Saxmundham Neighbourhood Plan

Developers bring forward plan for ‘Garden Neighbourhood’ – but they differ in key respects from approved Local Plan

Sunday, December 13th, 2020 7:25 pm

The would-be developers of the new 800 dwelling “South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood” – Pigeon Investment Management Ltd – have published their proposals for public consultation, and given local residents and organisations till 31st January 2021 to give their views.  A one-page leaflet has been distributed by Pigeons to households in Saxmundham, Benhall and Kelsale, and Pigeons have set up a website for the consultation, at  

The proposals include 800 dwellings (between railway and A12 bypass), new primary school site, a local community services hub, and some open space and ‘green infrastructure’.  The only vehicle access is to be via a single entry/exit point on to the A12, with a new roundabout linking across to new development on the west of the A12.  To get to the town, vehicles would need to turn right on to the A12, then shortly right again into Rendham Road.

As we reported, the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan – which provides the main planning policy basis for development in the area – was adopted in late September 2020, less than 3 months ago, and includes a defined Garden Neighbourhood site.  Yet the Pigeon proposals differ in some vital respects from the site approved in the Local Plan, and add in new sites that form no part of the Plan policy. 

In particular, it now includes, on the west side of the A12 bypass, a large new lorry park and service area, immediately opposite the main housing area of the development.  This has not been put forward or consulted upon previously and is wholly outside the Local Plan site.  It is marked pink on their concept masterplan (above).

Second, the area set aside for public open space is far smaller than that identified in the Local Plan.  Crucially, it does not include The Layers, which the Local Plan reserves for open space, and which would be the best place for public open space to join-up the new development with the main town.

Overall, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group considers that the proposals now put forward by Pigeons fail to show how the new development would be properly connected into the town of Saxmundham – which is one of the requirements of the Local Plan for the Garden Neighbourhood, and also of the draft policies for the area being drawn up by the Steering Group.

A draft resolution making these and other points is to be discussed by Town Councillors at their December meeting tomorrow (Monday 14th) at 7 p.m.  The meeting is by Zoom, and members of the public can ‘attend’ if they contact the Town Clerk – – for Zoom link details.

The Town Council is likely to recall its previous opposition to the scale and location of the new “Garden Neighbourhood” but – now that it is formally adopted planning policy – commit to cooperating to ensure the best outcome for the town, in line with the approved site and policy.

We will set out the full details of the Town Council’s position once it is adopted.

The Steering Group hope that residents will give their views to Pigeons before the end of January, but also hope that they will wait to take into account the views of the Town Council.