PROPOSED SUBMISSION SOUTH SOMERSET LOCAL PLAN 2006-2028 - EXAMINATION SUSPENSION: PROPOSED MAIN MODIFICATIONS NOVEMBER 2013

Consultation Document

4 Soundness Issue 3: Policy SS3 Delivering New Employment Land

Proposed Main Modification PMM4: Amendments to the additional employment land provision required for Wincanton, the Local Market Towns, Rural Centres and Rural Settlements

4.1 This Proposed Main Modification arises from paragraphs 56 to 59 of the Inspectors Preliminary Findings, 3 July 2013.

Justification for Change:

4.2 During the Examination the Council sought to justify the employment land provision required in Wincanton, the Local Market Towns (Somerton, Ansford/Castle Cary, Langport/Huish Episcopi) and the Rural Centres (Bruton, Ilchester, Martock/Bower Hinton, Milborne Port, South Petherton and Stoke Sub Hamdon). The Inspector indicated in his Preliminary Findings that that the Council’s proposed amended approach to the provision of employment land contained in Policy SS3 as modified (in proposed modifications M220-224) and presented during the Examination which seeks to defer the identification of additional employment land for Wincanton, the Local Market Towns and Rural Centres to the Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD) is not sound.

4.3 The Council acknowledged the Inspector’s Preliminary Finding in the Council’s Response dated 15th July 2013 and explained that methodologies would be established to evidence employment land provision in Wincanton, the Local Market Towns and Rural Centres and a job target would also be identified (using the Council’s established methodology) for the Rural Centres.  These revisions constitute a Proposed Main Modification.

Issue Summary:

4.4 Paragraph 154 of the NPPF advises that Local Plans should set out the opportunities for development and clear policies on what will or will not be permitted and where.  Additionally paragraph 182 of the NPPF requires Local Plans to be positively prepared and based on objectively assessed development and infrastructure needs.

4.5 The Council has updated the Local Plan Evidence Base to establish a robust employment land requirement in Wincanton, the Local Market Towns and Rural Centres. The Council has also identified a jobs target in each Rural Centre.

Implications for Policy and Supporting Text:

4.6 Policy SS3: Delivering New Employment Land and its supporting text should be amended to clearly indicate the revised and fully evidenced additional employment land provision required for Wincanton, the Local Market Towns and Rural Centres to 2028. Policy SS3 should also be revised to indicate how the overall jobs to be encouraged in the Rural Centres will be distributed amongst each individual Rural Centre. This will assist Development Management decisions on planning applications for employment generating activities.

4.7 The Proposed Main Modifications result in a number of consequential changes to supporting text throughout the Local Plan in particularly the Market Towns - Vision and Proposals (6) and Rural Centres - Vision and Proposals (7) chapters. Whilst these are considered to be minor modifications and will be presented as such to the Local Plan Inspector, a new paragraph will be inserted into the Local Plan to enable the review of the employment requirement in Castle Cary in the event that the position in the settlement changes and the seemingly high employment land requirement (linked to the articulated needs of two specific companies) is no longer required.

4.8 The Rural Settlement figure is amended from 4.5 hectares to 6.13 hectares to reflect the revised employment density ratios and plot ratios.

4.9 The Proposed Main Modification is presented in the table below (any new text is underlined and deleted text is shown as crossed through). For completeness and to allow the reader better understanding, the modifications include minor modifications agreed following submission of the South Somerset Proposed Submission Local Plan (blue text reflects minor modifications arising from Full Council on the 17th January 2013, and red text reflects additional minor modifications made through Council’s mid-hearing supplementary statement (H36) during the Examination.

