Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Environmental Quality

2.28 The landscape is mainly undulating, agricultural land with some very fertile belts that have traditionally been farmed for top quality food production such as apples and dairy produce. Topography and agricultural practices have helped to secure special status for outstanding landscapes such as the rolling Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to the south west, a small part of the Cranborne Chase and West Wilts AONB to the north east, and Dorset AONB running along the southern boundary of the District. The flat lands of the Somerset Levels and Moors in the north west are internationally protected for their wetlands and bird species, being a Special Protection Area and Ramsar[1]  site. Just west of Yeovil is the heritage site of Ham Hill Country Park.

2.29 Many villages and historic parts of larger settlements are built from local hamstone or lias stone, and the area has a high concentration of Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas as well as grand country homes and estates, some of which are now owned by the National Trust. There is a strong link between the environmental quality and productivity of the area and the success of the local economy, through commerce, recreation, tourism and providing an environment where people want to work and live.

2.30 There are air quality issues associated with traffic congestion in the middle of Yeovil with the entire town identified as a Air Quality Management Area.

1. Designated by the Ramsar Convention (The Convention on Wetland of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat) as a term to identify wetland sites of international importance [back]