Saxmundham Neighbourhood Plan

Housing & Saxmundham’s future

Thursday, March 8th, 2018 4:11 pm

Housing is a key issue for our Neighbourhood Plan and the future of Saxmundham.

Central government is laying down very specific targets for more housing, to meet its own target of 300,000 new homes nationwide. Suffolk Coastal District Council is due to set its own targets for Saxmundham and the surrounding villages and will be announcing its proposals soon.

So we know that the town will grow in size over the next 10 to 20 years – the question is:

  • By how much?
  • What type of housing? And for whom?
  • Where will it be located?
  • And how much say will we, as local people, get?

The Neighbourhood Plan is central to all this. Once it is agreed by the people of Saxmundham, it can become part of the District Council’s Plan.

Our own discussions with local planners indicate that they are minded to go for significant growth for Saxmundham over the next 10-20 years, with maybe over 1,000 new homes.

And where would these new houses go?

If our town is to grow, should new housing go further up the hill to the east of the town, beyond the recent Hopkins Homes?  Or on The Layers, in the currently agricultural area between Saxmundham and Benhall, which would mean that the two settlements in effect join up?  Or would development take place on both areas? Or are there other sites that could be used?

Our initial consultations with local people show that, besides numbers and location of new houses, a critical issue is ensuring we get proper physical and social infrastructure for the town as it grows. Many consider that the large recent growth in Saxmundham’s size has not been accompanied by adequate support facilities such as schools and surgeries.

So we need to be clear that future growth in Saxmundham must bring with it good quality infrastructure.  To quote the government’s latest Housing White Paper,

“Development is about far more than just building homes. Communities need roads, rail links, schools, shops, GP surgeries, parks, playgrounds and a sustainable natural environment. Without the right infrastructure, no new community will thrive – and no existing community will welcome new housing if it places further strain on already stretched local resources”.

We will be addressing all these issues, in consultation with local people, to get the best outcome for the town.