Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Local Issues

  • National and regional population projects indicate that through natural growth and internal migration there will be significant new demand for housing over the plan period. (Census 2001 and Mid Year updates);
  • The high cost of housing is pricing a growing section of society out of the housing market, stressing the need for more affordable housing. (Strategic Housing Market Assessment, 2009);
  • Over the years Chard has grown in a piecemeal fashion rather than as part of a strategic and planned approach;
  • South Somerset Local Plan allocation KS/CHAR/1 has failed to be delivered therefore not bringing forward proposed new housing, employment and community facilities and supporting infrastructure;
  • A number of the traditional industries within Chard are in decline and currently the office market is weak, primarily supplying small office suites of converted accommodation occupied by local firms. (Chard Regeneration Plan);
  • There have been a number of schemes brought forward in recent years, which has resulted in the loss of employment land and community and leisure facilities have not kept pace. (Chard Regeneration Plan & SSDC Employment Land Review – Stage 2, 2009);
  • Lack of immediately available employment land. (SSDC Employment Land Review – Stage 2, 2009);
  • Chard has a low skill/low wage employment profile therefore there is scope for developing a strategy for improving the basic skills base in the town. (Chard Regeneration Plan);
  • As a destination for shoppers and people seeking leisure activities, it is losing out to nearby towns such as Taunton and Yeovil where there are more higher value retailers. (Chard Regeneration Plan);
  • Traffic problems are a growing concern with certain elements of the town’s highway network at or near capacity particularly the Convent traffic signals and Church Street. In order to accommodate further growth the creation of an alternative route between the A358 Furnham Road and the A358 Tatworth Road is required (Chard Regeneration Plan);
  • Utilities infrastructure will have to be changed and improved to accommodate growth. (Chard Regeneration Plan);
  • The Index of Multiple Deprivation, 2004 shows that some areas in Chard are amongst the 20% most deprived in the UK.