Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Castle Cary/Ansford

Spatial Portrait

6.4 The settlements of Castle Cary and Ansford (see Inset Maps 2 and 2a: Castle Cary/Ansford Town Centre) lie adjacent to each other on the southern edge of the Somerset Levels beside the River Cary. The charm of Castle Cary/Ansford lies in intimate groupings of buildings, changes in ground level and the alignment of buildings on the medieval streets.

6.5 Castle Cary/Ansford has a rich historic environment that has been recognised by the towns four designated Conservation Areas and many Listed Buildings including most notably the Grade II* listed All Saints Church. Built after the Norman Conquest a motte and bailey castle also overlooks the town. The area around the settlement has high archaeological potential.

6.6 The combined settlements have a population of 3,095[1] making it the 10th largest settlement in South Somerset. The isolated nature of the town and its largely rural surroundings mean that its serves a more strategic service role than its population would usually demand.

6.7 The town supports a full range of services including a secondary school, doctor’s surgery, pharmacy, dentist, library, bank, convenience store, post office and public houses. The 2001 Census confirms that the town's economically active population is half that of the town's total population and largely matches the town's 1,100 jobs. The town’s major employers are based on the Torbay Road Industrial estate and include Centuar Services, Royal Canin and Snell 2000 Ltd. Travel to work data shows that 54% of the population out commute and that this is principally to Yeovil, Wincanton and Bruton.

6.8 The town centre provides quality shopping with many niche and independent traders and a range of supplementary services.  It is accessible by bus and has parking provision but there is congestion at peak times on Fore Street.  The choice of convenience shopping is limited.

6.9 To the north of the town Castle Cary/Ansford benefits from access to its railway station located on the West of England and Heart of Wessex lines. The town is not a major tourism destination although visitor attractions including a museum, small circular eighteenth century gaol and traditional market hall do attract tourist interest. The town is on the Monarch's Way long-distance footpath.

1. ONS Mid 2007 estimate [back]