South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18)

Comment ID 354
Document Section South Somerset Local Plan Review 2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation (Regulation 18) Rural Centres Land south of Hospital Lane Text Block View all on this section
Respondent Barry James PHSW View all by this respondent
Response Date 19 Aug 2019

Policy SP1 is titled “Housing Provision South of Hospital Lane, South Petherton”. The policy states that the site will provide “about 45 dwellings, including 29%
affordable housing; children’s informal play space; public open space”. This land is under option agreement between the landowners and PHSW.

A previous application for this site (ref: 14/04142/FUL) for 89 dwellings with associated open space received officer support and was presented to
Committee for approval, however was refused by Members (the decision was issued on 27th March 2015). Whilst the reason for refusal referred to design
and level of development, when assessed against the grain and density of adjoining developments (PHSW has built on land adjacent to the site) there is a
consistency in approach and the development would have fitted into the current built form/density well.

The fourth reason for refusal on decision notice 14/04142/FUL related to the loss of best and most versatile agricultural land; upon inspection the land is stony
and not as high a quality as has been suggested, a point reinforced by the landowner.

Since the Executive meeting considered the Preferred Options document on the 7th February 2019, PHSW has actively considered Policy SP1. We have
contacted the Medical Centre to discuss additional parking. This liaison is positive and ongoing, and is expected to result in land allocated within SP1 to
provide additional parking, thus making a positive contribution towards the operation of this important facility.

There are a number of public rights of way in the area and discussions have taken place with the Manager of Somerset County Council’s Public Rights of
Way Service. They have indicated that improved west-east and north-south links would be welcomed, potentially making links to the Medical Centre/Hospital.
PHSW is actively looking at how this can be incorporated in any proposal for the site.

At an appropriate time PHSW is intending to discuss proposals for the site with the Parish Council. With the views of the Rights of Way Team, the Medical Centre, and the Parish Council, PHSW will be drafting plans ready for preapplication discussion with the District Council that are as compliant as possible with emerging policy.

As noted above in paragraph 4.4, Strategic Objective 7 of the Preferred Options document refers to making efficient use of land. This is an important principle of
development and should be applied to every site. PHSW is of the opinion that SP1 can accommodate:
5.7.1 improved pedestrian links;
5.7.2 additional parking to serve the medical facilities;
5.7.3 a high level of open space;
5.7.4 informal children’s play area;
5.7.5 more dwellings than the 45 stated in the policy and, with Strategic Objective 7 in mind, this figure should be revised upwards to
ensure efficient use of land. To accommodate all the requirements for emerging Policy SP1, and taking into account the comments so far
received from stakeholders, this site can easily accommodate 65 to 70 whilst still providing a quality development which provides housing but
with ample green space to ensure it assimilates into the environment effectively.