Report number: CAB/WS/22/056
Portfolio holder: Councillor David Roach
Lead officer: Julie Baird
That the West Mildenhall Masterplan, as contained in Appendix A to Report number: CAB/WS/22/056, be adopted as planning guidance.
(In the interests of openness and transparency, Councillors Andy Drummond, Robert Everitt and David Roach declared that they were all members of Suffolk County Council. All three members remained in the meeting and voted on the item.)
The Cabinet considered this report, which sought approval for the West Mildenhall Masterplan to be adopted as planning guidance.
Policy SA4(a) of the Site Allocations Local Plan (SALP) 2019 document set out that 97 hectares of land was allocated for a mixed-use development at Land to the West of Mildenhall to include 1,300 dwellings with a local centre, a minimum of five hectares of employment land, a ten hectare SANG (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace), school, leisure facilities and public services. Approximately 19.2 hectares of the site allocation had already been developed as the Mildenhall Hub, a public service, educational and leisure facility that opened in summer 2021.
While the principle of development was established at the point at which this site was allocated for development in the adopted SALP (2019), the purpose of a masterplan, which had been out for consultation, was to put in place a framework against which future planning applications could be assessed and provide a clear vision as to the nature of the development that would come forward to fulfil the policy allocation.
Councillor David Roach, Portfolio Holder for Planning, drew relevant issues to the attention of Cabinet, including that following a review of the consultation responses and updated masterplan, officers had identified three key areas where further engagement with Suffolk County Council (SCC), as the majority landowner, was necessary. These related to land ownership, the timing of the delivery of the five hectares of employment land required by the policy allocation; the highway impacts of the future development and the need for highway mitigation measures to be implemented.
With regards to transport, further detailed assessments would be forthcoming at the outline planning application stage and would be comprehensively considered at that time. With regards to the phasing of the employment land, it was considered, that the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in place, as referred to in paragraph 2.15 of the report, was an acceptable compromise and provided sufficient commitment from SCC to bring forward the employment land as soon as possible.
A detailed discussion was held and the challenges associated with implementing sufficient highway improvements in Mildenhall and across West Suffolk were recognised; however, every effort would be made to ensure appropriate road infrastructure was in place to satisfactorily manage traffic flow at the appropriate time as planning applications came forward. Emphasis was placed on the fact that in order to ensure that a comprehensive and policy compliant development came forward on this allocated site it was necessary for a masterplan to be adopted as planning guidance. Delivery would be phased and further detail would come forward at the relevant planning application stage.
Having considered the views and actions of officers in respect of addressing the above issues, as detailed in Report number: CAB/WS/22/056, and the ... view the full minutes text for item 408