Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

What will the Core Strategy Deliver?

6.13 The South Somerset Role and Function Study (April 2009) identifies Castle Cary/Ansford as performing an employment function and identified retail and community role for the town and surrounding area. Castle Cary/Ansford is designated a Market Town in this Core Strategy and such designation will enable the settlement to grow and continue to expand its identified role.

6.14 To maintain the town’s service role, Castle Cary/Ansford is expected to deliver 500 new dwellings over the plan period. Existing commitments of 238 dwellings (October 2009), leaves a further 262 dwellings to be accommodated over the plan period. The additional level of growth reflects the town’s role and function within the District’s settlement hierarchy.

6.15 This level of provision will support the town centre business role and help support community facilities such as the local secondary school and health provision.

6.16 The outcome of the Employment Land Review Stage 3 (ELR) of Castle Cary/Ansford is summarised below.

Castle Cary/Ansford
To be delivered through the Core Strategy 2006-2026 – 3.0 hectares
Gross Need - 2.86ha
Supply         - 10.09ha
Net Need     - 0ha

6.17 To support an additional 500 dwellings over the plan period there is a need for approximately 3 hectares of employment land in Castle Cary/Ansford. Since the start of the plan period in 2006, there has been approximately 9ha of employment land already delivered in the town through the building of the Royal Canin pet food factory on saved Local Plan allocation ME/CACA/I in 2008. This is not something that would readily be repeated, and artificially ‘inflates’ the employment land figures, therefore to aid the self-containment of the settlement and provide employment opportunities for inhabitants of Castle Cary and Ansford the Core Strategy should deliver approximately 3 hectares of employment land. The 3 hectares is required in order to provide Castle Cary/Ansford with opportunities for employment growth outside the expansion of employment on the Royal Canin site .

6.18 Sustainability Appraisal of Castle Cary/Ansford identifies three areas as potential locations for strategic growth. Option 1 is located to the north of Torbay Road, and east and west of Station Road; Option 2 is located to the north of Ansford Hill and Ansford School; and Option 3 is located to the south of Ansford School & Solomans Lane.

6.19 The Sustainability Appraisal concludes that Option 1 has the advantages of being well related to existing employment opportunities and the town centre. This Option is only a medium distance from both primary and secondary school provision and is located on land which will have the least impact on the periphery landscape. Option 2 is well related to the secondary school and has opportunities to link with the town's train station. However, this Option has negative impact on a landscape of high value and for this reason is not a preferred location for growth. Option 3 is again well related to Ansford School and the town centre. This Option is a medium distance from the primary school and health provision. All Options will result in a loss of greenfield land and have a negative impact on feeding grounds for bat populations in the local area. Option 1 is the preferred option and is shown with the alternatives on the Proposals Plan and greater detail on determination of the appropriate Option of development is contained in the Sustainability Appraisal explanation of the Report.

6.20 The South Somerset Retail Capacity Study update (2010) indicates that the ability to significantly increase the amount of comparison goods floorspace for Castle Cary/Ansford will be constrained by its size, natural catchment area and level of commercial market interest. Orientated towards a top-up food shopping function, in principle, it would be beneficial to increase the level of retention of main/bulk-food shopping trips. However, like the comparison retail sector, the natural catchment and expenditure capacity of the centre will limit the potential for large-scale additional provision and there will also be concerns over the impact on existing retail provision. Therefore, for both convenience and comparison retailing, a general strategic approach for Castle Cary/Ansford is recommended which acknowledges the need to retain shopping trips within the town and supports proposals that increase retention via the promotion of realistic proposals.

6.21 Castle Cary Primary School has an estimated capacity of 206 places and is currently operating at full capacity. Future growth would result in an infrastructure need for further 2 to 3 classes. There are no opportunities for expansion at the current site and a new primary school would therefore be required to accommodate future substantial growth.

6.22 The South Somerset Strategic Flood Risk Assessment identifies the town centre as a location liable to flood due to surface water run off from nearby hills. Planning applications will be expected to avoid contributing to the existing flooding issue by including adequate drainage measures and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS).