Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Yeovil Employment Land Requirement

5.49 To be delivered through the Core Strategy 2006-2026 - 51 hectares

Gross Need - 51ha
Supply         - 38.78ha
Net Need     - 12.22 ha

5.50 In Yeovil, the identified requirement through the Employment Land Review (ELR) is for 51 ha of gross employment land, 23ha of which will be in the Urban Extension. This is set out in more detail within the figure below. The Urban Extension is proposed to follow Eco Town principles, meaning that the development will comprise much higher, minimum standards than would normally be required and so this high level of employment land is provided on the basis that as a driver of change, the Eco Town needs to act as an exemplar and it is important to ensure that there is sufficient employment land for those persons living there, to encourage them to live and work in close proximity should they so desire. The planning process can only provide the land for a place designed along eco-town standards but sustainable living is about encouraging a shift in lifestyle for those who choose it and thus it is necessary to provide employment opportunities for people who want to live more sustainably through living and working in close proximity.

5.51 In addition to the Eco Town requirement, 28ha of land is required to support the rest of Yeovil with employment. There is currently a supply of approximately 39ha, leaving no quantitative shortfall for the LDF period up to 2026. Land off Bunford Lane (Saved Local Plan Proposal ME/WECO/1) will deliver a high quality business park, which is strategically significant for the District (see Policy EP1).

5.52 The Yeovil Urban Area net need figure of 12.22 hectares is not considered a prescriptive or inflexible figure but instead represents a minimum target to which Yeovil should aspire. Further land and premises with potential to accommodate employment development maybe expected to become available during the plan period and where appropriate these will be supported. The proposed Eco-town extension will be the main location for the identification of additional employment land. Other sites over and above existing supply and new Eco-town provision maybe appropriate to ensure a suitable range of sites will be available. These should be located within the framework of the town and can be delivered through the Development Management process. This approach reflects Yeovil’s importance as the main economic driver within the District.

5.53 The amount of employment land required for 4,500 dwellings within the urban area of Yeovil is 28ha and for the 3,700 dwellings to be located in the urban extension is 23ha. These are gross figures without regard for existing supply and are derived by:

  1. estimating population likely to occupy the dwellings;
  2. converting this population to economically active persons;
  3. splitting the economically active persons between B class employment and non-B class (non-industrial) employment (land provision for non B class employment is not being sought as part of Policies SS5 and YV2);
  4. for B class employment, converting each job into an estimated amount of employment floorspace (with a different conversion factor for different types of employment, ie light industrial, general and warehousing);
  5. converting employment floorspace into wider employment land requirement by established floorspace to employment plot ratios.
The Employment Land Review (ELR) sets out this process and associated figures in detail.

5.54 Whilst some of the new residents in Yeovil will work outside Yeovil the high self containment of the town and high propensity for inward commuting from the wider Travel to Work area to Yeovil town makes provision to accommodate all economically active persons appropriate. The aspiration for self containment in the urban extension similarly justifies this assumption.

5.55 The saved Local Plan allocation at Bunford Lane will contribute towards meeting the gross land requirement as will other existing sites.