Combs is a quiet and peaceful village in the county of Suffolk.
It is located on a low rise directly to the south of the market town of Stowmarket, with a valley known locally as the ‘slough’ separating it from the town.
Combs Wood in the north east of the parish is an ancient woodland and is safeguarded as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The land leading west and north from the wood is designated as a Special Landscape Area and is characterised by its field patterns and hedgerows.
There are a number of significant local landmarks within the Parish, including Model Farm, the Tannery and St Mary’s Church.
In the past, the village included Combs Ford, which nowadays is regarded as being a suburb of Stowmarket.
There are 298 dwellings in Combs, with a population of approximately 575 people.
Combs is a ribbon development, stretched out along two major roads through the village to the south and to the south west, as well as a number of minor roads.
The main centre of population stretches from the area around Combs Tannery, past Model Farm to Fenns Farm and beyond. There is a second concentration of dwellings on the south eastern edge of the village, taking in the hamlets of Little London and Moats Tye.
In years past, many of those living in Combs would have worked locally.
The village is surrounded by arable farmland, and before mechanisation many of the men and women in the village were employed in farming. For many years the Tannery was also a major employer, employing over 150 people at its peak. There are now approximately 30 businesses run in or from Combs but the absence of any one large employer in the village means that most people now travel out of Combs to work.
Some of the surrounding farms date back to the 15th century and many of the houses and cottages built to house the farming community still survive.
There is still a wealth of older properties in the village, many of them thatched, and this historic nature of the parish gives rise to 51 listed properties throughout Combs. One is Grade 2* and amongst the rest we have 8 barns, one church, one Gospel Hall and two sets of gates!
Combs has been classified as a Secondary Village in the emerging Local Development Framework, which is the planning and development control document currently under consultation. This is prepared and administered by the District Council. This proposed classification means that any further development is likely to be limited and subject to strict controls.
Combs has few facilities of its own, making it reliant on the services in Combs Ford, Stowmarket and Great Finborough.