Ref: PMM4
PSSSLP Page: 38-40
PSSSLP Policy/Para: Table 1: Employment Land Justifications
Examination Issue: Issue 3
Source: Modifications arising from Full Council 17th January 2013 (M33), Council's Supplementary Statement H36 (M224), Response to Inspector's Preliminary Findings
  Local Plan jobs growth (B Use jobs in brackets)
Employment land required for B Use jobs growth (ha)1
Existing employment land commitments (ha)
Quantitative and Qualitative justification for employment land
Local Plan additional employment land requirement (ha)
Yeovil Town
2,943 3,948 (1,942) (2,408)
12.81 20.49
39.84
Existing commitments more than provide for the quantitative requirement for land, however, given the significance of Yeovil and the fact that there are only two strategic sites (one of which is for a specific use, a high quality business park - 11.5 hectares, the other under construction) and the remaining sites are small scale commitments and vacant land it is suggested that an additional 5 hectares of land be provided in Yeovil.
This will be monitored and reviewed, as National Guidance is clear that Local Planning Authorities should facilitate economic growth in sustainable locations. 5 hectare figure derives from the previous Local Plan’s Inspectors report in which he recommended at least an additional 10 hectares of general employment land be provided in Yeovil. These 10 hectares were never allocated. In the context of the current economic climate, an additional 5 hectares of land is considered appropriate, to provide for a range and choice of sites. This will be monitored and reviewed, as National Guidance is clear that Local Planning Authorities should facilitate economic growth in sustainable locations.
5.0
Yeovil Sustainable Urban Extensions
1,565 (1,033) (955)
6.81 5.16
0
In the Yeovil Sustainable Urban Extensions the aspiration is to develop enough employment land to provide a job for each economically active resident, roughly one per dwelling. This land is location specific, so it all needs to be provided. 11 5.16 hectares are required in total with 7.0 5.0 hectares in the Plan period.
7.0 5.16
Chard
886 1,083 (585) (661)
3.86 5.63
17.14 4.14
Employment land allocation carried forward from saved Local Plan proposals.
Chard provision of 13 ha is re-presented in the strategic allocation to be identified as additional employment land requirement. No additional need. 6 hectares of Chard provision will be built beyond the Plan period.
0 13.0
Crewkerne
472 577 (312) (352)
2.05 3.0
10.10
0
Ilminster
343 419 (226) (256)
1.49 2.18
23.05 0
Wincanton
490 599 (323) (365)
2.13 3.11
3.61 3.56
There is no quantitative argument for employment land, but from a qualitative perspective. There is local concern that there is a lack of a balance between jobs and homes in Wincanton. The settlement has received a significant number of housing commitments but, unlike the other Primary Market Towns, it has no strategic employment allocation, yet its proximity to the A303 and the south east makes it well placed in terms of transport connectivity.
Demand has been identified from four different sources, the highest being derived from the forecast made on the basis of historic completions in Wincanton (7.94ha as the highest identified source of demand).Whilst Wincanton has a supply of 2.13 3.56 hectares of employment land, with this in mind it is suggested that an additional 5 4.38 hectares be provided as a minimum. This will make Wincanton more attractive to potential developers, providing the opportunity to have a range and choice of sites and help to support a more balanced, self-contained settlement.
5.0 4.38
Somerton
251 307 (166) (187)
1.09 1.59
1.91 1.56
There is no quantitative need for additional land, but to provide choice and aid self-containment, additional land is required. A minimum viable site size has been identified in consultation with Economic Development Officers, which will give scope for development to kick start employment growth - in the Local Market Towns the site size is considered to be 3 hectares.
Demand has been identified from four different sources, the highest being derived from the forecast made on the basis of historic completions in Somerton (6.63ha as the highest identified source of demand). Somerton has a supply of 1.56 hectares of employment land, with this in mind it is suggested that an additional 5.07 hectares be provided as a minimum in the settlement. This will provide choice and aid self-containment in Somerton.
3.0 5.07
Castle Cary/Ansford
223 273 (147) (167)
0.97 1.42
10.19 10.07 (*please note this figure reduces to 1.97 hectares if the pet food factory development is removed)
Although there is no quantitative argument for an additional supply of land and it is over inflated by development of the pet food factory. To provide choice and alternatives to Torbay Road, additional land is identified as required. A minimum viable site size has been identified in consultation with Economic Development Officers, which will give scope for development to kick start employment growth - in the Local Market Towns the site size is considered to be 3 hectares. Discussions with the Parish Council concluded that there is a need for 3 hectares of employment land to aid self-containment.
Demand has been identified from four different sources, the highest of which is derived from the demand arising from two specific companies articulated through the South Somerset Workspace Survey (July 2013). Both companies require a combined figure of 8.9 hectares of employment land. The existing supply of 1.97 hectares (minus the 8.10ha for the pet food factory) is not sufficient and therefore the Local Plan should assist in the delivery of 8.9 hectares of employment land. Both companies will vacate their existing sites and the relocation of these businesses would free up their existing sites to accommodate the demand for employment land articulated in survey responses from three other sources.
3.0 8.9
Langport/Huish Episcopi
233 284 (154) 173
