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Forest Heath local plan: Inspector rules council's target is 'sound'

Plans remain on track to deliver 6,800 homes in Forest Heath by 2031 after inspectors concluded the area’s Local Plan remains ‘sound’.

West Suffolk Council leaders are pleased the government’s independent adjudicators gave a favourable verdict this week after putting the plans under the microscope.

It means 340 properties a year will be built as part of the 20 year vision, which has already seen more than 3,000 homes either built or agreed.

House building (stock) (16117585)
House building (stock) (16117585)

The report will be presented before West Suffolk councillors next week.

A spokesperson said: “We welcome the inspector’s findings which support the Forest Heath local plan, including the council's modifications to it.

"In agreeing the plan, the inspector also praised the council for its work and engagement with residents as well as stakeholders. If approved by council's cabinet and full council, this means there will be certainty over development across west Suffolk, meaning growth is managed in an appropriate way and guides developers as well as the planning process."

Forest Heath forms one part of West Suffolk Council, which was established in April. The merger with St Edmundsbury council did not disrupt the Forest Heath local plan.

As well as the housing target, the council has a plan to introduce infrastructure, such as schools, roads, water works and parks.

The spokesman added: "West Suffolk Council will formally start work on forming a new local plan for the whole of the district which will last at least 15 years. After consultation, it is hoped the document will be adopted in 2023.”

Read more: Infrastructure plan could see Suffolk build new roads, health centres and schools

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