Final Draft Local Plan

12 Strategy for Aldeburgh

Key Statistics for Aldeburgh

1. Data sources provided in Appendix I – Glossary and Acronyms [back]

12.240 Aldeburgh is a small coastal town and resort (2011 pop. 2,466) which is an extremely popular destination for tourists and visitors, which poses significant challenges in the peak periods and places increased pressure on the range of services and facilities in the town. The town of Aldeburgh is within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, surrounded by a natural landscape. The exceptional natural, built and historic environment is important to the town's prosperity.

12.241 As a centre, the town provides a range of services and facilities which meet the needs of local residents as well as tourists. Aldeburgh has become a prominent location for cultural events and activities related to arts, music and food which has made the area a popular location and the Local Plan seeks to support such activities.

12.242 A high proportion of dwellings in the town are second homes or holiday homes which mean there can be significant seasonal variations in population numbers. The high number of second homes, high house prices and lack of employment opportunities make it difficult to retain and attract young people to the town. As a result, the resident population is declining and the population profile of the town is ageing.

12.243 Many of the shops and facilities are targeted at the tourism industry rather than the local population and there is a continuing need to ensure that this difference is rebalanced to ensure all year round services and facilities are viable.

12.244 Although categorised as a Market Town in the Settlement Hierarchy, Aldeburgh lacks some facilities of other Market Towns, namely secondary school provision and leisure facilities. The town also provides limited employment opportunities outside of the retail, tourist and service sectors.

12.245 In peak tourist periods, the town is very popular with tourists and visitors, placing greater pressure on existing facilities and infrastructure such as roads and car parking. There are also pressures around maintaining a balance of town centre shops and services that meet the needs of the local community, nearby rural areas and tourists. At the same time, these visitors bring great economic benefit to the District.

12.246 Aldeburgh is physically constrained by issues of coastal erosion and flood risk and surrounded by high quality landscapes and sites of ecological value, which means that limited opportunities are available for future development. Therefore no additional specific allocations are identified, for uses such as housing or employment, although the allocation at land to the rear of Rose Hillis will be carried forward from the Site Allocations and Area Specific Policies Development Plan Document. Within the Settlement Boundary there are likely to be opportunities over the plan period for redevelopment of previously developed land and buildings.

12.247 Where opportunities for development of previously developed land or infill come forward these will be required to provide residential accommodation that meets the needs of the local population, including affordable housing for young people and to address the ageing population. Aldeburgh has a more acutely locally ageing population than other towns in the District and this requires a more targeted range of facilities to meet these local needs. Over the plan period, the Council will work with service providers to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is delivered.

12.248 Aldeburgh has a special and particularly distinctive built character and the Garrett Era Area which was built in the mid 19th century is unique. Large houses in equally large grounds, well planted with trees, occupy a prominent position close to the town centre. Much of the character of this area is afforded by trees and the spaces they occupy, rather than the buildings as these are well hidden by the nature of the area. Due to the limited land available in Aldeburgh, this area may come under pressure from potential sub-division which would impact the character of this area over the plan period.

12.249 Over the plan period it is fundamental that the vibrancy of the town is retained and opportunities are brought forward to improve the quality of life of the local community. Encouraging economic opportunities along with the appropriate infrastructure and residential development will enable the community of Aldeburgh to be maintained and enhanced.

 

Policy SCLP12.26: Strategy for Aldeburgh

The strategy for Aldeburgh is set within the physical and natural constraints of the town and the need to retain a balanced and cohesive community.

The strategy will seek to ensure that:

a) The historic character of the town is retained, protected and enhanced;

b) Services and facilities support the local residents and those in surrounding rural communities;

c) New residential development is targeted at meeting the needs of the local community through provision to meet the needs of the ageing population and enabling local residents to stay within the area;

d) The sensitive environment surrounding the town is not detrimentally impacted;

e) Its role as a tourist centre and resort, offering a range of accommodation is maintained; and

f) The flood risk is minimised and coastal defences are effectively managed.

The Garrett Era Area defined on the Policies Map has a unique and distinctive townscape character which is important to retain. Proposals to substantially enlarge existing properties or sub-divide existing plots will not be supported where they would:

g) Materially adversely affect the character of the area;

h) Materially adversely affect the setting of the existing buildings;

i) Result in the serious loss of existing trees; or

j) Prejudice replanting schemes of suitable species once existing trees die or are removed.

Land to the rear of Rose Hill, Saxmundham Road, Aldeburgh

262 Land to the rear of Rose Hill, Saxmundham Road, Aldeburgh

12.250 This allocation is carried forward from the Site Allocations and Area Specific Policies Development Plan Document (January 2017).

