Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Martock

7.37 Martock (See Inset Maps 8 and 8a: Martock Town Centre) is a small attractive town positioned in central South Somerset, on the southern edge of the Somerset Levels and Moors and just off the busy A303. It is well connected to Yeovil, which is situated 7 miles to the southeast. The town is surrounded by gradual undulating hills that are regarded as having high landscape value. A small stream flows through the southern part of Martock separating the village of Bower Hinton to the south before it feeds into the wider River Parrett further along its course. The land either side of the stream has been identified as part of the functional flood plain.

7.38 Martock and Bower Hinton have a joint Conservation Area incorporating various Listed Buildings strung out along the main road between the two settlements. Listed buildings are concentrated at the historic core of Martock, Hurst and Bower Hinton.

7.39 The population of Martock parish is approx 4,700 according to ONS Mid Year Estimates (2007).

7.40 The town has a good variety of services, however self-containment is an issue. The travel to work data shows that over 50% of the population out commute and that this is mainly to Yeovil, Ilchester and surrounds, Taunton Deane and Crewkerne. Although the town is home to scores of small business that are clustered principally at Martock Business Park and the out of town Parrett Works, redevelopment of sites such as Paulls Court have resulted in a loss of employment land. Providing more employment opportunities in Martock could potentially reduce the level of out commuting. The Employment Land Review (ELR) indicates that although the Parish have indicated that further employment is needed to improve self-containment there is no need for any additional allocation and any further proposals can be met through a Development Management approach.

7.41 The "Cluster workshops" with Town and Parish Councils undertaken in preparing the Draft Core Strategy have indicated that Martock is considered an appropriate location for additional growth but that employment opportunities in particular should be exploited to broaden the range of opportunities and to help assist with financing road improvements along the main spine road. Housing is required alongside the additional employment growth to help retain existing local facilities and services. Martock has a range of facilities that potentially could take more growth particularly for employment but proximity to Yeovil and the potential impact on the A303 trunk road is a major constraint to major housing growth as this would lead to undue out commuting.