Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

The Vision for 2026

3.3 South Somerset will be a thriving, attractive and affordable place to live and work in. It will be a far more sustainable place with more self sufficient towns with much better public transport links within and between them and more and better community facilities in each of them. The move to a low carbon economy and low carbon living will have been secured together with adaptation to the changing climate of warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers expressed through appropriate changes in the built form and enhanced green infrastructure.

3.4 The District will have grown in population with a larger Yeovil and expanded market towns based on its economic, cultural and educational strengths, and will continue to protect its distinctive urban and rural environments and high landscape character areas reflected in the high number of Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings. The growth will have been achieved in conjunction with the infrastructure provision needed to make it happen, and to service it once built, over the 20 year period of the Plan and at a scale supported by the wider community. The housing to accommodate this growth will be of the highest standard that people are pleased with and can afford (either to buy or rent), and which improves their quality of life. An improved environment for business, better wages and better quality housing, both private and public sector, will have provided a better and more equitable standard of living and fostered more socially inclusive communities throughout the District. Businesses will be attracted from further afield to South Somerset through inward investment promotion and the improved economic assets of the District.

3.5 Yeovil will be the prime economic driver within the District (and for parts of West Dorset) with a stronger employment base and more high tech and quality businesses. The town will be attractive to existing and new businesses and workers through continuing investment and promotion of its existing manufacturing and service bases. Encouragement of new businesses in support of aerospace and other high tech industries will assist in providing a more resilient, diverse, higher wage economy with low carbon use.

3.6 Yeovil will be better linked to the District's market towns and within itself through more integrated and sustainable public transport. The town will be attractive for residents, workers, students and visitors with ever improving higher education facilities including university level courses and better health care. A more vibrant town centre with quality retailing on offer (but not at the expense of the market towns' retail roles) and expanded night time economy will have been achieved.

3.7 The Yeovil Eco Town urban extension will be established and act as an exemplar for the benefits of more sustainable living with local job and service self sufficiency, better quality and more desired housing, a high level of attractive open space and parkland and all with zero carbon impact.

3.8 South Somerset's Market Towns and Rural Centres will provide the basis of the thriving regenerated and diversified economy outside Yeovil. These places will have retained their distinctiveness and continue to provide a focus for their surrounding areas. The settlement hierarchy and strategy established in this Core Strategy, by building on settlements' existing facilities and functions, will have secured their continued vibrancy and service provision. A better balance of jobs to housing will be evident. The significant growth identified in this plan for Chard will have addressed physical constraints to growth, economic regeneration and prosperity and moved the town to a higher level of service provision with much improved facilities throughout the town and better job opportunities. The growth (including visitor growth) proposed at the other Market Towns and Rural Centres will provide economic regeneration and better housing and, with the maintenance and enhancement of commercial and community services across the District, allow for better access for all. The mix of housing, employment and associated land uses in these places will promote greater settlement self containment.

3.9 A viable agricultural and rural economy will have been supported through policies supporting village development for local provision of jobs, facilities and affordable housing and greater growth where a sustainable case can be made. Farm diversification and more diverse local employment opportunities and support for tourism and tourism accommodation and attractions will also support a better experience of rural living, as will the ability to live and work from home.

3.10 The Council's commitment to reducing the impact of climate change will be demonstrated by the eco town and by the wider application of reduced CO2 emission targets for new development throughout the District along with development secured throughout the District at the highest practical levels of sustainability, whilst development in areas of high flood risk will have been avoided.