Proposed Submission South Somerset Local Plan (2006 - 2028): Main Modifications - August 2014

3. Policy YV3: East Coker and North Coker Buffer Zone

Main Modification 10: Deletion of Policy YV3

3.1. The intention of the buffer zone set out in Policy YV3 was to preserve the character of North Coker and East Coker, and prevent coalescence with Yeovil. However, at the Local Plan Examination Hearing Session for Issue 3, the Inspector raised concerns regarding the continued justification for the buffer zone in light of the reduced scale and extent of the South Yeovil SUE.

3.2. The Council also notes how the recent Planning Practice Guidance (Paragraph: 015 Reference ID: 37-015-20140306) re-iterates Paragraph 77 of the National Planning Policy Framework in that Local Green Space designations should only be used where the green area concerned is not an extensive tract of land, and that the blanket designation of open countryside adjacent to settlements will not be appropriate. In particular, designation should not be proposed as a ‘back door’ way to try to achieve what would amount to a new area of Green Belt by another name.

3.3. Therefore, the Council is proposing to delete the East Coker and North Coker Buffer Zone from the Local Plan.  This involves a further Main Modification to delete Policy YV3 as set out in the table below; plus additional modifications to delete references to the buffer zone in the supporting text (paragraphs 5.34 and 5.50 – 5.54 of the Local Plan) and removing the buffer zone from Yeovil Inset Map 15 (Yeovil Inset Map 15).

3.4. Implication for Policy



PSSSLP Page and Policy

Main Modification


Page 78; Policy YV3

Policy YV3: East Coker and North Coker Buffer Zone

An East Coker and North Coker Buffer Zone is identified to the west of the Yeovil Sustainable Urban Extension, within which development that results in coalescence with the settlements of East Coker and North Coker and/or adversely affects the setting of historic assets is precluded. Development (not of a built form) within the Buffer Zone may be acceptable as long as the coalescence of settlements is not caused as a result nor the setting of historic assets adversely affected. Existing development within the buffer zone will require special justification to add built development beyond existing permitted development rights.

The development is compatible with features supporting bat movement; that access between feeding areas and roosts is maintained and any proposed lighting is compatible with the conservation objectives of a Natura 2000 site unless it can be proven that there would be no significant effect by the proposal.