Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

What will the Local Plan Deliver?

Settlement Status

6.93 The South Somerset Role and Function Study (April 2009) identifies Wincanton as performing an employment function and identified retail and community role for the town and surrounding area. Wincanton is designated a Market Town in this Local Plan and such designation will enable the settlement to grow and continue to expand its identified role.


6.94 It is important to sustain and enhance Wincanton’s role as a Market Town in the rural east of the District, with a level of development that is relative to the size, accessibility, character and environmental constraints of the town. When compared with other Market Towns, Wincanton already has a significant number of existing commitments with 692 dwellings having planning permission or already built as at April 2011. It is therefore recommended that around 703 dwellings are built in the town over the Local Plan period 2006-28. This is to ensure housing growth reflects the scale of Wincanton and allows assimilation of significant past growth. As the majority of these dwellings have already been built or committed this leaves a residual additional housing requirement of only 11 dwellings. The past build out rate indicates that this overall level of provision should last the plan period. These dwellings could be accommodated within the existing Development Area.


6.95 Demand for land is quite high, due to the good transport connections and being the eastern outpost of South Somerset. It is a key route to the economic hubs of London and the south east, whereas other parts of the county rely more on the M5 and routes to the Midlands and the North. Recent discussions with Somerset County Council have underlined an ambition to see the duelling of the entire A303 route, further improving Wincanton's connectivity 'offer' to potential inward investors. As well as bringing forward employment land (required to keep self-containment levels high), the type of employment usage also needs to be considered carefully, or logistics could bring a sparser number of jobs to the available land supply.

6.96 As set out in Policy SS3, a total of 8.61 ha of 'B' use class employment land should be delivered in Wincanton over the Local Plan period. 3.61 ha of this is already committed, leaving 5 ha still to be found. This should provide around 323 jobs in traditional 'B' uses, as part of a total of 490 jobs that should be delivered at Wincanton to provide the opportunity for residents to both live and work in the town.


6.97 Regarding new retail development, the Retail Study's quantitative assessment indicates future comparison floorspace capacity in Wincanton beyond existing retail provision and commitments of 156 sq m (£0.6m retail expenditure) net by 2017, rising to 687 sq m (£3.3m retail expenditure) net by 2028, with future convenience floorspace capacity of 1,003 sq m (£12.3m retail expenditure) net by 2017 rising to 1,314sq m (£16.4m retail expenditure) net by 2028[1]. In order to achieve the goal of having a wealth of shops in a bustling High Street it will be important to retain and build upon existing retail provision and ensure that the potential for retail growth which does exist is directed towards the town centre given the past bias in provision towards out-of-centre locations.

6.98 There is also potential to improve the level and type of comparison retail provision in Wincanton, both in terms of quality and quantity however given the role of the centre, its catchment area and the level of retailer requirements, such improvements are likely to be modest.


6.99 The Infrastructure Plan[2] (IDP) identifies several items of infrastructure that are considered 'necessary' to provide at Wincanton. These include education, health, recreation and open space facilities. There are some flood issues relating to the River Cale so Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDS) will be required for development in order that the situation is not made worse.

Direction of growth

6.100 In order to accommodate the proposed level of employment development at Wincanton, a preferred 'direction of growth' has been identified to the south west of the town (see Proposals Map). This direction has been derived using evidence in the Sustainability Appraisal, access to the strategic road network, proximity to other business uses and avoidance of HGV impact on the town and the potential deliverability of sites for development. Given the limited supply of development opportunities within the existing urban area of the town, it is expected that the bulk of the remaining development requirements for Wincanton will be delivered within the direction of growth.

Policy PMT4: Wincanton Direction of Growth

The direction of strategic employment growth will be to the south west of the town, north of Lawrence Hill and west of Wincanton Business Park.


6.101 The following delivery bodies will be key in implementing the proposed development at Wincanton:

  • South Somerset District Council
  • Town and Parish Councils
  • Developers and Landowners
Monitoring Indicators    Target   
Completed employment ('B' uses) floor space in Wincanton 8.61 ha of ‘B’ use employment land built in Wincanton between 2006 and 2028
Net additional dwellings in Wincanton 703 dwellings built at Wincanton between 2006 and 2028
1. Retail Study Update, November 2010 [back]
2. Infrastructure Plan 2011 [back]