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Local Plan review 2040

We have a statutory requirement to prepare a Local Plan which covers the whole of the new Somerset West and Taunton area (excluding Exmoor National Park which produces its own Local Plan).

We have started work on the Local Plan 2040. When adopted by the Council, it will replace the existing Local Plan documents of the former Taunton Deane Borough Council and West Somerset Council.

Local Plan Issues and Options Document – consultation

The first stage is the Issues and Options document. The document looks at key issues for our area and suggests ways we can address these.  The issues we are looking at include how to plan for the places and spaces we live and work in; community services, shops, transport and infrastructure; our wildlife and landscapes; and the climate emergency.

We are now consulting on the Local Plan Issues and Options document. The consultation will take place from Monday 13 January to Monday 16 March 2020.

To respond to this consultation, please visit our consultation portal from 13 January to 16 March.

At the same time, we are consulting on two documents which will inform and evidence the Local Plan: the Sustainability Appraisal; and the Habitats Regulation Assessment.

We will also be visiting these venues, where you can find out more and ask questions:

  • Wellington, Quaker Meeting House – 23 January, 10am to 3pm
  • Williton, West Somerset House – 30 January, 2pm to 7pm
  • Taunton, the Orchard Shopping Centre – 6 February, 10am to 3pm
  • Minehead, Methodist Church – 10 February, 2pm to 7pm
  • Watchet, The Sanctuary – 11 February, 10am to 3pm
  • Wiveliscombe, Community Centre – 20 February, 10am to 3pm
  • Taunton, Deane House – 26 February, 2pm to 7pm

We have also produced two Topic Papers on two key issues:
Topic Paper 1: Brief assessment of settlement strategy options
Topic Paper 2: Settlement boundaries

Sustainability Appraisal – consultation

The Sustainability Appraisal (SA) supports the Local Plan. It looks at how the Local Plan can deliver environmental, economic and social objectives.

The Scoping Report and the Objectives and Alternatives Main Report and Appendix A and Appendix B are available for consultation through our consultation portal.

Habitats Regulation Assessment – consultation

The Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) looks at whether the plan, alone, or in together with other plans or projects, is likely to have a significant effect on an international nature conservation sites (Special Protection Areas (SPA), Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) or Ramsar sites).  The HRA is available for consultation through our consultation portal.

Next steps

Responses to this consultation will help to shape the Draft Local Plan. The Draft Local Plan is the next stage in this process and we expect consult on this later in 2020.

Comments on the SA Scoping Report and HRA will be used to revise those documents where appropriate.

The Local Plan timetable

Please note this timetable is subject to change.

Stage Stage name Summary of stage Time period
Stage 1 Evidence gathering (Reg 18) Includes the consultation on the Issues and Options document (Jan-Feb 2020), draft Sustainability Appraisal of alternatives, Habitat Regulation Assessment, production of technical evidence We are here
Stage 2 Draft Plan (Reg 19) Consultation on draft policies, potential development locations and supporting information, informed by the previous stage and further technical evidence Jul-Sept 2020
Stage 3 Publication version of the Plan Consultation on the revised plan, changed in light of the previous stage and further evidence gathering. Plan and comments go to the Planning Inspector Oct-Dec 2020
Stage 4 Planning Inspector's hearings An independent Planning Inspector examines the plan, evidence and comments made. The Inspector holds hearing sessions to discuss the ‘soundness’ of the plan Apr-Jun 2021
Stage 5 Plan is adopted The plan is adopted and is used to inform local planning policy and decisions on planning applications Sep-Dec 2021

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