Comment ID 1393
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 N Parfitt View all by this respondent
Response Date 07 Aug 2012
Do you consider the DPD is Legally Compliant?
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:

Re: Proposed Submission South Somerset Local Plan 2006-2028-Local Plan Policy LMT2

We have been instructed by Mr N. Parfitt who owns land to the north of Old Kelways, Langport. It is considered that the Local Plan is unsound in the context of Policy LMT2 concerning the direction for growth for Langport/Huish Episcopi.

The Local Plan Policy LMT2 states that the direction of strategic growth for will be to the north, east and south east of the settlement. It further states that all development must avoid coalescence with the settlement of Wearne and that development to the south east is appropriate for employment use.

In paragraph 6.134 of the document it further states that the bulk of the remaining development requirements for Langport/Huish Episcopi (ie 100 dwellings and 3 ha. of employment land) will be delivered within the direction of growth. Specific proposals within these locations should come forward through the development management process.

In looking first at the land to the south east of the settlement it is not considered that it is suitable to accommodate employment development. From the area of land identified as the direction of growth to the south east it is difficult to be precise on where the District Council envisages the 3 hectares of employment land to be provided.

The land immediately around the St Marys Parish Church which is a Grade 1 Listed Building and within a Conservation Area is visually sensitive and does not have the capacity to accommodate any form of new development, particularly for employment use, without adversely affecting these Heritage Assets.

The area of land close to the Abattoir at Tanyard Lane may be more acceptable in landscape terms but it is difficult to envisage how employment development could be accessed suitably. Both Tanyard Lane and the adjoining Muchelney Road are of inadequate width and alignment to safely accommodate a material increase in traffic particularly heavy vehicles.

The junction of the two roads is particularly substandard and it cannot be easily seen how the existing road network can be improved in ownership terms and without detriment to the attractive character of the area.

The suitability of seeking to access the area from the east is also very problematic. The excessive length of road required, the difficulty of securing an acceptable access onto the Class 1 road and the potential visual and flood risk issues involved means that such an option is probably out of the question.

In looking at the proposed direction for growth areas it is considered that the most appropriate location for employment development and indeed the only viable option for such development is the land to the east of Wearne Lane.

This land could be suitably accessed from the adjoining Class 2 road and although there would be a visual impact on such a prominent site a high profile, modern employment development could be placed here with landscape mitigation measures incorporated which would be well related to existing and proposed housing areas. Issues such as archaeology and flood risk would need to be addressed but they are unlikely to prevent development taking place.

Turning to the proposed housing requirement of approximately 100 dwellings up to 2028 there is an argument to be made that given the market town status the number of dwellings to be provided could be increased without detriment to the settlement being caused.

If one accepts that the land to the east of Wearne is the most suitable for employment development then one is left with three potential areas to potentially accommodate the housing requirement.

In this regard the Local Plan should be clearer in its identification of where the housing requirement should be provided but in any event it is considered that two of the three remaining areas are either wholly or partly unsuitable.

Firstly the land to the north of the town cricket pitch should remain undeveloped. It is not considered that a safe access can be achieved from the adjoining Class 1 road given the presence of the nearby railway bridge which restricts visibility. There is an existing housing estate to the west but the road network here is unlikely to be suitable to accommodate additional traffic. Ideally therefore this land should used for recreational purposes to complement nearby existing open areas.

As far as the land to the south of Old Kelways is concerned it is considered that the District Council has underestimated its visual quality and the contribution it makes to the immediate locality. In particular this open, undeveloped land which was formerly used in connection with the unique, historic use of Old Kelways is still important to the setting of those Listed Buildings.

Such setting would be unacceptably compromised by the presence of housing development complete with modern highway requirements on the northern part of the land. It would intrude on that setting and would mean that the long standing physical and visual relationship between the two elements would be lost.

It may be possible to develop the extreme southern part of the land for housing although that would still mean breaching the prominent, mature beech hedge which bisects the area.

The land to the north of Old Kelways is partly adjoined by recent and approved housing development. The southern part has the landscape capacity to accommodate new housing whilst ensuring that there is sufficient open land to the north so as to prevent coalescence with Wearne. The land is unsuitable for employment as it would be unacceptable to bring business traffic through the existing housing areas.

Development of the southern part for housing would not intrude on the wider landscape setting of Langport and could allow for a level of development which would satisfy the current requirement as well as possibly beyond the Plan period.


What changes do you suggest to make the DPD legally compliant or sound? For all these reasons it is considered that the Local Plan should be changed to identify the land to the Old Kelways for housing and the adjoining land to the east at Wearne Lane for employment.
If your representation is seeking a change, do you consider it necessary to participate at the oral part of the examination? Yes
If you wish to participate at the oral part of the examination, please outline why you consider this to be necessary: In view of the detail and complexity of the issues it is requested that opportunity be provided to orally present the case to the Inspector at the Examination in Public.