Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

South Petherton

7.54 South Petherton (see Inset Map 11) is a large attractive hamstone village in central South Somerset. It lies immediately to the north of the busy A303 road corridor amongst the shallow folds of low limestone hills, some 12km west of Yeovil. The town is surrounded by gradual undulating hills that are regarded as having high landscape value, especially to the west, north and east. A small stream flows north through the centre of South Petherton 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.

7.55 The village has grown in all directions from its Saxon core, though its centre and main commercial area remains concentrated on St James Street. During the 19th century, residential growth spread initially along the local lane network extending out from the village centre, whilst the past 60 years has seen the infill of land between these lanes, in the form of moderately-scaled housing estates. Listed Buildings are concentrated in the historic core and are incorporated within the Conservation Area. The main employment area lies approximately 2 km to the south west of the village, at Lopen Head.

7.56 The population of the village (3186 ONS Mid Year Estimates 2007) and the population profile indicates that the settlement has a higher percentage of people over 65 years (28%) than the Somerset average of 20% and from the survey carried out by the Parish in 2005 over 44% of the respondents had lived in the Parish for over 16 years indicating a low turnover of population. The 2006 Parish Plan indicates that access to local sports provision would be desirable although the cost of providing such facilities within the settlement is acknowledged as prohibitive. Support for local shops and services is seen as important and improved car parking would assist. The Parish Plan also indicated the need for more starter homes and small family accommodation particularly for rent.

7.57 The village has a variety of services, however self-containment is an issue. The travel to work data shows that 64% of the population out commute and that this is mainly to Yeovil, Crewkerne, Ilminster and Ivelchester (mainly Yeovilton Air Base) and the surrounding area.