Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Wincanton

Spatial Portrait

6.106 Wincanton (see Inset Maps 13 and 13a: Wincanton Town Centre) is situated in the east of the District towards the north of the Blackmore Vale overlooking the Cale valley. The town originated in Saxon times on the east bank of the River Cale, in the vicinity of the Church, and spread up the hill to the current High Street where burgage plots were established in the 13th century. The town's location on the main Exeter to London medieval coach route encouraged steady growth from the Middle Ages onwards, and cloth manufacture, clock making and the dairy industry further boosted the local economy. The A303 now defines the south edge of Wincanton and affords the town good road links to London and the south west of England. Nearby towns include Bruton, Castle Cary, Gillingham and Milborne Port within 10 miles, and Yeovil and Sherborne about 15 miles away. Wincanton’s population of 5,034 according to ONS Mid Year estimates (2007) makes it the 5th largest settlement in the District in terms of population.

6.107 Wincanton has been identified as having a strategic role in the provision of shopping, cultural, education, health, leisure 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.[1] The parish has the 4th highest level of self-containment (59% of people live and work in the town) in the District and ranks highly in terms of employment density with 1.24 jobs per economically active person, which means it will attract workers from surrounding settlements.[2] 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. South Somerset Settlement Role and Function Study Final Report April 2009 [back]
2. South Somerset Settlement Role and Function Study Final Report April 2009 [back]