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Mendip District Council plan on course

MENDIP District Council’s Local Plan, a key planning document which sets out how towns and villages throughout Mendip can develop over the next 15 years, is on course to be formally submitted to government inspectors in early autumn.

The Local Plan outlines where new homes, employment premises and commercial activity will be encouraged across the district up to 2028, and sets out the services, facilities and infrastructure, such as schools, health centres, jobs and green spaces, that are needed and when and how they will be delivered.

Planning officers at the council are also hard at work identifying an immediate supply of deliverable sites in Mendip to provide five years’ worth of housing, in line with government guidelines.

Until the Local Plan is formally adopted, planning applications for housing in the district will still be determined against the adopted and draft Local Plan, although more emphasis will have to be given to the government’s National Planning Policy Framework.

This policy states that planning applications for new sustainable housing developments should be considered favourably unless they would have overriding adverse impacts on the local area.

Nigel Woollcombe-Adams, portfolio holder for built environment said, “There have been concerns in Mendip from people worried that, without a new Local Plan, developers will be able to build anywhere they want. I would like to reassure residents that the council is still able to prevent sporadic housing development in the open countryside and will seek to ensure that housing development in Mendip only takes place in appropriate areas.

“I am confident that we will be able to submit the Local Plan to the secretary of state this autumn, prior to adoption by the council in early 2014.”