Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Document Section Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) Settlement Strategy Settlement Hierarchy Determination of the South Somerset Settlement Hierarchy Sustainability Appraisal Sustainability Appraisal [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 518
Respondent Bath and Wells Diocesan Board… [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 16 Dec 2010
Response Type OBJECT
What is the nature of this representation?
  • Object
The saved Structure Plan policies still form part of the development plan but appear to have been overlooked in the preparation of this policy. The structure plan policies STR2 and STR3 detail three tiers of settlement; (1) Towns, including Chard and Yeovil, (2) Rural Centres, and (3) Villages. A similar approach was taken in the local Plan but has not been adhered to in the draft Core Strategy. In villages, such as those classified in the Local Plan, it may not be expected that the level of services is likely to increase to form a comprehensive range. However, it is considered locally important for the current function of the settlement to continue, the Village designation provided for in the Structure plan policy STR3 should be included. Draft Core Strategy policy SS1 fails to do this.

Policy SS! Settlement hierarchy needs to include Langport/Huish Episcopi within the definition of Market Towns as it meets the settlement roles and functions of other market Towns in the District. The presence of flooding near its centre does not affect other edge of settlement sites that are potentially suitably located for providing for the town's future development needs with ease of access to the town centre. It is recognised that the settlement is tightly constrained by flooding to the east and west. However, many suitable development opportunities remain to the north and south which can only be realised if the settlement is classified as a market town. Flooding aside, there will be few opportunities for new development in the central area thereby suggesting that the more outer areas of the settlement should be developed in order to meet the suture development needs. The classification should be based on the settlement's role and function in addition to its ability to meet future development needs, not it's ability to meet future development needs in central locations alone. There is a recognised desire for more local industry and employment opportunities, in addition to local and community facilities, which can only be met through the classification of this settlement a Market Town.

The settlements classified as Rural Centres needs to be extended to include the following "villages":
Henstridge, Charlton Hawthorne, Kingsdon, north Cadbury, Broadway, Keinton Mandeville, Merriott, East Chinnock, West Coker and Barton St David.

These villages are recognised as having local services/facilities, having been identified as villages in the local Plan and meeting the criteria set out in saved Structure plan policy STR3. their inclusion within the Rural Centres definition will permit them to continue their local service role allowing appropriate development that meets local housing need, extends local services and supports economic activity appropriate to the scale of a settlement. In accordance with the suggestion in paragraph 4.20 of the draft Core Strategy this approach would assist these settlements in achieving more self-containment. A recognition of their classification as Rural Centre does not need to directly dictate the scale of development as this can be effectively controlled through the site allocation document and/or proposals map. This approach would comply with saved Structure Plan policy STR1 pattern of land use and transport which minimises the length of journeys and the need to travel and maximise the potential for the use of public transport, cycling and walking.