Saturday, November 02, 2013

South Somerset Local Plan - Goodbye SUE

In the latest instalment of the Local Plan for South Somerset, a revised Plan is being presented next week to the local council. This follows a warning from a government planning inspector that the plan would fail at public inquiry, and a 6 month grace period to put it right.

You can follow the history of this via the tabs, but here are the headline revisions:

 - The idea of a Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) has been abandoned. After successive downgrades in size from 5,000 homes to 3,000 to 2,500, SSDC is now only planning to build 1565 in the period covered by the plan (up to 2028), rather than 2500 in a period extending beyond the end of the plan, to create a bigger community

 - Since this isn't big enough to provide a 'sustainable' neighbourhood (most/all facilities required by residents on-site, including health centre, secondary school, place of worship etc.), there is no compelling logic to providing it all in one place. There is also, after a re-appraisal of the alternative sites, no obvious ideal location for this site, with all 3 main options around Yeovil (S, NW, NE) coming out roughly level.

 - So, SSDC are now planning on two sites, of roughly 800 houses each, one on the original SUE site by the A37 South of Yeovil, and one to the NE, next door to the current Wyndham Park development. It's worth noting that plans to develop this NE site had already been submitted by a local developer.

If this goes through the District Executive this week, there'll be a fresh round of public consultations from 28th November, and the revised plan will then go back to the planning inspector. Background papers here if you have a spare half day to read them.

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