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

Comment ID 1984
Document Section South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18) Rural Centres Land north of Troubridge Park Text Block View all on this section
Respondent Galliford Try on behalf of Cli… View all by this respondent
Response Date 18 Sep 2019
Attachments
Comment

Representations on behalf of Galliford Try Partnerships South
West (Developer) and the Rev DGH Young, JJH Young Esq and
PW Young Esq (Landowners) in respect of land at Ilchester

1.1 Clive Miller Planning Ltd has been instructed by the landowner and developer
to review and submit representations in respect of the Preferred Options. The
developer is currently involved in the delivery of 150 houses approved on the
northern edge of Ilchester and is working in partnership with the landowner to
promote and deliver further tranches of development in this part of the town.

1.2 The landowner/developer partnership is committed to working collaboratively
with the local community and the District Council to ensure that the optimum
form of development and associated community infrastructure can be
delivered in response to community aspirations.

1.3 In summary, the landowner and developer support;
- the proposed scale and distribution of housing and employment land across
the district;
- the general location of the proposed land allocations on the northern edge of
Ilchester for 200 additional dwellings on 8.5 hectares and 1 hectare of land for
employment purposes; and
- the status of Ilchester as a Rural Centre and its acknowledged importance as
a settlement in its own right as well as the strategic importance of a centre
which adjoins the A303 Trunk Road and RNAS Yeovilton.

2. Background

2.1 The Parish Council and local community have previously agreed that it is
important to sustain and enhance Ilchester’s role as a Rural Centre with an
appropriate amount of development on the northern side, subject to the
provision of critical infrastructure projects including; distributor road
connections with the existing and approved housing estates and the Old Fosse
Way, surgery, community facilities, school provision, town centre parking etc.
The council also has expressed concern that because of the unusual twin
focus in the geography of the town, careful regard needs to be had to ensure,
as housing development continues, that a balance in facilities, businesses and
retailing etc remains between the historic core and the northern part.

2.2 The proposed scale of development in the Preferred Options will not, however,
enable the delivery of all the desired highway infrastructure improvements. The
two ‘option’ plans submitted with these comments, the Constraints and
Opportunities Plan, and the indicative Wider Master Plan for adjoining land
from which these options are derived, that a new access from the B3151 can
be achieved, together with several new road connections to the approved
development to the south. Option 2, which has developed from Option 1, is our
strongly preferred Option. It follows the SSDC preferred Option Plan as closely
as practicably possible, enables the extension of the open space area to the
south and allows for the extensive structural planting to take place beyond the
land allocated.

2.3 In the previous Issues and Options consultation on the local plan, land on both
sides of the old Fosse Way were identified as possible sites. In the event that
all this land is progressively allocated for development in future phases, this
will enable the construction of a distributor road and allow for the provision of
various community requirements such as achieving transport related
improvements, providing space for community needs such as a scout hut,
open spaces etc at appropriate stages in the development process.

2.4 It is clear that the land owned by the Young family is the only readily
developable and deliverable land adjoining the town; this land also benefits
from an active and committed development partner with a strong social value
in Galliford Try Partnerships. So, it is proposed that the land allocation in the
current plan review is reshaped in order that it can fit into a longer term master
plan for the entire area, thus ensuring that the longer term opportunities to
provide community benefits are not lost or compromised in any way.

3. Suggested amendments to the Local Plan

3.1 The appended Option 2 Plan shows a rearranged housing/employment
allocation with access off the B3151, including the same amounts of land as
proposed in the Preferred Options. The changes include placing the
employment land adjoining the A303 and adjoining the start of a proposed distributor road. This has the dual benefit of automatically providing access and servicing to the employment plots whilst also providing a buffer between the proposed housing and the A303, which is in a deep cutting at this point. It also enables this next phase of development to be connected at various points with the approved development to the south and the existing estate adjoining, where the suggested layout provides for vehicle and pedestrian routes. In the short term, before a distributor road is built to connect with the Old Fosse Way, this will enable a significant amount of existing estate traffic to enter and leave by these new routes, as development proceeds and the connections are made.

