Comment ID 808
Document Section Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028 Market Towns - Vision and Proposals Local Market Towns - Langport/Huish Episcopi What will the Local Plan Deliver? Langport/Huish Episcopi - What will the Local Plan Deliver? Policy LMT2 View all on this section
Respondent Messrs A & P Jotcham View all by this respondent
Agent GTH A. Preston
Response Date 07 Aug 2012
Do you consider the DPD is Legally Compliant? Yes
Do you consider the DPD is Sound? No
If you have responded that the DPD is unsound, Do you consider the DPD is unsound because it is:
  • Not Positively prepared

Langport / Huish Episcopi

We support the identification of additional housing, employment and community growth at Langport / Huish Episcopi.

We further support the principle for strategic growth to the south east of the settlement, but disagree that development in this direction should be for employment use only. The area around Huish Episcopi is considered suitable, in terms of its character, identity, accessibility, role and function to accommodate housing or mixed use development.

It is not considered appropriate for this area to be developed solely for employment growth for a number of reasons. Firstly, in the current economic climate, a development that is solely for employment land, without being subsidised by housing, may not prove viable or deliverable. Secondly, the concentration of employment growth in this area would potentially be prejudicial to the amenity of neighbouring residents and the character of Huish Episcopi in general, as opposed to a mixed use development which could much more readily be integrated. Also, a mixed use development incorporating residential and employment land would be highly sustainable, with the potential for people to live close to their place of work.

We further consider that the area identified to the south east of Langport / Huish Episcopi has only limited potential for growth. The northern part of this area falls within the town’s conservation area and includes St. Mary’s Church, these being features of heritage significance that would sterilize much of this area from employment development that would otherwise impact adversely upon their character or setting. Further to the south and east are areas that are identified as being at significant risk from flooding which could potentially stifle further growth in this direction in future. The Local Plan also cites “concern relating to possible disruption of wildlife and especially Bewick Swans at Wet Moor by local residents from prospective development in the south east of the direction of growth ,” which is a further constraint on development in that area.

In view of the issues identified above we propose that an alternative or additional growth option should be considered to the south east of Langport / Huish Episcopi, comprising land at Ducks Hill Field, on the north side of the A372 as identified on the attached plan. The land in question is not overly conspicuous in wider landscape terms, with potential for landscape planting on the margins to effectively screen any development. The land is readily accessible from the A372 main road to the south with a lengthy frontage to accommodate necessary visibility splays. The land lies outside the area of flood risk, and has no significance in historic or ecological terms.

This land is well related to the existing built form of the settlement, adjoining existing development and the currently defined settlement limit to the west, and with further housing to the south and east. This is considered to be a natural and logical location for housing and / or employment growth, without the constraints of other sites as discussed above.

Land Ownership

The land edged in Red on the attached plan is in single private ownership and there are no legal or other constraints that would prejudice its early release for development. It may therefore be deemed as being suitable, available and deliverable for development.

What changes do you suggest to make the DPD legally compliant or sound? We therefore propose that Langport / Huish Episcopi should retain its status as a Market Town under the settlement hierarchy, but that land at Ducks Hill Field, north of the A372, should be identified as a direction for housing and/or employment growth, either in addition to or in place of the identified direction of growth around St. Mary’s Church. This area also offers an opportunity for enhanced community facilities to meet local needs including open space and sports pitches.
If your representation is seeking a change, do you consider it necessary to participate at the oral part of the examination? No
If you wish to participate at the oral part of the examination, please outline why you consider this to be necessary: