Reasoned Justification for Policy Five 

Screenshot 2023 01 11 at 15.36.58Fig: Existing settlement boundary highlighted area, proposed extension to existing settlement boundary882

80 It is expected that the bulk of development will be focused within the built-up area of Shepton Mallet. The town needs to accommodate a degree of growth in order to prosper. However, this must be balanced against the need to preserve its role as a largely rural market town which does not encroach unduly on the open countryside that surrounds it. 

81 Policy 2 allocates a site for development which currently falls outside the built-up area boundary. This will require a minor change of the boundary to include this parcel of land of xxx ha’s as shown on the proposals map xxx below:

Screenshot 2023 01 11 at 05.30.25

82 Shepton Mallet Neighbourhood Plan Area is close to four European sites under consideration. These are:

• Mells Valley SAC; 

• Mendip Woodlands SAC; 

• North Somerset and Mendip Bats SAC; and , 

• Somerset Levels and Moors SPA and Ramsar site. 

83 Although development outside the settlement boundary would not be within any of these designated areas, it would, however, potentially have a significant impact on whichever lies closest to the development. 

84 Given the unique and sensitive nature of much of the land outside the settlement boundaries fi(defined in Figures xxx) the community supports building as many houses as possible within the existing settlement. 

85 The site selected in Policy 2, whilst outside the settlement boundary, is adjacent to the strategic allocation of Cannards Grave (Planning Application: 2020/2314/VRC). This means the infrastructure being put in place to service the needs of the new community together with traffic infrastructure, will service the needs of the new community as well. Therefore, no additional infrastructure will be required. 

86 Given the current strategic allocation identified for Shepton Mallet, together with the Site Allocation in Policy 2, the housing target plus a 25% buffer can be delivered with no further allocations outside of the settlement boundary.