Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Bruton

7.3 Bruton (see Inset Map 1) is primarily a linear settlement that has developed alongside the course of the River Brue. There is a risk of flooding along the course of the river and its tributary Combe Brook. Much of the town is designated a Conservation Area and there are also areas of National Archaeological and Wildlife/Geological importance to the south of the town, which will be particularly sensitive to new development.

7.4 The population of the Parish was identified as just under 3000 (2920) in the ONS Mid Year estimates (2007) but there are also large numbers of younger people in attendance at the local schools which take boarders.

7.5 Bruton – The Way Forward (2005) sets out a number of main issues and aspirations for the town. It is recognised that there needs to be a balance between maintaining the heritage assets of the settlement whilst adapting to modern needs through accepting a share of future development but seeking to control its impact, particularly in terms of traffic, pollution and impact on the environmental qualities of the town. Bruton benefits from being on the railway line but more needs to be made of this as an asset and there is also a need to manage the flow of vehicles through the historic core of the town where parking is also extremely difficult.

7.6 Self-containment is an issue, over 50% of economically active residents travel to work outside the ward, mainly to Mendip District, Wincanton and its surrounding villages, and Castle Cary. The job opportunities that exist in the town are mainly in the education sector (there are 3 boarding schools within the town in addition to state schools) with other main employers being the wholesale and retail trade, concentrated on the High Street, and manufacturing, centred in a small employment area by the railway station. There is a need to provide some additional employment land to diversify the economy and provide more local job opportunities. A new enlarged surgery is also identified in Bruton – The Way Forward as existing facilities have been outgrown.

7.7 The Town and Parish Council Cluster Meeting workshops undertaken in preparation of this draft document identified a priority for family housing (3-4 bedroom houses) and some elderly persons units.  They also highlighted the need to diversify the economy (through provision of starter units) and prevent the further loss of employment land to other uses. The provision of additional car parking is an on-going concern of the Town Council because of the impact on-street parking has on the town centre. The District Council are actively seeking additional sites to address the issue. The provision of indoor and outdoor leisure facilities are sought through developer contributions.