3.2 The allocation has also been reshaped in order to be compatible with possible
future land allocations both to the west and east of the Old Fosse Way. The
ways in which development on these areas of land could unfold have been
shown on our submitted indicative master plan which is included as
background information in order to ensure that future development is not
compromised.

3.3 A detailed point is raised by the inclusion in the Options plan of land adjoining
the existing farm complex on the Old Fosse Way. At the appropriate stage of
development advancing eastwards, it would be necessary to decommission
the farm buildings, at which point they would become available for conversion
and/or redevelopment and could include an element of community or other
uses. Depending on exactly how the final land allocation is drawn, the
landowner/developer partnership can confirm that the farm buildings could be
made available for re-use/redevelopment at a much earlier stage in the
implementation of the plan.

3.4 It will be noted that the opportunity has also been taken to identify the likely
finite boundary of developable land to the north-east where structural
landscaping could be provided as part of the development of the land allocated
in the local plan review and implemented at the earliest possible stage in the
development process.

3.5 Unless the amount of housing and employment land for Ilchester is increased,
it is the case that not all developable land between the B3151 and the Old
Fosse Way can be allocated. So the remaining land in this location and east of
the Old Fosse Way is suggested to be stated in the written text as being
earmarked for later phases of development, thus ensuring and demonstrating
that a comprehensive rather than a piecemeal approach is being taken and
ensuring that all necessary community infrastructure and facilities can be
delivered in a planned way. This has significant advantages over making
smaller piecemeal allocations which individually cannot deliver such significant
community and infrastructure benefits. The landowner/developer is maintaining
a close dialogue with the parish council in these respects and this will continue
as the local plan process unfolds.

4. Conclusions

4.1 Progress with delivering the permitted development on the north side of
Ilchester by the single landowner/developer partnership is continuing, with a
start on site expected immediately the current reserved matters application is
approved. Likely build out rates mean that the developer will be able to
continue with additional development as soon as the new plan is adopted.

4.2 The allocation of land within the estate of a single landowner family having an
established development partnership with a significant national housing
developer offers considerable reassurance to the local plan process that
allocations made here will be deliverable early in the plan period.

4.3 The two options presented illustrate different ways the 9.5ha site could be
allocated. Given the form of ongoing development to the south of the proposed
allocation and the need for increased access and east-west connectivity,
Option 2 is considered the optimum boundary. Notwithstanding this, both
options will provide new much needed highway connections for new and
existing and residents.

4.4 If delivered as part of a longer term master plan for the wider area on the north
side of Ilchester, it will ensure that the needs and aspirations of the local
community for this important rural centre can be fulfilled and the
landowner/developer partnership is committed to continuing to work with the
local community to achieve these during the current local plan period and
beyond.

4.5 This area on the north side of Ilchester is not only the optimum location for
future development, free of any overriding development constraints, but has
the distinct advantage of being in a single family ownership and already
included within a partnership agreement with a national housing developer with
the expertise and capacity to deliver such developments, including necessary
on and off site infrastructure.

4.6 Inclusion of the proposed allocation in the local plan, together with
identification of successive phases of development here, can be viewed as
being available and readily developable and unlike some other suggested
allocations elsewhere, be completely free from any obstacles to
implementation or risks that development will not be achieved or be delayed.

4.7 In the event that the council has any concerns about the deliverability of other
market town and rural centre sites allocated in the local plan, there will be the
opportunity of increasing the scale of development proposed here in the
knowledge that such allocations can be readily delivered, would be
commensurate with the strategic importance of Ilchester and have the benefit
of bringing forward community and infrastructure benefits at an earlier stage.

4.8 We will be pleased to have a continuing dialogue with the Planning Policy
team and the local community as the draft plan is being finalised and to
provide any additional background information which might be required.