  • Cockfield Hall Park, Yoxford
  • Easton Park, Easton
  • Glemham House Park, Great Glemham
  • Glevering Hall Park, Hacheston
  • Grove Park, Yoxford
  • Grundisburgh Hall Park, Grundisburgh
  • Marlesford Hall Park, Marlesford
  • Orwell Park, Nacton
  • Rookery Park, Yoxford
  • Sibton Park, Sibton
  • Spa Gardens and Town Hall Gardens, Felixstowe
  • Staverton Park, Wantisden
  • Sudbourne Park, Sudbourne

The delineated boundary of each of these locally listed historic parklands includes the area currently forming the visual extent of the parkland as well as any additional areas that historically formed part of the extent of the parkland and which continue to display the remnants of the former parkland.

The District Council will encourage the preservation and enhancement of these parks and gardens of historic interest and their surroundings. Applications for planning permission will be permitted where the development proposal will not have a materially adverse impact on the character, features or immediate setting of the delineated park or garden and which have due regard to the additional advice and guidance in Supplementary Planning Guidance SPG6 (or any subsequent Supplementary Planning Document).

Proposals affecting or within the designated and non-designated parks and gardens will be required to be accompanied by landscape design and management proposals, to ensure a high level of design, mitigation and enhancement is achieved.

Areas to be Protected from Development

11.45 Areas to be protected from development are a long established policy across the District. These areas make an important contribution to the setting or character of a Town, Village or surrounding countryside. The identification of these areas is necessary to resist infilling development that could be detrimental to the character, spacing or density of a particular area.

11.46 In some locations such as Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary, areas to be protected from development have been identified to maintain the separation between settlements. The identification of these adjacent to residential allocations established in the Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan reinforces the separation between settlements and protects the individual character of settlements.


Policy SCLP11.9: Areas to be Protected from Development

Areas to be protected from development as identified on the Policies Map comprise local scale sites, gaps, gardens and spaces that make an important contribution to the character and setting of a settlement in their unaltered form. In some locations these areas maintain settlement separation.

Accordingly, development within these areas will be severely restricted to maintain the character of the area and ensure settlement coalescence is not compromised.

Newbourne: Former Land Settlement Association Holdings

11.47 Newbourne is defined as a Small Village in the Settlement Hierarchy. The part of Newbourne which comprises the Former Land Settlement Association Holdings is a unique area within the District. The Land Settlement Association was set up in 1934 as an experimental scheme to provide unemployed workers from depressed industrial areas with employment on the land. The scheme and its legacy can still be seen in the number of large regular shaped plots, some of which still contain commercial scale greenhouses.

11.48 Due to its unique nature, Newbourne does not have a defined Settlement Boundary in the same way as other settlements in the District. It is considered that backland development, particularly for residential use, has the potential to harm the character of the village. Whilst it is preferable to maintain the plots and their associated horticultural and agricultural buildings in those uses, it is recognised that a number are not being used for their original purpose or have become derelict. There may be instances therefore where low key employment uses would be appropriate on the site of former horticultural and agricultural buildings, where this does not result in the functional or physical separation of the dwelling and the wider plot.

11.49 To retain the character, it is also important to continue to control changes which may occur through new dwellings or the replacement or enlargement of dwellings and consideration will be given to the impact on the character of the Former Land Settlement Association Holdings area of Newbourne in this respect.


Policy SCLP11.10: Newbourne - Former Land Settlement Association Holdings

The Council will encourage the retention of suitable buildings in horticultural or agricultural use of those parts of the former Land Settlement Association Holdings shown on the Policies Map, not currently used or required in connection with the residential curtilages, taking account of any physical features which currently mark garden limits.

New employment uses on backland plots will be supported where:

a) It is demonstrated that the land and/or buildings are surplus to agricultural and horticultural requirements;

b) Any new or replacement buildings are of a scale and nature appropriate to the character of the Former Land Settlement Association Holdings area;

c) They do not result in physical separation of individual plots; and

d) They are of a suitable design and construction for the proposed use.

The erection of new or replacement dwellings, or extensions to existing dwellings or ancillary residential development will be supported where:

e) Their scale and design would not harm the character of the former Land Settlement Association Holdings area; and

f) In the case of new dwellings, it would represent infill development within the existing frontage and not result in backland development.