Somerset West and Taunton Council launch key consultations on the future look of housing, infrastructure and employment for the area on January 13, 2020.

There will be a nine-week window when interested parties can offer comment on the proposals put forward by the council in its 32-page consultation document, which will provide the blueprint for development in the area up to 2040.

A council spokesman said: “This is an exciting time for our area and we are keen to keep up momentum and progress with a new Local Plan. The Local Plan will set out where new development will be located over the next 20 years and set out our ambitions and aspirations for addressing issues affecting our area now and in the future.

“Many of the policies and allocations for new development within our current Local Plan may still be relevant but it is important that we don’t just roll forward existing policies.”

The council has drawn up a range of objectives, which it believes are vital to provide an appropriate Local Plan, and is seeking comment on.

These include enhancing the role of Taunton town centre and to strengthen the function, vitality and self-containment of the area’s other towns.

Other objectives include:
  • provide a sufficient and varied supply of high quality and affordable homes to meet the needs of all sections of our communities.
  • create a prosperous, resilient and entrepreneurial economy ensuring competitiveness across the wider sub-region and attracting the most talented workers to the district.
  • to ensure that new development is supported by essential infrastructure in a timely manner.
  • deliver more affordable homes in rural and coastal communities.

Following consultations a draft plan is expected in summer 2020, with a revised plan published by next winter, which will be scrutinised by an independent planning inspector in summer 2021 with the final plan adopted and used to inform planning policy and decisions by winter 2021.

The consultation process will allow the council to decide whether current sites earmarked for development are still “fit for purpose”.

Mark Chugg MRICS, Partner with Greenslade Taylor Hunt, said: “This is an opportunity for landowners to promote their land for development, make sure that settlement boundaries are retained and state their opinion on policy and growth of the towns and villages in the area.”

The firm, which specialises in all aspects of development land and planning throughout the Westcountry, is keen to see a more pragmatic and flexible approach to development with each case viewed on its merits and sustainability credentials.
If you are a landowner who would like bespoke advice on planning please contact the specialists at Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s Development Land and Planning Department on 01823 334466.

To read the council’s proposals please click here.