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

Comment ID 91
Document Section Main Modifications Policy YV3: East Coker and North Coker Buffer Zone Content View all on this section
Respondent Wessex Farm Trust View all by this respondent
Response Date 10 Oct 2014

The original purpose of the Buffer Zone was to provide clear separation between a large single urban extension to Yeovil, and the villages of East Coker and North Coker.

The scale of the development now proposed to the south of Yeovil has been reduced from 2,500 to 800 dwellings, and the proposed built development is now sited in an area which the previous Inspector referred to on Page 459 of his June 2003 Report as follows:

"I do not believe that development on this land would lead to actual or perceived coalescence between the main built-up area of Yeovil and the nearby villages. Sufficient physical and visual separation would remain."

On this basis, we therefore consider that the Buffer Zone now serves no purpose and should be deleted as proposed.

Furthermore, the proposal to remove the Buffer Zone is consistent with the National Planning Practice Guidance paragraph entitled: 'How does Local Green Space designation relate to development?' (Paragraph 007, Reference ID 37-007-20140306), which states:

"Designating any Local Green Space will need to be consistent with local planning for sustainable development in the area. In particular, plans must identify sufficient land in suitable locations to meet identified developmet needs and Local Green Space designations should not be used in a way that undermines the aim of plan making."

Also of relevance is the NPPG paragraph entitled 'How big can a Local Green Space be?' (Paragraph 015, Reference ID 37-015-20140306), which states:

"...Local Green Space designation should only be used where the green area concenred is not an extensive tract of land. Consequently 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 acheive what would amount to a new area of Green Belt by another name."

In conclusion, Wessex Farms Trust supports the deletion of Policy YV3, the deletion of the Buffer Zone from Inset Map 15, and the deletion of associated referencs from the supporting text.