Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

6 Market Towns - Vision and Proposals

6.1 There are seven Market towns within South Somerset established by the findings of the South Somerset Settlement Role and Function Study[1] and the outcomes of the engagements in earlier stages of the plan process with town and parish councils and other interested parties. These are the settlements that should be able to play an important role in providing jobs and services for their residents and the residents of the surrounding countryside. They should be the focal point of locally significant development including the bulk of provision outside Yeovil.

6.2 The seven identified settlements are Ansford/Castle Cary, Chard, Crewkerne, Ilminster, Langport/Huish Episcopi, Somerton and Wincanton. The settlement hierarchy section above identifies a split between the 4 Primary Market towns of Chard, Crewkerne, Ilminster and Wincanton and the other three Local Market towns.

6.3 The Market town category has been split to ensure that the smaller towns of Ansford/Castle Cary, Langport/Huish Episcopi and Somerton are recognised as Local market towns with a level of growth more commensurate to their smaller size.

6.4 It is considered that whilst the local communities of Ansford/Castle Cary, Langport/ Huish Episcopi and Somerton have expressed a desire for a lower status than market town they clearly wish to maintain the community facilities already available in the settlements. Market town status and a commensurate scale of growth are considered to be the mechanism to help ensure that these facilities are maintained.

6.5 The key issues, aspirations, challenges and indications of what the Local plan will deliver for each settlement are discussed below under the separate headings of Primary Market town and Local Market town.

1. South Somerset Settlement Role and Function Study [back]