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Royal Town Planning Institute officials visit South Somerset

| District

Two representatives from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) have visited South Somerset today and met with Council officers to showcase some of the great planning work taking place in the district.

SSDC hosted RTPI President, Ian Tant and RTPI South West Chair, Chris Balch at The Newt in Somerset. They are showcasing schemes that have been facilitated by the SSDC planning team, as well as highlighting the pressures facing local authority planning services.

Simon Fox, Lead Specialist for Planning, said “It’s a great opportunity to meet with two prominent members of our professional body and show the good work planners in South Somerset are doing.”

RTPI President Ian Tant said: “After visiting two exemplary new housing developments in the Dartmoor National Park yesterday, I’m excited to hear today about some of the great work being done by planners in South Somerset. In particular, I’m looking forward to visiting The Newt in Somerset, a great example of how conservation, landscape architecture and planning can work effectively together to create a remarkable country estate.”

The venue, The Newt in Somerset, is a 17th century, Grade II listed country estate, home to vast woodland, an array of gardens, hotel, restaurant and world-class spa. SSDC have been working closely with the estate for a number of years, helping transform original buildings into versatile accommodation, without losing their character, and ensuring the modern spaces fit seamlessly within the landscape. 

Paul Rowson, Estate Manager at The Emily Estate, added “We are delighted SSDC and the RTPI have chosen The Newt in Somerset to highlight the work of planners and conservation officers. We have worked closely with SSDC to create a fantastic venue and attraction which our customers are really enjoying and making a positive impact in the community.”

Other planning achievements include the award winning Brimsmore housing development in Yeovil, the restoration works at Ven House, Milborne Port that were highly commended by the Georgian Society, and Fosse Park, a housing development featuring secure homes for those with learning disabilities. 

The planning team at SSDC have been part of the recent, organisation wide, transformation programme; redesigning the way in which the Council works to ensure the continuation of great services with significantly less funding.

Councillor Tony Lock, portfolio holder for Protecting Core Services at South Somerset District Council, said: “Our planning service faces great pressures and demand, with a number of high profile applications being processed at the moment, but officers continue to provide an expert and very professional service to those that need it. The Newt in Somerset is a great example of what can be achieved when working cohesively with our planning team. Officers look forward to showcasing The Newt in Somerset, plus many more schemes that have been facilitated by the team to the Royal Town Planning Institute professionals.”

Mr Tant’s visit is part of a nationwide tour of local authorities in his role as President.

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