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

Comment ID 1328
Document Section South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18) Delivering Sustainable Development Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development Text Block View all on this section
Respondent Barry James PHSW View all by this respondent
Response Date 19 Aug 2019

The Proposed Vision provides for a mixture of growth and improvement in the District:

South Somerset will be a thriving, attractive, healthy and socially inclusive place to live, work, study and visit. A place where businesses flourish and become more productive, communities are safe, vibrant and healthy, where residents enjoy good housing and cultural, leisure and sporting activities. It will have sustainable, low carbon towns with enhanced infrastructure of all types and improved public transport links. The District will have high quality distinctive, historic, urban and rural environments, with vital and vibrant town centres with regeneration plans in Yeovil, Chard and Wincanton successfully accomplished. It will have a prosperous and productive economy building on existing strengths and provide a choice of high quality housing options for all. Inequality between urban and rural areas will be reduced with improved digital accessibility. The role of South Somerset as a gateway to the South West will be enhanced. 

The Strategic Objectives that support the delivery of the Vision are wide ranging and cover the essential areas the Plan will be required to consider. In particular
“1. Delivering a sufficient supply of homes” sets the framework for delivering new homes, and “7. Making effective use of land” indicates that development will be
required to maximise the efficiency of how sites are planned.

Strategic Objective 9: “Meeting the challenge of climate change and flooding” makes reference to climate change and apart from “minimising the impact on the
environment” it does not refer to dealing with flooding. South Somerset District Council is part of the Somerset Rivers Authority and flood management in
Somerset is an important consideration. There is a clear links to how SUDS are dealt with as part of new developments. Somerset County Council has adopted
“West of England Sustainable Drainage Developer Guide Section 1” in March 2015. This document was produced in conjunction with partners (Bath and North
East Somerset, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council) and should be afforded weight when reviewing existing policies/producing new policies.

As the review of the Local Plan is an important opportunity to embed this SUDS guidance in planning policy, it should be noted that a further bespoke Somersetspecific
guide (“Section 2”) is to be produced to the advice noted in 3.3 above. The reviewed Local Plan should make reference to this and ensure that policies allow for it to be taken into account when determining planning applications in the future.

There are some typos in paragraph 3.9 (“polices” instead of “policies”).

Paragraph 4.3 refers to the NPPF’s role in indicating that the development plan is the “starting point” for decision making. There is primary legislation – the
Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, Section 38 (6) – which is the starting point. If there is reference to a starting point this paragraph should refer
to the primary legislation, or add a footnote to it.

Paragraphs 4.5 and 4.6 are important for setting out the context of Neighbourhood Plans and how they interact with the Local Plan. However, the
wording is slightly convoluted and could be clearer. It is suggested a review of the wording of both paragraphs is undertaken to make them easier to

Policy SD1 – it is suggested that there is a consistent reference to the NPPF (not just “Framework” as in point 1 of section iii), to ensure it is as clear as