St Edmundsbury Borough Council has adopted a ‘protocol’ for the preparation of Masterplans (September 2006), which sets out the procedure and consultation requirements. Normally, a ‘Concept Statement’ would be the first stage in this process, however, it has been agreed with SEBC that the early work carried out on Shepherd’s Grove, which also included local consultation, was sufficient to enable a draft Masterplan to be prepared. In addition, early consultation has also been carried out with statutory stakeholders, such as the County Council as local highway authority and lead local flood authority, the Borough Council as local planning authority, and utility companies (electricity, water, gas, telecoms, and sewerage). Field surveys have also been undertaken to assess the ecological value of the site and the potential
impact of development on the nature conservation value of the surrounding area, as well as landscape setting. Desk top studies have also been completed for archaeology, sustainability, biodiversity, and economic viability.
Upon completion of the next stage of consultation (public exhibition), an analysis of all the consultation responses received will be undertaken, and an assessment will be made about the need for any revisions to the Masterplan. If significant revisions are proposed, then there could be a need for further consultation prior to the approval of the final Masterplan. The final Masterplan is likely to be adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance by SEBC and will be used to inform the decision making process on any planning applications for new development that may be submitted.
The wording of the adopted Local Plan policy for the Masterplan area requires the amount, location and nature of any higher-value development specified in the Masterplan, to be subject to regular review, having regard to market conditions and development viability.
The main access to the undeveloped/available sites within the Masterplan area will be from a new roundabout junction just south of the A143, and will form the main entrance to the Masterplan area flanked by new ‘gateway’ buildings of high architectural quality. The new access will benefit the wider community, and particularly residents of Stanton, by removing the need for commercial vehicles to go through the village to reach Shepherd’s Grove West.
To the south of the site the residential quarter will additionally be served by a footpath / cyclepath access onto Sumner Road to the east and Grove Lane to the west. This will be width restricted on the connection to Grove Lane past the existing Shepherd’s Grove West industrial site, to restrict HGVs from going through the Village of Stanton.
A new estate road will serve the northern and central employment zones with serviced Plots off this new access corridor. Within the Southern Zone a main loop road will provide circulation to the residential properties, with a series of secondary roads feeding off the main loop road. Whilst there are 3 bus routes that within 0.5 – 1km of the site, discussions are underway to improve the public transport provision to the site, given the enhanced site uses and greater accessibility of the site.
New footpaths and cycleways will be installed running north / south through the site linking the employment and residential elements and providing easier connections to Walsham Le Willows to the south and Hepworth to the north. Additional connections to existing PROWs will be sought but these are some distance from the site and this aspiration requires access over third party land.
The site is arranged in 3 distinct ‘zones’ which will each exhibit their own identity whilst creating a cohesive mixed use community. The Northern Zone forms the new site entrance and will be more open in character with attractive landscape frontages to the main A143 Bury Road. The uses will largely be commercial and roadside uses which of their nature require good visibility and offer the opportunity for high quality gateway buildings.
The Central Zone is a contained and more concealed part of the site and will provide clean, contemporary uses, complementary with the existing uses on the adjacent Shepherd’s Grove East & West site.
The Southern Zone will form a new residential settlement and will derive its own identity through a series of character areas.
A variety of housing type and tenure is sought to create a sustainable community. This will be supported by stronger access routes and connections for motor vehicles, cycles and pedestrians, together with some community use and an area of Village Green.
The northern part of the site will provide access along a new boulevard entrance road, with wide grass verges and a tree-lined avenue approach.
There will be a mixture of generally terraced and semi-detached houses with the area benefitting from the village green creating a focus.
The site will be fed off of a road, creating a variety of plots of differing size and orientation. The houses to the south of the site will generally be larger semi-detached and detached properties benefitting from the existing landscape buffer to the southern boundary.
The western boundary bordering Shepherd’s Grove West will be landscaped with a significant buffer zone to provide separation and amenity to the new residential properties.
The type of residential properties, their scale, disposition and density will ultimately be determined by any future planning application, but will be informed by:
- The aspiration to create a high quality, attractively designed, residential community;
- The desire to provide a wide range of dwellings types and tenures;
- The creation of different character areas, defined by variance of density and style of
- The requirement for optimum use of a brownfield site, allowing for both affordable
housing targets whilst providing revenue to offset site infrastructure provision;
- The recognition of the contrast between the boundary to Shepherd’s Grove West, the boundaries that adjoin open countryside, and the northern boundary of the residential area, and the need to develop suitable, functional and natural landscaped areas in these