1.01 1.47
0.44 0.34
There is no quantitative need for additional land, but to provide choice and aid self-containment, additional land is required. A minimum viable site size has been identified in consultation with Economic Development Officers, which will give scope for development to kick start employment growth - in the Local Market Towns the site size, is considered to be 3 hectares.
Demand has been identified from four different sources, the highest of which is derived from South Somerset Workspace Survey (July 2013) (4.01ha as the highest identified source of demand). This is made up of the (unique) need of one specific large employer and other smaller (and more typical) local companies.
Langport/Huish Episcopi has a supply of 0.34 hectares of employment land, with this in mind it is suggested that an additional 3.67 hectares be provided as a minimum in the settlement. This will provide choice and aid self-containment in the settlement.
3.0 3.67
Bruton
828 156 (546) (95)
3.60 0.81
0.56
It is difficult to accurately assess the amount of jobs growth that will occur individually in each Rural Centre, and therefore it is difficult to quantitatively assess the need for land in each settlement. From a qualitative perspective, to enable and support jobs growth and improve levels of self-containment, additional employment land should be supported in these settlements. A minimum viable site size has been identified in consultation with Economic Development Officers, which will give scope for development to kick start employment growth - in the Rural Centres the site size is considered to be 2 hectares.
Demand has been identified from four different sources, the highest of which is derived from a survey of local commercial agents (August 2013) (2.5ha as the highest identified source of demand).
Whilst in theory Bruton has a supply of 0.56 hectares of employment land, this has been built and since local agents have made their assessment of future land requirements (2013 to 2028) in full knowledge of the land already available in the town, 2.5 ha is supported. It will enable and support jobs growth and improve levels of self-containment in Bruton.
2.0 2.5
Ilchester
433 (264)
2.25
0.02
Demand has been identified from four different sources of evidence. The highest figure is derived from the historic jobs growth figures, however, we know that a high proportion of historic jobs growth has taken place within the perimeter of RNAS Yeovilton, who confirm that any future jobs growth is likely to be accommodated within the existing air base.
We therefore move to the second highest evidenced land demand figure for Ilchester which was provided by a survey of local commercial agents (August 2013). They recommend that 1 additional hectare be provided. This is considered to be a realistic figure given the potential pent up demand that has built up in the past due to a lack of existing development land in this settlement.
Existing land supply in Ilchester is 0.02ha. We do not support that this should be deducted since local agents have made their assessment of future land requirements (2013 to 2028) in full knowledge of the land already available in the town. In view of this, we recommend that the Local Plan assist the delivery of an additional 1 hectare of employment land in Ilchester.
2.0 1.0
Martock/Bower Hinton
163 (99)
0.84
2.79 1.45
Demand has been identified from four different sources of evidence. The highest figure is derived from the South Somerset Workspace Survey (July 2013) (3.19ha as the highest identified source of demand).
The 3.19ha is made up of the (unique) need of one specific large employer and other smaller (and more typical) local companies.
Martock/Bower Hinton has a supply of 1.45 hectares of employment land, with this in mind it is suggested that an additional 1.74 hectares be provided as a minimum in the settlement. This will provide choice and aid self-containment in the settlement.
2.0 1.74
Milborne Port
77 (47)
0.40
0.04
Demand has been identified from four different sources, the highest being derived from the forecast made on the basis of historic completions in Milborne Port (0.84ha as the highest identified source of demand).
Milborne Port has a supply of 0.04 hectares of employment land, with this in mind it is suggested that an additional 0.80 hectares be provided as a minimum in the settlement.  This will provide choice and aid self-containment in Milborne Port.
2.0 0.80
South Petherton
141 (86)
0.73
1.80 1.81
Demand has been identified from four different sources, the highest being derived from the forecast made on the basis of historic completions in South Petherton (2.47ha as the highest identified source of demand).
South Petherton has a supply of 1.81 hectares of employment land, with this in mind it is suggested that an additional 0.66 hectares be provided as a minimum in the settlement. This will provide choice and aid self-containment in South Petherton.
2.0 0.66
Stoke sub Hamdon
43 (26)
0.22
0.0
Demand has been identified from four different sources, the highest being derived from the forecast made on the basis of historic completions in Stoke sub Hamdon (1.09ha as the highest identified source of demand).
There is no supply of employment land, therefore with this in mind it is suggested that an additional 1.09 hectares be provided as a minimum in the settlement. This will provide choice and aid self-containment in Stoke sub Hamdon.
2.0 1.09
Rural Settlements
966 1181 (6072) (720)
4.20 6.13
7.86
The additional employment land requirement will provide for the job growth (B Uses) identified for the Rural Settlements and given that the Rural Settlements are spread over a wide geographical area, the figure allows for some choice. Most development will be very small scale and most likely associated, within the terms of Policy SS2, with other development proposals and in consequence are likely to require additional provision beyond the existing commitments.
4.5 6.13
Total
11,249 (6,861)
53.20
104.40
 
