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PROPOSED SUBMISSION LOCAL PLAN 2006-2028 - Aug 12

Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

Retail Hierarchy

8.75 The retail study identifies Yeovil as the largest centre in South Somerset, followed by the town centres of Chard, Crewkerne, Ilminster and Wincanton, then Ansford/Castle Cary, Langport/Huish Episcopi and Somerton, followed by Bruton, Ilchester, Martock, Milborne Port, South Petherton and Stoke sub Hamdon, effectively a four-tier hierarchy.

8.76 Yeovil is the principle centre, and will be the main focus for new retail and leisure investment that requires a high level of accessibility. Major new regional scale shopping facilities will not be supported outside Yeovil in order to retain the retail hierarchy, build on existing infrastructure and focus shops where people have the greatest access to them.

8.77 Chard, Crewkerne, Ilminster and Wincanton, function as important service centres, providing a range of facilities and services for an extensive rural catchment area, these settlements (identified as Primary Market Towns in the Local Plan Settlement Hierarchy) perform the role of Market Towns in retail terms.

8.78 Ansford/Castle Cary, Langport/Huish Episcopi and Somerton, contain groups of shops including a supermarket and a range of non-retail services such as banks and local public facilities (eg libraries) and these settlements (identified as Local Market Towns in the Local Plan Settlement Hierarchy) perform the role of District Centres in retail terms.

8.79 Bruton, Ilchester, Martock, Milborne Port, South Petherton and Stoke sub Hamdon (identified as Rural Centres in the Local Plan Settlement Hierarchy) function as Local Centres in retail terms, having a range of small shops of a local nature serving a small catchment, such as a small supermarket, newsagents, a sub-post office or pharmacy.

8.80 The retail hierarchy (Policy EP9) will determine how new net growth will be distributed over the plan period. Yeovil will be the main focus for new retail and leisure investment and the Market Towns, District Centres and Local Centres will accommodate development which will maintain their retail and service role and support their position in the retail hierarchy. Town Centres will also be the prime location for office development (Policy EP2).

8.81 The approach seeks to secure Yeovil's market share, thereby securing its prominence in the retail hierarchy, whilst allowing sufficient retail provision in the Market Towns, District Centres and Local Centres. Planning permission will not be granted for proposals which are out of scale with the retail hierarchy. If Yeovil's market share of convenience and comparison retailing were substantially increased, it could potentially unbalance this relationship at the expense of the other centres (see Policy EP10).

Policy EP9: Retail Hierarchy

Yeovil is the principle town centre in South Somerset. Chard, Crewkerne, Ilminster and Wincanton are Market Towns in retail terms. Ansford/Castle Cary, Langport/Huish Episcopi and Somerton are District Centres in retail terms and Bruton, Ilchester, Martock, Milborne Port, South Petherton and Stoke sub Hamdon are Local Centres in retail terms.

The development of main town centre uses in Yeovil, the Market Towns, District Centres and Local Centres should be of a scale that is commensurate with the settlement role and function, and does not unbalance the town centre hierarchy.

 
Delivery

8.82 The Council will work in partnership to promote the District's town centres and encourage appropriately scaled retail development in those town centres.

8.83 The following delivery bodies will be key in implementing Policy EP9:

  • South Somerset District Council;
  • Town and Parish Councils;
  • Developers and Landowners;
  • Infrastructure Providers.
 
Monitoring Indicators Target
Amount of retail floorspace developed both within and outside defined Town Centres Focus new retail development in town centre locations, in line with the South Somerset Retail Study 2012