Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

What will the Local Plan Deliver?

Settlement Status

6.75 As set out in Policy SS1, Ilminster is classified as a Primary Market Town due to its strong employment, retail and community role[1].


6.76 It is important to sustain and enhance Ilminster's role as a Primary Market Town, with a level of development that is appropriate to the size, character, environmental constraints and accessibility of the town. The Local Plan will therefore support the development of around 531 dwellings over the plan period, up to 2028. Of these 531 dwellings, 199 are already committed[2], the residual requirement is for 332 new dwellings (see Policy PMT3: Direction of Growth, below).


6.77 Ilminster displays a strong employment role relative to other settlements, it is host to a small cluster of high-tech businesses and key employers include Powrmatic, Daido and the Dillington Estate.

6.78 As set out in Policy SS3, a minimum of 343 jobs and approximately 23 hectares of 'B' Use Class employment land should be delivered in Ilminster over the plan period, this will be in association with the Strategic Employment Sites. Ilminster's strong locational advantage, being adjacent to A303 and in close proximity to the M5, should support the delivery of these jobs, and a challenge will be to increase the number of micro-businesses in the town and adding to the town's existing employment base will be key.

6.79 Whilst the employment land identified for the Strategic Employment Sites will deliver a sufficient supply of land in Ilminster to cater for the identified employment land need, this should not prevent further land coming forward, especially in the short term if the market requires and this can be delivered through the Development Management process.


6.80 Ilminster is a healthy and attractive centre with a Primary Shopping Area dominated by small-scale local independent traders and businesses. As set out in Policy EP9, it is a market town in retail terms and the focus for any new retail development should be in the defined Town Centre. Given the recent supermarket developments that have taken place in the town, there is no additional capacity to accommodate any substantial net increase in convenience goods (food) retail floorspace by 2028.

6.81 There is however additional capacity to accommodate a net increase in comparison goods retail floorspace above existing and committed retail provision. There is capacity for approximately 982sq m (£4.8m expenditure capacity) net of additional comparison goods floorspace by 2028, which should assist in the retention of shopping trips from the local population and benefit the health of the town centre. Any additional provision can come forward under the Development Management process.


6.82 The Infrastructure Plan does not indicate the need for any 'critical' infrastructure[3] requirements to be provided in Ilminster as a result of the proposed new development. It does however identify a number of 'necessary' infrastructure[4] requirements, which generally relate to open space and leisure facilities.

Direction of Growth

6.83 In order to accommodate the proposed level of residential development in Ilminster, a 'Direction of Growth' has been identified to the south east of the town (see Proposals Map). The direction has been derived using evidence from the Sustainability Appraisal, Highway Capacity Assessment (2011), local consultation and an assessment of the potential deliverability of sites for development. It is anticipated that the majority of the residential requirement will be delivered within the 'Direction of Growth' as capacity within the existing urban area is limited.

6.84 There is a local aspiration for a road to be delivered as part of any residential development in the Direction of Growth. This would link Shudrick Lane and Townsend/Long Orchard Hill and offer an alternative route through the town centre, alleviating local concerns over town centre traffic. Developers will be expected to deliver this road (see Highways assessment for detailed information[5]).

Policy PMT3: Ilminster Direction of Growth
The direction of strategic growth will be to the south east, of the town. As part of any proposed development within the Direction of Growth, a road will be expected to be provided between Shudrick Lane and Townsend/Long Orchard Hill prior to its completion.

6.85 The following delivery bodies will be key in implementing the proposed development at Ilminster:

  • South Somerset District Council;
  • Somerset County Council;
  • Town and Parish Councils;
  • Developers and Landowners.
Monitoring Indicators    Target   
Completed housing development in Ilminster 531 homes built in Ilminster between 2006 and 2028
Completed employment ('B' uses) floor space in Ilminster 23 ha of ‘B’ use employment land built in Ilminster between 2006 and 2028
Road between Shudrick Lane and Townsend/Long Orchard Hill Prior to completion of development within the Direction of Growth
1. South Somerset Settlement Role and Function Study, 2009 [back]
2. Council's annual housing monitoring data, as at April 2011 [back]
3. See Glossary [back]
4. See Glossary [back]
5. Proposed Residential Development East of Shudrick Lane, Ilminster (October 2011) [back]