12.251 This site to the rear of Rose Hill is 3ha in size, development of which is expected to provide 10 dwellings. It is fairly regular in shape with adjacent low density residential development on three sides. The site is accessed via a track running north direct onto Saxmundham Road which would need to be widened to bring it up to standard. The track is within the control of the site owner. Land to the west of the track is in the ownership of the Aldeburgh Golf Club who may be willing to facilitate that widening subject to agreement of appropriate terms. Furthermore improvements to this junction would also meet with their aspirations to provide a safer junction at this point. The access track forms the western boundary beyond which is open countryside.

12.252 To maintain the low density character of development in this part of Aldeburgh, to limit its visual impact further, and to help provide a wider mix of accommodation within the town, the site is promoted for a care home development with some (approximately 10) open market houses within the 'grounds'. Development would be restricted to a maximum of two storeys. Care would need to be taken with the overall design and landscaping to ensure that any new development did not appear as a large block out of keeping with nearby development, when viewed from the estuary.

12.253 The presence of bats has been recorded nearby. Further information on the extent of bat activity will need to be obtained from relevant experts and may require the incorporation of bat friendly features within the design of the new buildings.

Natural England have also confirmed that, given the location of the site is within 300m of the Alde and Ore Estuary, a Habitats Regulation Assessment will be required at the planning application stage. The allocation is approximately 300m from the River Alde. Project level HRA will need to assess disturbance risks through the consideration of up to date ecological and visitor survey data. Project level HRA will need to demonstrate that adverse effects can be prevented with long term mitigation measures.

12.254 Suffolk County Council Archaeology, note that the site is close to a Bronze Age occupation site. Prehistoric, Saxon and Iron Age remains have been recorded from the golf course and that it is also close to World War II features. Given this rich history, an archaeological assessment will be required at an appropriate stage in the design of new development to allow for in situ preservation if appropriate.

12.255 Suffolk County Council have noted that this site is located within a Source Protection Zone which makes treatment of surface water for pollutants prior to disposal vital. Therefore, a larger area of the site than would normally be required may need to be dedicated to SuDS. The Cross Boundary Water Cycle Study between Suffolk Coastal District Council and Ipswich Borough Council identifies this site as being within Flood Zone 1. As the site area is over 1 ha, any proposals for development must be accompanied by a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment.

12.256 Early years provision in Aldeburgh ward is forecast to be over capacity and this development will be required to contribute through the Community Infrastructure Levy, towards the expansion of existing settings as detailed in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework.

12.257 The East Suffolk & Ipswich Clinical Commissioning Group have indicated that enhancements will be required in Aldeburgh to meet the needs arising from new development. A contribution will be required through the Community Infrastructure Levy for enhancements at Church Farm Surgery, as detailed in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework.

12.258 Suffolk County Council have indicated that future improvements are needed at Leiston household waste recycling centre to accept additional waste from housing growth. A contribution will be required through the Community Infrastructure Levy towards the improvement of the centre as identified in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework.

12.259 Suffolk County Council have provided information relating to library improvements across the District. This site falls within the catchment of Aldeburgh library which has been identified as a library where improvements are necessary to enhance provision. A contribution will be required through the Community Infrastructure Levy towards the improvement of library provision as identified in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework.

 

Policy SCLP12.27: Land rear of Rose Hill, Saxmundham Road, Aldeburgh

3ha of land to the rear of Rose Hill, Saxmundham Road, Aldeburgh, as shown on the Policies Map, is identified for a mixed development comprising a care home and open market housing for approximately 10 units.

Applications for development of this site will need to be subject to a Habitat Regulations Assessment screening. Any development which would result in significant adverse effects upon the nearby European site, which could not be appropriately mitigated, will not be permitted.

Development will be expected to accord with the following criteria:

a) A financial contribution will be sought towards affordable housing provision;

b) An archaeological assessment will be required at an early stage in the design process;

c) Provision of a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment;

d) No development should exceed two storeys in height;

e) Careful consideration being given to the scale and massing of new building to ensure that it does not appear out of character with surrounding development when viewed from the estuary;

f) The provision of an external lighting scheme given the sensitivity of the site on the edge of Aldeburgh and its elevated position when viewed from the estuary;

g) A comprehensive landscaping scheme for the whole development;

h) A Landscape Visual Impact Appraisal and if necessary, provision of appropriate mitigation;

i) A bat survey to be undertaken and submitted as part of any planning application and if appropriate, inclusion of bat friendly features within the design of the new buildings;

j) A project level Habitats Regulations Assessment will be required; and

k) Access to the site should be via the existing access track which follows the western boundary of the site. New access and junction arrangements should be designed to meet the needs of residents, the adjacent golf club and to the satisfaction of Suffolk County Council.