Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028


Spatial Portrait

7.3 Bruton is a Rural Centre with Saxon origins. Once a royal estate of the West Saxon kings in the 7th century, in addition to its agricultural trade, the town had a flourishing cloth industry from the middle ages, succeeded from the late 18th century by silk production. Today the two main industries are farming and education. There are five schools in Bruton: King's School, founded in 1519, Bruton School for Girls, Sexey's School, a Primary School and the Meadow School for Steiner Education. A Conservation Area was first designated in 1973, which includes the historic core and much of the south western parts of the settlement.


7.4 Bruton is situated in the east of the District, in the Brue Valley a few miles north of the A303, about 4 miles from Castle Cary and 7 miles from Shepton Mallet. The A351 Frome-Yeovil road passes through the settlement and the B3081 crosses the river at Church Bridge. Today Bruton is one of the larger settlements in the District with a population of 2,974 residents[1]. The topography and hence settlement has been heavily influenced by the River Brue. The majority of the settlement is built on the higher ground on the north side of the river and in recent years residential development has occurred to the north east of the town.

7.5 Over 50% of the settlement's economically active residents travel to work outside the ward, mainly to settlements in Mendip, Wincanton and the surrounding villages, making the level of self-containment low. The major employment sector is education. The challenge for Bruton is to diversify the economy, resisting any further loss of employment land, thereby providing a range of opportunities to both live and work locally. In retail terms, whilst there is no large supermarket, there are a number of independent shops providing a range of convenience goods. There are a variety of community services including a doctor’s surgery, library, bank and post office.

7.6 In addition to a regular bus service, residents in Bruton have access to rail services. The railway station, which is located on Station Road, is on the Heart of Wessex Line running from Bristol to Weymouth. A national cycle network runs through the settlement.

7.7 One of the key environmental issues in Bruton is the risk of flooding along the course of the River Brue and its tributary Combe Brook. As a result of a severe flood in 1982 a retention dam was built about one and half miles east of the town, the dam acts as a flow regulator to control the total amount of water in the river at Church Bridge without any human intervention.

1. ONS Mid Year estimates 2010 - Urban Area [back]