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How you could help shape the future development of South Somerset

| District

Where might new homes be built and new space for businesses be created?

It’s a question we’d like landowners to help us answer as we carry out a review of the availability of land in South Somerset.

We’re asking people to suggest sites that are suitable and available for development as part of a review of the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA).

The Council has nearly 400 sites in its database, but many are not actually appropriate for development.

In connection with the preparation of the Local Plan Review, the Council is reviewing its records and is inviting landowners and developers to put forward potential sites for development of any use in its ‘Call for Sites’ that could help to meet the District’s future housing or employment requirements. Submissions may also be used to support the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans.

Why do more homes need to be built?

It’s a question we’re often asked and the answer is simple – there are not enough homes to meet demand. The Government has stated that in order to meet current and future housing need nationally, local authorities need to significantly increase the supply of new homes. Most experts believe that we need to build 250,000 new homes per year in the UK, while over the last decade the average has been just 130,500 per year.

New housing development is important to health of the UK economy. Quite apart from the social benefits that accrue from a well housed population, the house building industry contributes £19.2bn a year to the UK economy, supports 600,000 jobs and has a predominantly domestic supply chain.

The current housing requirement proposed for South Somerset in the Local Plan Review is at least 14,322 homes through to 2036.

What is the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA)?

It’s an important document which provides guidance as to where future development could occur. It provides evidence that brings together important information related to sites which could be used future housing and employment land delivery in South Somerset.

Importantly, the identification of potential sites within the HELAA does not imply that planning permission would be granted if an application were to be submitted, nor that a site will be allocated for development, but it will assist in the new preparation of the new Local Plan and help to inform the five-year supply of deliverable housing land. It will include sites suitable to accommodate five dwellings or more, or economic development of 0.25ha (or 500m2 of floor space) and above.

READ MORE: To read more about the HELAA, use the dropdown menu on this page

Leader of the Council Val Keitch said that “The District is facing a number of issues. The population is continuing to grow, with an increasing proportion of older residents. There is sustained pressure on the need to achieve the delivery of new housing of all types and tenures to meet current as well as emerging need. Alongside this, affordable housing for local people is a key concern. 

“New development can have a big impact on the lives and work of the whole community, so it is important that we ensure that the right amount of growth happens in the right places. That’s why we’re looking to maximise the quantity of information we have on potential sites across the District.”

How can I take part?

You can obtain a copy of the site submission form at Local Plan Review 2016-2036 | South Somerset District Council

Please ensure that you read the guidance notes before completing the form. Please complete a separate form for each parcel of land in separate ownership and return to us either:

  • By post to: The Strategy and Commissioning Team, The Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil, BA20 2HT; or
  • Via email to: planningpolicy@southsomerset.gov.uk

Forms should be returned by Friday 27 March 2020 to be certain of their inclusion in the HELAA. Please provide enough information to enable us to assess the site.

If circumstances have not changed since a site was previously submitted, either in connection with the previous HELAA, or in response to the Local Plan Review consultation, please do not re-submit these sites as they will already be on the Council’s database.

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