Housing & Built Environment
The 2011 census* shows that there are 48,719 households in Mendip District Council (MDC) of which 4,572 fall within the Shepton Mallet Neighbourhood Plan area. In Shepton Mallet, single person households form 10.6% of the total number of households which is slightly less than the figure of 13.8% for MDC. In addition, 29.1% of households in the neighbourhood plan area have dependent children marginally higher than the MDC figure of 27.3%. 6.7% of households are those with lone parents and dependent children, mirroring the MDC figure of 6.1%.
The MDC Local Plan part II pre-submission consultation, Housing and Employment Allocations (reference date March 2017) states the intention to deliver the assessed need for at least 9,635 new dwellings over the period to 2029, of which 30% is for affordable housing.
Twenty seven homes were completed to March 2019 and total identified supply is 786 dwellings. The supply figure includes allocated land at Cannards Grave Road which has been subject to a detailed master planning exercise and an outline application is under consideration
Taking into account the housing already built, the predicted housing at Cannards Grave Rd (600) and the consent granted for the former Shepton Mallet Prison (134 dwellings) the total number of housing to be developed in Shepton Mallet over the plan period is approximately 600 although this figure is not intended as a cap on housing delivery. For example, additional large windfall sites may come forward for development or the contribution to supply assumed to come from small windfall sites may be exceeded.
The Core Strategy aims to direct new development to the “five principal settlements” which includes Shepton Mallet. Most are sustainable locations, and the priority is to steer growth primarily to brownfield land, but it is recognized that some greenfield land is also required, including some sites to be released from the Green Belt because these are the most sustainable locations.
The Mendip Local Plan identifies that the sites allocated for development deliver a substantial uplift over Part 2 requirement and are therefore not allocating any additional sites in the Town.
Local Plan Part 1 identified a site SHEP092 in Core Policy 9 which stated that any release of this land would be made through the Neighbourhood Planning process. Subsequently this was removed stating: “As development will require a comprehensive approach –particularly infrastructure and access-this is better re-assessed in the context of the Future single Plan Review.”
The Shepton Mallet Neighbourhood Plan is allocating an additional site as a buffer of up to 10% on the Local Plan housing requirement of 734 dwellings. This provides a positive approach to growth along with flexibility for small-scale windfall development within the built-up area boundary, whist recognising this development must not compromise the ability of the local infrastructure to support this.
It should be noted that the proposed development at Cannards Grave is also required to deliver infrastructure which includes a primary school, which is expected to be sufficient to support the additional site allocation
* 2021 Census information was not available at the time of writing