Waveney Local Plan

Rural Settlement Hierarchy and Housing Growth

7.3 The National Planning Policy Framework encourages an approach to housing delivery in rural areas where it will enhance or maintain the vitality of rural settlements. New development can support new and existing services and facilities and provide a wider choice of quality new homes where they are needed. The Framework encourages development in locations where people can access services and facilities and where there is a choice of transport modes including walking, cycling and public transport. Growth is also supported where development in one settlement can support people living in communities nearby.

7.4 The overall objective of the rural strategy is to deliver development that reflects the character of a rural settlement and contributes towards sustainable development that will support their needs and enable them to grow and prosper in the long term. Most new housing development is identified through site allocations both in this Local Plan and in Neighbourhood Plans, however, District-Wide Strategic Planning Policies will support planning decisions related to residential proposals on sites not allocated in the Local Plan.

Table 2 - Appropriate types of residential development in different parts of the Rural Area

Settlement Hierarchy

Type of development

Larger and smaller villages

  • Allocated sites in the Local Plan.
  • Development within settlement boundaries.
  • Affordable housing adjacent to settlement boundaries in accordance with Policy WLP8.6.
  • Barn conversions in accordance with Policy WLP8.11.
  • Allocations set out in Neighbourhood Plans.

The Countryside including hamlets and other scattered communities

  • Allocated sites in the Local Plan.
  • Small scale development in accordance with Policy WLP8.7.
  • Affordable housing adjacent to built up areas in accordance with Policy WLP8.6.
  • Barn conversions in accordance with Policy WLP8.11.
  • Dwellings for rural workers in accordance with Policy WLP8.8.
  • Allocations set out in Neighbourhood Plans.


7.5 A hierarchy of settlements covering the rural areas has been devised to focus housing growth in the larger villages where there is relatively better provision of day-to-day services. These larger villages are generally able to accommodate larger amounts of development without unduly impacting upon the character of the village. The hierarchy identified in Policy WLP7.1 allows for appropriate levels of development in smaller villages to help protect and support the existing services and in some cases improve them. The Policy supports limited amounts of development elsewhere in the Countryside in small hamlets and scattered communities. In these locations growth is expected to be facilitated by Neighbourhood Plans and by Policies WLP8.6, WLP8.7, WLP8.8 and WLP8.11 of this Local Plan.

7.6 This section of the Local Plan identifies the strategy for each larger and smaller village and identifies where there are new allocations for development in the rural areas. 

Policy WLP7.1 - Rural Settlement Hierarchy and Housing Growth

Approximately 12% of the District's housing growth will take place in the rural areas. This is equivalent to approximately 990 new dwellings.

Approximately 70% of new housing development in the rural areas will be in the larger villages, 20% in the smaller villages and up to 10% elsewhere in the Countryside in smaller hamlets and other scattered communities.

The development requirements in the larger and smaller villages will be delivered through site allocations in this Local Plan.

Settlements classified as larger villages are:

  • Barnby and North Cove
  • Blundeston
  • Corton
  • Kessingland
  • Somerleyton
  • Wangford
  • Wrentham

Settlements classified as smaller villages are:

  • Brampton
  • Homersfield
  • Ilketshall St Lawrence
  • Lound
  • Mutford
  • Ringsfield
  • Rumburgh
  • Willingham (Shadingfield and Willingham St Mary)
  • Westhall
  • Wissett

The development requirements elsewhere in the Countryside in smaller hamlets and other scattered communities will come forward through Neighbourhood Plans and windfall sites in accordance with Policies WLP8.6, WLP8.7, WLP8.8 and WLP8.11 of this Local Plan.