Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Ilminster

Spatial Portrait

6.86 Ilminster (see Inset Maps 6 and 6a: Ilminster Town Centre) is situated in the west of the District, close to the Devon, Dorset and Somerset border. The town lies just south of the A303, 12 miles from Taunton and 15 miles from Yeovil. The town centre is approximately one mile to the east of both the course of the River Isle, and the major road intersection of the A303 and the A358, which provides links to the regional road network. It is an historic market town of Saxon origin, which prospered on cloth manufacture in the 17th century. The population in Ilminster has grown considerably in recent years, reflected in the fact that in seven years the number of people living in the town has grown by almost 20% to 4,455.[1]

6.87 The immediate landscape setting of the town is defined by three hills, Beacon Hill to the north, and Herne and Pretwood Hills to the southwest and southeast respectively, all of which rise to a little above 100 metres, and broadly contain the spread of the town and its immediate rural edge. To the west, the setting is less defined, with the town extending toward the open land of the River Isle valley, and an edge that is reinforced by the A303 corridor.

6.88 Ilminster has been identified as having a key role in the provision of shopping, cultural and financial services. The town is identified as one of the nine settlements across the District, which account for 77% of all job provision and therefore displays a strong employment role relative to other settlements.[2] The parish has the 6th highest level of self-containment in the District at 47.7% of local residents working locally and ranks highly in terms of employment density with 0.86 jobs per economically active person, which means it is a balanced settlement in terms of jobs to economically active population.[3] In order to help retain and build upon this self-containment it will be important that additional housing growth is balanced with employment growth.

1. ONS 2007 Mid Year estimate [back]
2. South Somerset Settlement Role and Function Study Final Report April 2009 [back]
3. South Somerset Settlement Role and Function Study Final Report April 2009 [back]