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

Comment ID 1950
Document Section South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18) Rural Centres Land to the north of Coat Road Text Block View all on this section
Respondent LVA View all by this respondent
Agent GreensladeTaylor- Polley
Response Date 18 Sep 2019
Attachments
Comment

3.1 The site extends to approximately 22.82 acres and has road frontage and access off Coat Road. The site is currently used as grassland (permanent pasture), identified as agricultural land classification 3a.

3.2 The site is bounded by native species hedgerows and comprises two fields. The smaller of the two fields is proposed for allocation within the South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18) under policy MB1.

3.3 Residential development adjoins the site to the east, Coat Road adjoins the site to the south and the former railway to the north. To the west of the site is open countryside.

3.4 The site is relatively unconstrained and is not subject to any heritage, environmental or landscape designations. The whole site is located within Flood Zone 1.

3.5 There is no relevant planning history recorded on the South Somerset District Council website, on the land. The northern parcel of land to the east of the site has outline planning consent for 25 dwellings. The Council originally refused planning permission but consent was granted on appeal in February 2018.

3.6 The site is assessed under the 2018 Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment 2018 as site N/MART/0032 and N/MART/0033. N/MART/0032 is allocated for housing whereas N/MART/0033 is not allocated within the South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18).

3.7 The site is located on the western edge of the village of Martock which has been allocated as a Rural Centre in the adopted Local Plan and this status is continued within the Local Plan Review.

Image 1 – Allocation MB1 outlined black with additional land outlined red

3.8 Martock is one of the more sustainable villages in the district benefiting from a range of shops and services, a primary school, a recreation ground, health services and access to Yeovil and Taunton by public transport.

3.9 Growth for the village is planned to the east of the settlement with an allocation for in the region of 210 homes across three allocated sites.

4.0 SITE CONSTRAINTS & PLANNING ASSESSMENT

4.1 The site is identified as falling within a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone but otherwise has no statutory land-based designation (e.g. AONB, SSSI, SAC etc.).

4.2 The site does not present any physical constraints to development, other than the provision of a suitable access to the land.

4.3 With regard to access, it is anticipated that a new junction will be formed with Coat Road along the southern boundary of the land.

4.4 The site is located in a sustainable location within convenient walking or cycling distance of the various services, facilities, employment opportunities and public transport links within the Rural Centre, such that genuine sustainable transport options will be available for future residents.

4.5 The land is within Flood Zone 1, with a low probability of flooding from all sources, and appears to be relatively free draining. The landowners are not aware of any local issues with surface water flows that might otherwise prevent development from taking place.

4.6 The landowners have not undertaken detailed service enquiries but it is understood that all mains services are available in the vicinity for potential connection. The landowners are not aware of any mains service media crossing the land that might be an impediment to development.

4.7 The land has been in agricultural use for many years and there is no evidence on site or in the historic mapping record to suggest that potentially contaminative activities may have taken place in the past.

4.8 Ecology should not represent a major constraint to development. The land has been actively farmed over many years and other than the established hedgerow network and possible presence of species within the general area, the land is considered to have limited ecological potential.

4.9 It is anticipated that a suitable design layout may be achieved to minimise impact of development upon neighbouring residents, particularly in terms of overlooking, overshadowing, and overbearing impact.

4.10 Whilst we are pleased to see that part of the site is allocated within policy MB1 we object to the omission of the field immediately adjoining the allocation to the west (HELAA Reference N/MART/0033) as part of the allocation.

4.11 Policy MB1 allocated the smaller field for in the region of 55 dwellings. We propose that the adjoining field is included within allocation MB1. The additional land will result in an uplift in dwelling numbers and will allow for a lower density pattern of development, more suited to this edge of village location with additional areas of public open space. A buffer would be included along the western boundary of the site to ensure the separation between Martock and Coat is maintained.

4.12 The inclusion of the additional field is justified and would ensure that the local plan is effective and positively prepared, and would contribute towards the Council meeting the area’s objectively assessed needs.

4.13 Other than the items noted above there are not considered to be any unusual costs or encumbrances associated with the development of this land for housing and as such is ready and available for housing development.

4.14 We would also like to confirm the site is available, suitable and achievable. The site is available for development now and we consider that development is achievable with the prospect of development commencing on site within five years if approved. As outlined within this representation the site is considered suitable for residential development.

4.15 Given the above we consider that the site is deliverable and developable.

5.3 Our client is supportive of Policy MB1 – Housing Provision North of Coat Road which allocates the site for residential development, to provide about 55 dwellings, including 29% affordable housing; and public open space. Nonetheless, we wish to object to the omission of the field immediately adjoining the allocation to the west. It is considered that both parcels of land should be brought forward together. It is considered that the western field can be developed without harming the landscape and whilst maintaining separation from the hamlet of Coat. Furthermore the target of 55 new homes on the site should be a minimum target to ensure that the policy is positively prepared, in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 35 of the NPPF.

5.4 The landowners have confirmed that they have unencumbered title to the land, that they are not aware of any legal constraints that would inhibit development for housing, and that the land is available for housing development within the Plan period.

5.5 In conclusion, the land is considered to be suitable, available and deliverable for housing development within the Plan period 2016 to 2036.