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

Comment ID 1605
Document Section South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18) Rural Centres Infrastructure Text Block View all on this section
Respondent Austinus View all by this respondent
Response Date 18 Sep 2019

I understand that there is a planned extension to the existing Conservation Area and I hope that none of the planned development sites will adversely affect this aspect.

For many years, there has been a low level of employment within Milborne Port. I feel strongly that the village should continue to pursue appropriate land development for employment.  This could meet the environmental requirements by reducing the need for out-commuting?

The road infrastructure of Milborne Port is not good. It is frequently mentioned as being “unsafe” by local residents, and though there is rarely a technical analysis of why this is so, the point is widely and strongly felt.

Milborne Port has many ’bottlenecks’, especially near where the village roads connect with the A30. It is affected by a layout of both roads and houses from the 18th century and beyond, which is scarcely fit for purpose now.  

I strongly feel that any policy on future developments should fully acknowledge and address Climate Change and Sustainable Transport.  

The layout of the housing of Milborne Port, especially in the older parts of the village, means that roadside parking is inevitable, as no provision for parking off-road was made at the time of construction. The high reliance on vehicles for commuting means that Milborne Port is more than usually vehicle heavy compared to average settlements.

I do not think any future development in Milborne Port can sensibly be planned without consideration of the current utilities/facilities. Flood risk is also a huge issue for the area, mostly around the Gascoigne River.  This elicits concern regarding the impact of new construction not only at the sites being developed but also lower down. 

Neighbourhood Plan: In August 2019, the Milborne Port Parish Council approved, in principle, a proposal to develop a Neighbourhood Plan. An application in this regard will be submitted in due course to SSDC.  Milborne Port has also sought and achieved the status of a plastic free settlement, an initiative I have taken on.

I would like to see a greater commitment within the Preferred Options for the actual (not just written) implementation of Low Carbon Travel articulated in point 12.11 and policy TA1.  In specific terms related to Milborne Port, I would like to see point 12.11d being acted upon in the establishment of a safe cycle route, separate from the A30, between Milborne Port and Sherborne within the lifetime of the Plan.

With regard to provision of Affordable Housing, this is an important tool in maintaining the social integrity of any settlement. I am surprised that to date, no schemes such as Self Build/Part Self Build (such schemes exist in some Devon villages) or Community Land Trusts (as have been successfully utilised in Buckland Newton, Dorset)  have been suggested as methods for  meeting the needs of local people needing affordable local housing and for local businesses to benefit from the opportunity to gain contracts to provide good quality (traceable/accountable) housing, while providing for employment on a truly local basis.  I also would suggest working with the Milborne Port Commonalty, to increase the awareness of such opportunities and to encourage qualifying residents to register themselves as potentially interested parties.  

I believe that any plans must avoid the concreting over of the border between the two sites in order to preserve wildlife corridors and maintaining the existing public footpath which runs between the two sides of the site without the need for road crossings and in the interests of health and well-being, that the Playing Field must be maintained as a recreational facility. I would suggest that consideration should be given as to whether the site might, in part, be used for an extension of the school.  It is close to the existing school site and would have relatively good general pedestrian access particularly once the western part of the site was built.

I would urge that as many buffer zones of undeveloped land be left in place in any consideration of future plans, to provide an ongoing wildlife corridor to mitigate the impact of development on the sites.  

Environmental and Ecological Impact – The agricultural status of the undeveloped remainder of MIPO1has been used in the environmental and ecological impact mitigation plan for the component that has now received outline-approval.  

At least one of the sites has significant amounts of open and green space. Given that such a development would abut open countryside, and be the first built area in line of sight from East Hill and the Millennium Viewing Point, this issue surely is made even more important.  I also feel that the public footpath that runs along the eastern side of the outline approved component of the site, and would be at the western boundary of the remainder, should not be changed.