Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Comment ID 1342
Document Section Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) Yeovil - Vision and Proposals What will the Core Strategy Deliver? Location for Urban Extension What is the Council's Preferred Option for Growth? Policy YV2 Yeovil Urban Extension [View all comments on this section]
Respondent P J Burrows [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 30 Nov 2010
What is the nature of this representation?
  • Object
4. Other Factors given Insufficient Consideration

One of the most severe detrimental impacts of a proposed Urban Extension in the East Coker/Keyford/Barwick area would be on the traffic levels in the vicinity. In this respect, my objections to a proposed major development in this area are based on several factors:

Firstly, it is noted that major road developments fall under the auspices of the Somerset County Council. They do not appear to be contributors nor underwriters to the proposed developments. In view of the immediately foreseeable economic climate, there is unlikely to be any significant road infrastructure development to accommodate these plans.

Secondly, no up to date traffic census nor forecast appears to have been carried out. For both environmental and economic reasons, such a survey is essential.

The perceived traffic patterns in the area are such that a development of the size proposed would increase traffic density in the area at which the A37 enters Yeovil and on the Hendford Hill approach to Yeovil. During peak hours, there are already significant delays and tailbacks in this area. Not only would the immediate area suffer, but so would the surrounding villages and hamlets as the small side roads would suffer greatly increased usage from vehicle traffic seeking to bypass the congested main roads.

Another major factor against the Keyford development is the consideration of flooding risk. Historically, this area is known to be prone to flooding. The increased surface runoff caused by such a major development will present a greatly increased risk of flooding during high rainfall periods. The Sustainability Appraisal appears to rate all considered areas equally in this respect.

Further, scant consideration appears to have been given to the fact that a large amount of the proposed area is Grade 1 agricultural land. The Sustainability Appraisal appears to have ignored this key factor in the stated considerations of enhancing geodiversity, biodiversity and reduction of climate change factors. Furthermore, whilst central government controls are allowing more freedom of action locally, it should still be an objective in the District Council's remit only to utilise Grade 1 land for development purposes as a last resort.

Likewise, little attention nor value appears to have been given to the landscape and historic environment in the area of East Coker/Barwick/Keyford. Whilst certain features and some historic properties of other areas receive specific mention in the Core Strategy, the likely detriment to the specially beautiful landscape in the East Coker area and the impact on this much respected area, with its abundance of historic buildings, has not been given sufficient weighting.

Again, the full details of the Sustainability Appraisal need to be made readily available with sufficient time given for full evaluation. The timescale for response to these proposals needs to be extended until the traffic survey and forecast information is available and can be evaluated.

I have endeavoured to make my observations as objective as possible and hope that the District Council will take these objections on board and re-evaluate the proposals in the light of the latest data forecasts. I then request a period of re-assessment with more time allotted for public review and a much better communication of the material evidence and process. In particular, I would kindly request that the following studies need to be completed, made publicly available (where not so already), and an appropriate review and comment period allowed before this proposal is allowed to go forward further:

DoE advice on the use of Grade 1 land;
English Heritage response to the proposals to develop East Coker;
Traffic census and forecast of the impact of proposed development;
Updated ONS forecasts for economic and housing demand;
Baker Associates research into forecast housing demand; and
Information from the proposed 2011 census would also be beneficial.

Traffic Study