South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18)

Comment ID 584
Document Section South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18) Environmental Quality Addressing Climate Change in South Somerset Text Block View all on this section
Respondent Ed Freeman View all by this respondent
Response Date 10 Sep 2019

Thank you for providing the opportunity for East Devon District Council to comment on the Preferred Options stage of your new emerging local plan. Whilst we have no specific comments to make on the professionally produced and comprehensive report we would highlight two cross-boundary issues that we would encourage you to consider in detail in respect of plan preparation as your plan progresses:

  • East Devon District Council are commissioning consultants to produce a River Axe Nutrient Management Plan. Much of the River Axe in East Devon is designated as a Special Area of Conservation and Site of Special Scientific Interest. The designated stretch of river is, however, failing to achieve good condition due to excess sedimentation and Phosphate loading. The Nutrient Management Plan will help identify means to reduce pollutants entering the river and with up-streams lengths of the river and its catchments falling in South Somerset and Dorset, and agricultural uses and built development contributing to pollution loading, we would request that as your plan progresses (and though work of your Council more generally) specific attention is placed on pollution considerations and associated planning and land management matters. Such considerations will be particularly relevant in respect of Sustainability Appraisal and more importantly through assessment under the Habitat Regulations that will need to support your plan as it progresses. As work on the River Axe Nutrient Management Plan progresses we would seek your active input and involvement in the work and we have already engaged with the Blackdown Hill AONB team.
  • This Council as committed to take positive actions in respect of the ‘Climate Change Emergency’ and as adjoining authorities, with many similar characteristics, we would welcome opportunities to explore common policy approaches and sharing of evidence around this key concern. We would encourage you, positively and actively, to take full account of carbon emission concerns in plan and policy production and, for example, to look at how we can jointly look to plan for services and delivery, where cross-authority matters arise, taking the critical consideration fully into account. For example this could be in respect of actively promoting public transport and sustainable transport options across local authority boundaries such as between the close neighbouring towns of Chard (in South Somerset) and Axminster (in East Devon).

On a more general level we wish you success in plan reparation.