Hethel is a small village within the parish of Bracon Ash and Hethel. It is predominately rural in character, comprising isolated housing and farm buildings. However, it is also a strategic employment location and is home to Lotus Cars and the Hethel Engineering Centre. The settlement has a very limited range of services other than those provided by the existing businesses and consequently housing potential is limited. General employment is also not appropriate in this location. Instead the strategic objective is to reinforce the continued growth of advanced engineering and technology-based businesses in land-use terms.
Hethel has been home to the head office and factory of Lotus Cars since the 1960's. The Lotus factory is located on the former RAF Hethel airbase, with the test track using sections of the old runway. More recently the Hethel Engineering Centre has been developed in a prominent position on Wymondham Road, and a number of other employment uses have been developed immediately to the east. The Engineering Centre is dedicated to supporting the growth and success of high-performance engineering and manufacturing and offers business incubation space, specialist business support, engineering consultancy and conference/training facilities.