Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Urban Village and Extension Eco-town

5.39 The Council are seeking to explore Eco-town standards within Yeovil for two principal reasons:

  • the Eco-towns programme fulfils Council aspirations to achieve the highest environmental standards within new development; and
  • the standards meet the Council’s commitment to tackle climate change head on.

5.40 The Council have now received a funding commitment from Government to enable it to promote higher standards for energy conservation and CO2 reduction. This funding applies both to the Urban Extension, irrespective of its final chosen location, and the Urban Village. In addition, money to promote an exemplar project within the Urban Village on the former Glove Factory (Foundry House) site has also been secured.

5.41 A summary of Eco-town standards is presented below for information however a full list of the Eco-town standards can be found in PPS: Eco-towns, a supplement to Planning Policy Statement 1.[1]

5.42 A summary of Eco-town Standards

  • Achieving zero carbon status across the development, including commercial and public buildings as well as homes - a significantly tougher threshold than any existing or agreed targets;
  • Allocating 40 per cent of the area within the 'town' to be green space, at least half of which should be open to the public as parks or recreation areas;
  • Requiring individual homes to reach the Building for Life silver standard and also achieve 70 per cent carbon savings above current building regulations in terms of heating, hot water and lighting;
  • Providing a minimum of 30 per cent affordable housing to provide more homes for social rent and assist those struggling to get on the housing ladder;
  • Creating more options for travel so that residents are able to make the majority of their journeys without a car, such as by public transport, walking and cycling;
  • Ensuring a minimum of one job per house can be reached by walking, cycling or public transport to reduce dependence on the car;
  • Locating homes within ten minutes walk of frequent public transport, a primary school, and everyday neighbourhood services (allowing for the natural geography of the sites).
  • Raising the threshold for individual homes so that they must all achieve at least level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, which includes standards for household waste recycling, construction waste, water efficiency measures and reduced pollution.

5.43 The study work for the funding secured includes:

  • Urban Village Masterplan & Viability Assessment;
  • Urban Extension Masterplan & Viability Assessment;
  • Renewable Energy Studies;
  • Waste and Resource Plan.

5.44 These studies will explore, in detail, the viability issues of reaching Eco-town Standards within the Yeovil Urban Village and Extension. Should viability be confirmed the principle of adopting Eco-town standards will be confirmed within the Core Strategy with the design and delivery mechanisms managed through a subsequent Yeovil Urban Extension Area Action Plan.

1. CLG, PPS: Eco-towns a supplement to Planning Policy Statement 1 (July 2009) [back]

The Benefits of Eco-town Development

5.45 The Yeovil Urban Village & Extension being established to eco-town standards will act as a National exemplar and will demonstrate the benefits of more sustainable living. Residents of the Urban Extension and Urban Village will have access to green space of the highest quality and in close proximity to the natural environment through Green Infrastructure, offering opportunities for space in and around buildings and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Links to and through the Yeovil Country Park will enable residents to fully experience the benefits of countryside living.

5.46 Housing will be of an appropriate mix of housing types and tenures to meet the needs of residents and of the highest quality in terms of design standards, water retention and energy efficiency. Zero Carbon will be achieved through low and zero carbon energy generation, minimising waste and maximum solar orientation.

5.47 Access to and through the Urban Extension and Urban Village will give priority to walking, cycling and public transport, reducing reliance on private cars. Services within the Urban Extension will be integrated to ensure that the eco-development will be a genuine mixed-use community, so minimising journey trips and travel times. Accessibility to the retail opportunities within the town centre and transport hubs at the bus and mainline railway stations at Yeovil Junction and Yeovil Pen Mill will be maximised.

5.48 All these are further detailed justification for developing this Urban Extension and Village as part of an Eco-town initiative.