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

Comment ID 1792
Document Section South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18) Rural Centres Land to the north of Wheathill Lane Text Block View all on this section
Respondent CatWoman View all by this respondent
Response Date 18 Sep 2019

In summary, I would cautiously approve of site MIPO1 subject to a number of conditions – in my view the priorities would be sensitivity to ecology, environmental and wildlife conservation, followed closely by road/access safety and other conditions. I believe the two sites should be considered as a separate location to the component that has already received outline approval.  The two sites have different owners and the remaining part of the site could only be delivered by means of a separate planning application.  However (see C2.9) I would want to ensure that the remainder of the site is used for mitigation of the environmental impact on the component that has been given outline approval and that this mitigation is maintained in any proposal put forward for development of that remainder.  A similar approach should apply to landscape impact, given the location on the periphery of the village and the excellence of the views to and from East Hill.

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. Hence, to an extent, any further development of MIPO1 will impact not only the land upon which development occurs, but also that which has already been approved for development in the adjoining field.  I would urge that the environmental or ecological mitigation plan of any future applications for the balance of MIPO1 be required to demonstrate that it accommodates both its own impact, and that presupposed in the approval of the western part of the site which was determined with the eastern part as agricultural in nature.

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.

I would urge that further consideration be given by SSDC as to whether 45 further dwellings is the right guideline expectation for the remainder of this site. I believe that any increase in this number (indeed the use of this number at all) should not be undertaken without direct linking to the conditions we have outlined.