Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Portfolio Holder
The Core Strategy is the most important Planning Policy Document for South Somerset setting the strategic context for growth in South Somerset and the development policies by which development will be managed. This draft version incorporates options for development proposals and policies and presents the Council's presently preferred options.
The Strategy will be our community's vision of how and where we want future growth to take place and reflects the South Somerset Partnership's Community Strategy. It should safeguard the most important features of the District, yet enable employment, houses and associated services to be developed in the right places and well designed to meet our needs. We need to make provision for the Businesses that provide for future jobs. We must invest in our towns and villages to make them better places to live in and we must take seriously the fact that we are living longer. We have to plan for those changes in ensuring that support needs can be met, so that older residents can continue to live within our communities.
It is vital however that development is controlled so that growth and the physical and community services supporting it proceed in balance. If we go wrong we will have houses but no jobs, choked up roads, no space for new businesses and a lack of local play areas for our children. Uncontrolled growth can destroy much of what we value about where we live. The Pyramids, one of the seven Wonders of the World, now have ugly housing and flats as their background! This mustn't happen here.
We value our countryside, villages and market towns but these have evolved over the years to what we see today. As employment patterns change we have to change if we are to be more than a retirement complex. Whilst the argument for no growth or growth elsewhere has its supporters, it is not an option if we are to change again to meet future needs. It will not be possible to preserve every field and green space, but in making decisions we must look at the needs of the larger community and make the right decisions even if they may not be popular with those most affected. That means that every resident of South Somerset must have the opportunity to be heard and that is why every household has been invited to express their views and thoughts. We want to be told where we have got things wrong but we also want constructive ideas and suggestions.
This draft strategy upon which we are seeking your views is just what it says it is, a draft. Despite providing preferred options for consultation, no decisions have been made and no decisions will be made until the full public consultation is complete.
We now need your views and comments to this Strategy and I would urge everyone to consider it carefully if South Somerset is to continue to be the place where we want to live and work.
Ric Pallister
Portfolio Holder for Planning Economic Development and Transport