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Breckland Local Plan

by Ward Councillor William Smith - 14:36 on 22 January 2016


District Councillor’s Report – February 2016 by William Smith


1.  Consultation on the Breckland Local Plan

Residents and businesses in Breckland can have their say and help shape future growth and development in the district, following today’s launch of the Council’s second Local Plan consultation.

The consultation documents, approved by Breckland Cabinet on 1st December 2015, put forward the Council’s preferred option for the level of growth over the next 20 years, and how this will be distributed throughout the district. The documents outline draft development policies, and the sites that have been submitted to the Council are put forward for potential housing, retail or employment development. All sites are subjected to a sustainability assessment which outlines how its development would affect nearby communities, the local economy and the environment.

Breckland is providing a number of ways to comment, either online through a consultation portal, via email or through the post. The Council will also hold a number of public drop-in events in the five market towns and rural areas where there will be detailed maps to view and officers on hand to answer questions. Copies of the documents will be available to view in local libraries, Breckland Council offices in Dereham and Thetford and at the Council’s customer service centres in Attleborough, Swaffham and Watton. Breckland Town and Parish Councils will also receive copies of the consultation documents.

The new Local Plan will provide a framework for growth for the next 20 years and will set out the policies used to determine planning applications. It is a key strategic document for the future of the district and its residents, so I would urge everyone to take part in the consultation and make their views known. Nothing has been decided yet - Breckland needs to hear the views of local people so these can be considered and taken into account when the next stage of the Local Plan is developed.

Once adopted in early 2017, the Local Plan will identify a five year supply of housing land. This will give the Council more control of the location of new housing and will reduce the likelihood of ad-hoc development. The Local Plan process has allowed Breckland to set its own housing targets, and these are tailored to the district’s assessed local need.  The draft housing target for the Breckland area outlined in the consultation documents is 597 homes per annum over the life of the Local Plan (2011-2036). This is based on an objective assessment of local need and represents a reduction from the previous annual target of 780 dwellings.

The majority of new housing (68%) is planned for Thetford and Attleborough,  which are well served by public transport and have good facilities,  and are adjacent to the A11 trunk road. A further 18% of growth is suggested across the remaining market towns of Dereham, Swaffham and Watton. A number of the larger villages (22) with facilities such as schools, shops and employment that are served by public transport are designated as Local Service Centres and will also see some new land allocated for development; there will also be opportunities for further growth in some villages and rural areas. The consultation will run from 11th January, until 4pm 22nd February 2016.


For more information about the consultation, and to take part, visit  If you have any questions please contact the Planning Policy Team on 01362 656873, or email with the subject heading ‘Local Plan Consultation’.

Dates of public drop-in events

Thursday 14th January – Attleborough Town Hall (2pm – 7pm)

Wednesday 20th January – Swaffham Assembly Rooms (2pm – 7pm)

Monday 25th January - Thetford Guildhall (2pm-7pm)

Wednesday 27th January – Mundford Village Hall (2pm-7pm)

Thursday 28th January – Dereham Memorial Hall (2pm-7pm)

Tuesday 2nd February – Shropham Village Hall (2pm-7pm)

Thursday 4th February – North Elmham Institute Hall (2pm-7pm)

Tuesday 9th February – Watton Queens Hall (2pm-7pm)

Thursday 11th February – Necton Village Hall (2pm-7pm)

2.  Living Well and Beating the Winter Blues

‘Living well and Beating the Winter Blues’ events will be taking place in libraries across Breckland throughout the month. The events are for all ages and will hopefully help a variety of residents.

The events are being organised by Norfolk County Council, and representatives of Breckland’s Housing, Environmental Services and Communities teams, will be attending the events. They will be able to provide residents with relevant information on a variety of topics from keeping warm, to recycling and upcoming events.

If you would like to attend, the events are occurring between 10am and 1pm on the following dates:

20th January - Watton

27th January - Thetford

3rd February - Swaffham

10th February - Dereham

17th February - Attleborough

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