Somerset West and Taunton Interim Strategy
As the Local Planning Authority (LPA) there was no statutory requirement for the former Somerset West and Taunton to intervene to deliver phosphate neutral development in the District. Despite this, Somerset West and Taunton had been working hard to find solutions for development to proceed within the River Tone catchment area. As an interim solution, Somerset West and Taunton has committed £2m to forward fund the delivery of an interim strategy of measures. The purpose of these measures is to generate phosphate credits (known as ‘Somerset West and Taunton P credits’) that can be used to unlock some of the planning applications that are awaiting a decision.
Somerset West and Taunton P Credits are being generated by the following projects:
- Utilising council assets (e.g. improved water efficiency of council owned properties);
- Land use measures (e.g. wetlands); and
- Working in partnership with the Private Sector (e.g. fallowing land).
The Council is doing this to
- facilitate sustainable development
- minimise impact on SME’s
- help meet the requirement to maintain a 5-year housing land supply
- meet our wider housing duties
The initiative supports various Council ambitions of the former Somerset West and Taunton Council associated with: Our Environment and Economy; Homes and Communities and an Enterprising Council. These are set out in the Corporate Strategy 2020-2024.
On 9 November 2022 Natural England confirmed their support of Somerset West and Taunton’s Interim Phosphates Interim Strategy as set out in the Standard Appropriate Assessment of the Strategy.