59.10
Ref: PMM4
PSSSLP Page: 41
PSSSLP Policy/Para: SS3
Examination Issue: Issue 3
Source: Council's Supplementary Statement H36 (M220, M221, M222), Response to Inspector's Preliminary Findings, (Modification also reflects Council’s response to Inspector’s Preliminary Findings for paragraph 61-62).
 
Policy SS3: Delivering New Employment Land
 
The Local Plan will assist the delivery of 9,200 11,250 jobs as a minimum, and approximately 600,850 sq metres net/162 163.50 hectares gross of traditional employment land (Use Class B1, B2 and B8) to be directed to the following settlements of land for economic development for the period between April 2006 and March 2028.
 
The identification of B Use jobs and non B Use jobs for settlements establishes targets for growth in line with the Council’s forecast growth for the District and its settlements over the plan period. Economic development of a main town centre type will be expected to comply with Policy EP11.
 
Prior to the adoption of the Site Allocations Development Plan Document, a permissive approach will be taken when considering traditional employment land proposals in ‘directions of growth’ at the Market Towns. The overall scale of growth (set out below) will be a key consideration in taking this approach, with the emphasis upon maintaining the established settlement hierarchy and ensuring sustainable levels of growth for all settlements. The same key considerations should also apply when considering traditional employment land proposals (wherever located) adjacent to Rural Centres.
Settlement Local Plan 2006-2028 Total Employment Land Requirement Existing Employment Land Commitments (as at April 2011) Additional Employment Land Provision Required (total employment land less existing commitments) (As at April 2011) Total Jobs to be encouraged 2006-2028 (numbers in brackets indicates jobs in traditional ‘B’ Uses as defined by the Use Classes Order) B Use Jobs
Strategic Town
Yeovil Town* 44.84 39.84 5.0 2,943 3,948 (1,942) 2,408
Yeovil Urban Extensions
7.0 5.16 0.0 7.0 5.16***
1,565 (1,033)
955
Market Towns
Chard* 17.14 17.14 4.14 0.0 13.0***
886 1,083 (585)
661
Crewkerne* 10.10 10.10 0.0
472 577 (312)
352
Ilminster* 23.05 23.05 0.0
343 419 (226)
256
Wincanton 8.61 7.94 3.61 3.56 5.0 4.38
490 599 (323)
365
Somerton 4.91 6.63 1.91 1.56 3.0 5.07
251 307 (166)
187
Ansford/Castle Cary
13.19 18.97 10.19 10.07 3.0 8.9
223 273 (147)
167
Langport/Huish Episcopi
3.44 4.01
0.44 0.34 3.0 3.67
233 284 (154)
173
Rural Centres
Bruton
2.56 3.06
0.56 2.0 2.5
828 (546) 156
95
Ilchester
2.02 1.02
0.02
2.0 1.0
433
264
Martock/Bower Hinton
4.79 3.19
2.79 1.45
2.0 1.74
163
99
Milborne Port
2.04 0.84
0.04
2.0 0.80
77
47
South Petherton
3.80 2.47
1.80** 1.81
2.0 0.66
141
86
Stoke sub Hamdon
2.0 1.09
0.0
2.0 1.09
43
26
Other
Rural Settlements
12.36 11.86
7.86
4.5 6.13
966 1,181 (638)
720
Total
161.85 163.50
119.35 104.40
42.5 59.10
9,200 (6,072) 11,249
6,861
* Yeovil, Crewkerne and Ilminster have strategic employment sites which are saved from the previous South Somerset Local Plan and Chard's strategic allocation based around Chard Regeneration Plan also includes employment provision. These sites combined equate to a total of 46.35 hectares, and this figure has been included in the overall floorspace figure cited in Policy SS3 above.
** This figure relates to Lopen Head Nursery.
*** Yeovil and Chard will deliver additional employment land beyond the plan period. Chard will deliver 6 hectares and Yeovil will deliver 4 hectares beyond 2028, in association with their strategic residential growth.
Ref
PSSSLP
Page
PSSSLP
Policy/
Para
Proposed Main Modification
Examination
Issue
Source
PMM4
 42
 4.69
Delivery
The following delivery bodies will be key in implementing Policy SS3:
  • South Somerset District Council;
  • Town and Parish Councils;
  • Developers and Landowners.
Monitoring Indicators
Target
Completed employment land in the District (B1, B2 and B8 uses).
162 163.50 hectares of employment land built in the District between 2006 and 2028.
Number of new jobs in the District.
 9,200 11,250 new jobs between 2006 and 2028.
 Issue 3

4.10  Modifications arising from FullCouncil 17th January 2013 (M35).

4.11 Response to Inspector's Preliminary Findings.

PMM4
114 
New Paragraph after 6.113 
Given that the seemingly high requirement for employment land in Ansford & Castle Cary is linked to the need articulated by two specific companies, there will be a requirement to continuously monitor these companies’ requirements. In the event that a position emerges within the Plan period that the need is no longer required, then the Council will undertake a priority review of the employment requirement for the town. This would be a key priority on the Local Development Scheme in subsequent reviews.
Issue 3

4.12 Response to Inspector's Preliminary Findings.