West Suffolk Council planning policy consultations

Due to an upgraded planning policy consultation system and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation we are no longer able to directly consult with you unless you have ‘opted in’ to planning topic(s).

You can update your details by logging in to your account at https://westsuffolk.oc2.uk/login  and selecting the topic(s) you wish to be notified on. If you have forgotten your login details please contact us on 01284 757368 or planning.policy@westsuffolk.gov.uk for assistance.

Local plans

The adopted and emerging Local Plans covering the former St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath areas (and all related policy documents, including guidance and SPD’s) will continue to apply to those parts of the West Suffolk Council area until a new Local Plan for West Suffolk is adopted.

This is currently scheduled for mid-2023. 

Former Forest Heath area Local Plan

Emerging documents

The Forest Heath Local Plan documents were submitted to the Secretary of State for examination on 24 March 2017


The Local Plan comprises the Single Issue Review (SIR) of Core Strategy Policy CS7 Overall Housing Provision and Distribution and the Site Allocations Document.

Forest Heath Local Plan Examination 2017 (updated 26 June 2019)

The Planning Inspectorate has appointed two Planning Inspectors to examine the submitted Plans. They are Inspector Simon Berkeley BA MA MRTPI and Inspector Christa Masters MA(HONS) MRTPI

All background information relating to the Forest Heath Local Plan consultations can be found at the following:


The timeline for the preparation of these documents is available to see on the Local Development Scheme.

The Sustainable Community Strategy for our area is produced by the Suffolk Strategic Partnership. The council is required to take account of any spatial (land use) elements set out in the Sustainable Community Strategy for the area.

Local Plan evidence documents - We collect evidence through case studies and also use data gathered by other bodies to inform our planning policy making processes. Evidence is continually gathered in key areas with some documents updated regularly and others only when required. The evidence documents are listed under the key areas that need to be considered in planning policy making. The documents listed under each area will help you understand how policies have been influenced and shaped.

Adopted local plan documents

The Forest Heath Local Plan sets out the long term planning and land use policies for the district. The Local Plan includes documents previously referred to as the Local Development Framework (LDF). It consists of the:

  • Core Strategy: this was adopted on the 12 May 2010, it provides the overall vision for Forest Heath up to 2026 (with housing projections up to 2031)
  • Joint Development Management Policies Document: this was adopted on 27 February 2015 by Forest Heath District Council and on 24 February by St Edmundsbury Borough Council. It contains policies that form an important tool for the day to day determination of planning applications in St Edmundsbury Borough and Forest Heath District.
  • Saved policies: are policies from the Forest Heath Local Plan of 1995 which remain in force until superseded by the adoption of new plans.
  • Forest Heath Local Plan Policies Map February 2015: showing the areas where different policies apply, the map will be revised as each Local Plan document is adopted. You can also view the policies map on the West Suffolk interactive map 'find my nearest'.