Local Plan Review Issues and Options Regulation 18

3 Strategic Objectives and Vision

Current Approach

3.1 The Local Plan has a long-term spatial vision for where we want the District to be in 2028. We now need to decide if this is the same vision we want going forward to 2034 or whether our vision has changed.

3.2 The Council Plan 2016 - 2021 [1] provides a clear focus for the Council and what it will deliver during a period of major change. The Council’s Aims are to:

  • Protect Core services to the public by reducing costs and seeking income generation.
  • Increase the focus on jobs and economic development.
  • Protect and enhance the quality of our environment.
  • Enable housing to meet all needs.
  • Improve health and reduce health inequalities.

3.3 The Council’s Priority Projects for the year 2017-2018 are as follows:

  1. To implement the Transformation programme including income generation;
  2. To complete the updating of the plans for regenerating Central Yeovil and Chard and progress implementation;
  3. To deliver Phase 2 of the Yeovil Innovation Centre;
  4. To complete the refurbishment and relaunch of the Westlands Complex;
  5. To facilitate appropriate local development with both council and national funding; and
  6. To support our small and medium sized businesses across the District, including internet access, to meet their needs.

3.4 The Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 was enacted in April 2017; it requires local planning authorities to identify in their development plan documents, the strategic priorities for the development of land in their area.[2]

1. https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/media/883940/council_plan.pdf [back]
2. Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017, section 8 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017/20/contents/enacted [back]

The Vision for 2034

3.5 The current vision to 2028 is very long and is, in part, outdated.

3.6 It is suggested that the LPR includes a shorter, more succinct, vision for the District up to 2034:

South Somerset will be a thriving, attractive and socially inclusive place to live, work, study and visit. It will have sustainable, low carbon towns with enhanced green infrastructure and public transport links. The District will have high quality distinctive, historic, urban and rural environments, with vital and vibrant town centres, a prosperous and productive economy and provide a choice of high quality housing options for all. Inequality between urban and rural areas will be reduced with improved digital accessibility.

Question 3.1

Do you agree with the suggested vision to 2034, and, if not, how should it be changed?

Strategic Objectives

3.7 The Strategic Objectives set out on the Local Plan are derived from the spatial goals in the South Somerset Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS) [3] and the core planning principles set out in the NPPF.[4] It is suggested that these Objectives are still applicable to the suggested revised Vision:

  1. A health enhancing environment, promoting walking, cycling and non-car based transport and access to leisure opportunities.
  2. Access to quality services and facilities designed around the needs of the community, enabling everyone to have fair and equitable access to what they need in their local area.
  3. An integrated sustainable transport system developed both within and between towns especially to and from Yeovil, whilst promoting enhanced delivery of services direct to rural areas through Information and Computer Technologies.
  4. A comprehensive, high performing economy that is diverse, adaptable and provides jobs growth and inward investment through a thriving Yeovil, regenerated Chard and market towns and a diversified rural economy.
  5. A natural and built environment able to attract and retain visitors, a vibrant tourism industry and encourage inward investment of high quality sustainable businesses.
  6. A balanced housing market with a range of both general and affordable housing to meet the required growth and sited and built to support sustainable lifestyles with low carbon emissions, delivered through a sustainable District settlement strategy and hierarchy.
  7. Address climate change through both mitigation and adaptation and move towards a Carbon Neutral economy by the Government target date of 2030 [5] by delivering high quality and energy efficient development with exemplar development at Yeovil to move towards more sustainable, lower carbon consumption living and to provide a boost to new low carbon technologies.
  8. Protection and enhancement of our natural environment, historic environment and biodiversity, retaining the distinctiveness of settlements and reflecting known environmental constraints, including flood risks in locating growth.

3.8 Strategic Objective 7 no longer accords with the latest Government targets on climate change. These are based upon reducing the carbon budget against 1990 levels. The aim is to reduce the carbon budget by 57% below 1990 levels by 2030.

Question 3.2

Do you agree these Strategic Objectives are still relevant for the LPR, and, if not, how should they be changed?

 

3. Shaping South Somerset, A Strategy for Sustainable Communities 2008-2026, South Somerset Together https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/media/15625/South_Somerset_Community_Strategy.pdf [back]
4. NPPF (2012) paragraph 17 sets out 12 overarching principles of the planning system. [back]
5. Current Government Policy is to reduce the carbon budget to 57% below 1990 levels by 2030. This is based on update advice form the Climate Change Committee in June 2016. [back]