Thousands of new homes planned

A CONSULTATION has been launched into plans to build thousands of homes in Forest Heath.

The public are being asked to help shape a 19-year plan to meet housing demand in the area.

The plans have been drawn up following changes to planning laws that give local authorities increased power to decide how many homes are built and where they are built.

Cllr Robin Millar said: “The big difference is in the freedom we now have.

“The council is not told by central government how many houses we have to have and we are not forced into doing this.”

Estimates on the number of houses that will be needed in the district in 2031 have been drawn up based upon three different models, employment growth, affordable housing need and the continuation of current building trends.

Depending on which model is used predictions for the number of extra houses needed in 2031 range between 6,665 and 12,711.

The second half of the consultation looks at where the houses should be built.

It aims to balance the constraints of each area with future housing demand.

Previous allocation figures showed there could be 1,320 homes built in Mildenhall before 2031, 1,000 of which would be built on greenfield land.

In Lakenheath, 660 houses would be built, 600 of which would be on greenfield land.

Red Lodge could see 790 new homes built, however no new building work would be approved before 2021 when it is expected the area’s sewerage problems will be resolved.

The council is asking the public to comment on whether this is the right level of growth for the district and their area.

Cllr Millar said: “This is the public’s chance to say what the district should look like in 20 years time.”

The proposal can be viewed and commented on at the council offices or on the website.