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Meeting Dates Set to Discuss Updated Draft Core Strategy

Monday 13 February 2012, 13:39
By Sally Nash

Updated set of proposals for South Somerset plan to be discussed - Dates of district council committee meetings agreed.

Work to develop a plan that will shape the district over the next twenty years is continuing, with updated proposals being considered by South Somerset district councillors in the coming months.

South Somerset District Council has been working on a set of draft policies that cover everything from how much housing and employment space is built and where, to what schools, roads, shops, parks and other services are needed in support.

Thousands of people commented on the draft plan, called the draft Core Strategy, during a six-week public consultation and over twenty local events in the winter of 2010.

Since then, the district council has been using the responses and updated research to suggest refinements to the proposals within the draft.

A report containing the refined proposals will be considered at the district council's four Area Committees, all of which are open to the public:

Area North, 22nd February, 1.30pm, Edgar Hall, Somerton, TA11 6SB
Area South, 7th March, 10.00am, The Gateway, Addlewell Lane, Yeovil, BA20 1QN
Area East, 14th March, 10.00am, Memorial Hall, Wincanton, BA9 9JF
Area West, 21st March, 4.00pm, The Shrubbery, Ilminster, TA19 9AR

Each Area Committee will only actively consider those development proposals within their area boundaries.

The timing of consideration of the Core Strategy is subject to other agenda items.

Reports considered at any of the council's Committees are always published a week before the meeting. The same Core Strategy report will go to each of the four Area Committees and will be available to view on the council's website in its Minutes and Agendas section, and also in hard copy at council offices on 15 February.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the meetings to watch councillors discussing the latest proposals, and importantly there will also be another six-week period of public consultation later in 2012.

Cllr Ric Pallister, Leader of South Somerset District Council explains the next steps: "We have taken on board the views and comments made by local people, and have been assessing these against the latest evidence and research indicating what South Somerset needs.

"At the same time we have had to take account of the Government's recently issued, proposed draft National Planning Policy Framework.

"The important thing is that we find a balance. We need to plan carefully to meet the future needs of those who live in our towns and villages, especially to get homes and jobs in the right places and with the right balance.

"Whilst we will not be able to please everyone, we are putting forward a set of policies which we believe represent the best balance."

Once the four Area Committees have made their comments, the recommendations and any agreed proposals will be considered by the District Executive committee and finally before all sixty councillors at Full Council. District Executive committee will meet on 26th March 2012, 10am, The Gateway, Yeovil and Full Council on 23rd April 2012, 6pm, The Gateway, Yeovil.

The agreed version of the plan will then go out for another six weeks of public consultation later this year. Changes can be made and incorporated at any stage.

The final draft, and any comments made in the public consultation will be examined by an independent Planning Inspector later in 2012, with a report due back towards the end of the year.

The plan will be adopted after the council receives the Inspector's comments.


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