Firepool is a major regeneration area within Taunton town centre, with aspirations for its development for many years. The adopted Taunton Town Centre Area Action Plan (2008) allocates the site for development. However, a number of circumstances have changed since then.
The Firepool site is owned and is being developed by Somerset West and Taunton Council. The Council are also the Local Planning Authority (LPA). The Council therefore has two distinct and separate roles with regards to the site, as Developer and as the LPA. As a result, the Council, as Developer, is producing a Firepool Masterplan, and the Council as LPA is working transparently with the Developer to ensure that it can support the proposals. The intention is for the LPA to approve a Masterplan as a means of providing an up to date, holistically considered and evidenced context which can act as a material consideration in the determination of subsequent individual planning applications for development within the site.
A draft Masterplan is expected to be presented to Members seeking approval for consultation later this year. More information regarding this approval process and consultation details will be published here in due course.
The Council has determined that the Masterplan is required to be accompanied by both Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) in accordance with relevant Regulations. Further information on this determination and reasons for it can be read within the SEA/HRA Screening Report.