Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

The Vision for 2028

'South Somerset will be a thriving, attractive and affordable place to live and work in. It will be a far more sustainable place with more self sufficient towns with much better public transport links within and between them, therefore more and better community facilities will be available in each of them. The move to a low carbon economy and low carbon living will have been secured together with adaptation to the changing climate of warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers expressed through appropriate changes in the built form and enhanced green infrastructure.
The District will have grown in population with a larger Yeovil and expanded market towns based on economic, cultural and educational strengths. There will be continued protection of distinctive urban and rural environments. The growth in population will be matched with growth in the economy in conjunction with the infrastructure provision needed to make this happen.
Residents will have greater opportunities to lead active and healthier lifestyles through greater access to open space and leisure opportunities and to facilities, services and jobs, without reliance on the car. The area will have a low crime rate and people will feel safe and happy in their environment.
New homes will be of the highest standard of design and locally distinctive. People can afford to either buy or rent and will want to live in these homes which can improve their quality of life, health and well-being. There will be economic growth in business and better wages will provide a more equitable standard of living and foster more socially inclusive communities throughout the district. Through promotion of the district, new inward investment will be attracted to South Somerset.
Yeovil will be the prime economic driver within the District and beyond, with a strong employment base and more high-tech and quality businesses. The town will have a better public transport network and be better linked to the District's Market Towns. The town will be attractive for residents, workers, students and visitors. The workforce will be more highly skilled and motivated with improving higher education facilities including university level courses. Retailing will flourish in a thriving town centre which supports rather than competes with the role of the Market Towns. The night time economy in the town will flourish with quality social and leisure opportunities.
The Yeovil Sustainable Urban Extension will be established and act as an exemplar of the benefits of more sustainable living with local job and service self sufficiency, high quality design of buildings, a high level of attractive open space, leisure facilities and parkland. These aspirations are in accordance with the aims of Paragraph 52 of the NPPF which refers to large-scale extensions to settlements following the principles of 'Garden Cities'[1].
South Somerset's Market Towns and Rural Centres will provide the basis of the thriving regenerated and diversified economy outside Yeovil. These places will have retained their distinctiveness and continue to provide a focus for their surrounding areas. They will have built upon their existing roles and functions and be thriving and vibrant places offering quality housing, job opportunities and a range of services to meet the needs of their communities and visitors and be more self-sufficient and with a better balance of jobs to dwellings.
The significant growth identified for Chard[2] will have addressed physical constraints to growth, economic regeneration and prosperity and moved the town to a higher level of service provision with much improved facilities throughout the town and better job opportunities.
The growth proposed at the other Market Towns and Rural Centres will provide economic regeneration, better housing and, with the maintenance and enhancement of commercial and community services across the District, allowing better access for all. The mix of employment, housing and associated land uses in these places will promote greater settlement self-containment.
Villages and smaller settlements will be able to provide for local provision of jobs, facilities and the affordable housing that they need which brings benefits to the rural economy. Farm diversification, more diverse local employment opportunities and support for tourism, tourism accommodation and attractions will also support a better experience of rural living, as will the ability to live and work from home through improved broadband provision.
South Somerset will have retained a viable agricultural base with high quality local food production reducing the need for imports and food miles.
Commitment to reducing the impact of climate change will be demonstrated by achieving high quality design and by the wider application of reduced CO2 emission targets for new development. Sustainable new development within Yeovil Urban Village (Summerhouse Village) and within the Sustainable Urban Extension will provide exemplar development to act as a driver for change and innovation in design and energy efficiency. Focus will be on economic and housing growth in the most sustainable locations, avoiding areas of high flood risk.'

3.5 The next section sets out the Settlement Strategy and the settlement hierarchy through which the Vision is to be implemented. The settlement strategy and hierarchy are fundamental to the delivery of the economic growth on which this Local Plan is based.

1. NPPF (March 2012) Paragraph 52 and Re-imaging Garden Cities for the 21st Century, TCPA July 2011 [back]
2. Chard Regeneration Framework, Implementation Plan LDA 2010 [back]