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

Comment ID 1170
Document Section South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18) Rural Centres Brewham Road Text Block View all on this section
Respondent Origin3 View all by this respondent
Response Date 18 Oct 2019
Attachments
Comment

It is clear that Bruton as a Rural Centre is a sustainable location for development, suitable for accommodating additional housing growth during the Local Plan Review plan period. Additional housing development at Bruton would support existing services, facilities and businesses, and enhance the vitality of the community.

Our client’s site at Land South of Brewham Road, Bruton should be identified as a housing allocation for 60 dwellings within the emerging South Somerset Local Plan Review. The site is in close proximity to the centre of Bruton where a number of key services and facilities are readily available andaccessible. The site is well related in a functional manner to the edge of the settlement and has no statutory designation constraints.

An Outline planning application (ref. 19/00655/OUT) for 60 dwellings on Land South of Brewham Road is currently pending determination. The planning application is supported by a full suite of site specific technical reports and documentation covering such disciplines as drainage, highways, landscape and ecology which all demonstrate that the application site is suitable and deliverable in accommodating new residential development on the site. The technical responses to application are summarised below:

Published alongside the Local Plan Review Preferred Options document in District Executive committee papers dated 7th February 2019, was a report which summarises the points arising from the Issues and Options Consultation and Officer’s responses to submitted representations.

The report incorrectly notes in respect of a potential resident growth options to the south of Brewham Road that the “field offers relatively limited opportunity given the presence of Flood Zone 2 and a buffer to the watercourse would probably be required”. As noted above, the submitted planning application is supported by a full suite of site specific technical reports including a site specific Flood Risk Assessment which demonstrates the contrary confirming the site can comfortably accommodate housing development.

The current planning application seeks to locate all new residential development outside of the existing flood plain. The Environment Agency and Somerset County Council Flood Risk Management Team were consulted in respect of the current planning application and have both confirmed they hold no objection in-principle to the site being developed for residential development in respect of flood risk and drainage matters.

Our client is a bespoke housebuilder with a proven track record for delivery across the South West and would fully intend to deliver the scheme themselves. Subject to planning they would intend to deliver housing on the site within the next 5 years. Acorn have existing commitments in Somerset with live sites at Bruton, Frome, Bath and Wedmore which clearly demonstrates the housebuilders credential

Given that councils are expected to maintain a five-year supply of deliverable housing land and the Housing Delivery Test imposes penalties on councils where delivery is below the annual housing target, it is now more important than ever to ensure a constant supply of readily available sites. The site at South of Brewham Road is suitable, available and achievable for residential development within the next five years in a highly sustainable settlement which benefits from access to a variety of local services and community facilities. The Council’s latest HELAA identifies the site as suitable,  achievable, available and deliverable with no significant constraints on growth (HELAA Ref: E/BRUT/0006).

The consultation process for the pending Outline planning application has demonstrated that there are no technical constraints in developing the site at Land South of Brewham Road for a residential development of 60 dwellings. The site is therefore a credible and deliverable housing option to support the required level of growth identified for Bruton and South Somerset over the plan period.

Land South of Brewham Road should therefore be included in the emerging South Somerset Local  Plan Review as a housing allocation for Bruton. The site will deliver an additional 60 dwellings which would result in a minimum housing requirement of 212 dwellings in Bruton over the plan period,  or 10.6 per annum. This is a deliverable and achievable housing requirement that would better reflect the settlement’s role, function and sustainability credentials. The additional homes would also support local businesses, improve self-containment and deliver much needed affordable housing over the plan period.

In conclusion, we welcome this next step of the Local Plan process and the opportunity to work closely with the Council to bring forward the delivery of this site within the new Plan.

The identification of Bruton as a Rural Centre in Policy SS1: Settlement Strategy is supported.

The provision of additional housing development in sustainable locations such as Bruton which allow the settlement to grow and expand is supported, however the number of new homes required in Bruton in Policy SS2: Delivering New Housing Growth should be increased to a minimum of 212 dwellings to reflect the role and function of the settlement, support local business, allow for the delivery of affordable housing and improve the overall self-containment of Bruton over the plan period.

Land South of Brewham Road is the subject of a pending Outline planning application. The consultation process for the planning application has demonstrated that there are no technical constraints in developing the site for a residential development of 60 dwellings.

Land South of Brewham Road is a credible and deliverable housing option and presents a suitable, sustainable location to direct new development. The site is available for development immediately.

Land South of Brewham Road, Bruton should be identified as a housing allocation for 60 dwellings and Bruton’s housing requirement should be increased to 212 new homes between 2016-2036.