Proposed Submission South Somerset Local Plan (2006 - 2028): Main Modifications - August 2014

Comment ID 104
Document Section Main Modifications Policy SS5: Delivering New Housing Growth Content View all on this section
Respondent Taylor Wimpey (Exeter) View all by this respondent
Response Date 10 Oct 2014

The Local Plan Inspector requested South Somerset District Council to make appropriate modifications to Policy SS5 of the Local Plan to: "improve clarity regarding housing delivery in Crewkerne". This has not been achieved through the modifications proposed. The modifications do not focus on securing delivery of the existing Key Site allocation, which will be the main source of growth for the town. The Key Site delivery is overlooked with the focus of the policy modifications encouraging development elsewhere in the town. Whilst a permissive and positive policy towards housing growth is supported, the proposed modifications have not been justified through the Local Plan preparation process, which on the contrary has culminated in focussing new growth at the Key Site. In response to the Inspector’s housing delivery concerns at Crewkerne, a clearer and justified strategy would be for Policy SS5 to focus on enabling the delivery of the allocated Key Site rather than introducing new alterative development locations at the last possible stage of the plan preparation process and after the growth strategy has been established through proper credible procedures and the associated evidence base.

To achieve greater clarity on delivering housing growth at Crewkerne in the Plan, the following changes are proposed to the third paragraph of Policy SS5:

“Prior to the adoption of the Site Allocations Development Plan Document, a permissive approach will be taken when considering housing proposals in Yeovil (via the SUEs), and ‘directions of growth’ at the Market Towns. The overall scale of growth (set out below) and the wider policy framework will be key considerations in taking this approach, with the emphasis upon maintaining the established settlement hierarchy and ensuring sustainable levels of growth for all settlements. The same key considerations should also apply when considering housing proposals in Crewkerne including the strategic housing site, Wincanton and (wherever located) adjacent to the development area at Crewkerne, Wincanton and the Rural Centres.”

It is also proposed that an additional sentence is included in the supporting text to Policy SS5 or HG1 to the extent of the following:

"South Somerset District Council will work in collaboration with the developers for the CLR Site to secure a deliverable scheme."

Both of these recommended modifications would provide the necessary and sound clarity on housing delivery at Crewkerne and provide a positive policy basis to help ensure the delivery of the Crewkerne Key Site. As demonstrated through ongoing discussions with South Somerset District Council, Taylor Wimpey Homes remains committed to the delivery of the Crewkerne Key Site, but requests these policy modifications to assist that delivery process.