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Mr & Mrs S Scriven

F. J. Scriven & Sons

108 Fore Street, North Petherton

Erection of 2 storey extension, change of use and

conversion of butchers shop (Use Class A1) to 2 no.
dwellings (Use Class C3) with associated courtyard
gardens and parking areas.

Planning, Design & Access Statement

November 2014

Williams PDC

1 McCreath Close

North Petherton



O: 01278 284583

M: 07525 636 283




1. Introduction

2. The Site

3. Proposed Development

4. Planning Policy

5. The Case

6. Conclusions

Appendix 1 Marketing

Appendix 2 Local Bus Timetables


1.1. Introduction

1.2. Williams PDC are instructed to submit a full planning application on behalf of Mr
and Mrs S Scriven, in relation to the redevelopment of F J Scriven and Sons
Butchers, Fore Street, North Petherton.

1.3. The proposed development comprises the erection of a two storey extension,
change of use and conversion of the former butchers shop, ancillary work
spaces and first floor flat into a pair of independent dwelling houses. In
association with this, but under separate application, it is proposed to demolish
the existing outbuildings and to erect a terrace of three, 2 bedroom dwelling
houses with associated parking and amenity areas.

1.4. The following statement presents the proposed development and sets out its
justification in relation to Sedgemoor District Council Core Strategy Policies and
also guidance contained within the National Planning Policy Framework.

1.5. It will demonstrate the sustainability credentials of the proposed development,

which will make good use of now redundant premises, leading to the
regeneration of a brownfield site. Particular attention will be paid to impacts
upon the economic and social vitality and viability of North Petherton as a key
rural settlement, whilst also focusing on amenity, flood risk and transport issues.

2.0 The Site

2.1 The application site is located at 108 Fore Street, North Petherton. It occupies a
prominent position within the centre of this well established town, fronting onto
the A38 to the West.

2.2 North Petherton is identified as being a Key Rural Settlement in the Adopted
Sedgemoor Core Strategy. The town provides a wide range of public facilities
and services, and has a population in excess of 5000. The town is physically
divided by the A38, which scythes through the town connecting the larger urban
areas of Taunton to the South and Bridgwater to the North. Image 1 below
provides an overview of the sites location within the town.

Image 1 Aerial view of site and surroundings Source:

2.3 Prior to September 2014, F J Scriven and Sons operated a successful traditional
butchery business, which also provided food to external catering companies as
an accompanying function. Unfortunately, due to retirement and a lack of interest
in the business being taken on by a new proprietor as a going concern, the
difficult decision was taken by the applicants to close the shop on Saturday 27
September 2014. The remaining catering element of the business has since

been transferred to the sole remaining premise which is based at Langport,


2.4 In brief, the site comprises a retail shop with rear food preparation areas and
office below a first floor three bedroom maisonette. Externally the site is served
by an enclosed yard and parking area with two single storey outbuildings. These
buildings provide refrigeration and freezing space together with food preparation
areas for the catering element of the business.

2.5 The principle building within the premises is that containing the butchers shop.
This is a two storey end of terrace property that has been a family butchers since
the early 20th century. The maisonette above has not been occupied for
residential purposes in recent years, but such is taken to be its extant use in
planning terms. Externally the building is of rendered walls (painted off white),
with painted stone quoins, white uPVC and timber windows. The roof of the
premises comprises both hipped and traditional pitched elements with slate to
the former and clay pantiles to the latter sections.

2.6 The ancillary buildings within the Northern section of the site are single storey in
scale, albeit with varying heights. These elements are generally of blockwork
construction finished with render and painted off white. The small storage
building that abuts the public highway/footpath has a pantile roof whilst the larger
building is finished with corrugated sheeting.

2.7 With regard to boundary treatments, the site has a combination of painted and
unpainted render blockwork walls with sections of clay brickwork to the West,
fronting onto the footway and highway. The boundary separating the site from
the neighbouring property at 3 Hammet Street, comprises a low level stone wall,
which has a partially collapsed section and is in need of repair.

2.8 The site benefits from direct vehicular access onto the A38, derived via the
Western site boundary. The access leads to a small parking and loading yard
area. The access onto the footway is bound by high level walling to the North
and South, the latter of which screens a refrigeration unit from public view. It is
common place for delivery lorries and staff vehicles to park on the highway and
on the pavement to the front of the shop.

3.0 Proposed Development

3.1 The application proposes the extension and conversion of the butchers shop to
form two dwelling houses with associated garden, parking and turning areas to
the North of the building.

3.2 Unit 1 will be located within the original shop area of the premises where a living
and dining area will be provided; the proposed two storey extension will be
erected to the North elevation and provide for a kitchen and WC. At first floor
level two bedrooms will be formed, as per the existing accommodation layout,
with a family bathroom created within the new extension. There will be some
minor reconfiguration internally, with existing openings being closed off to
provide separation from Unit 2. Access will be provided off the public footway
along Fore Street and from the rear courtyard garden.

3.3 Unit 2 will be located between the original shop area and 3 Hammet Street to the
East. It will seek to convert the existing office and work space to a ground floor
lounge, kitchen and diner. A WC will also be formed together with a lobby
leading out onto the rear courtyard garden. At first floor three bedrooms and a
family bathroom will be created. This will largely use the existing room layout,
albeit with some minor changes to the positioning of existing partition walls. The
dwelling will be accessed off Hammet Street via an existing doorway and via the
rear courtyard garden.

3.4 With the exception of the new extension, there will be very few changes to the
external fabric of the building. One blocked off window will be re-opened within
the north elevation to serve a bedroom to Unit 2; otherwise all existing openings
will be utilised with fenestration replaced with heritage style uPVC windows and
doors or similar. The proposed extension will require the demolition of an
existing refrigeration unit and screen wall that fronts onto Fore Street. The
extension will have a footprint reduced from that of the existing refrigeration unit.
A second refrigeration unit will be demolished to provide amenity space for Unit

3.5 In design terms the proposed extension will be subservient to the original
building, having a reduced ridge height and being stepped backwards off the
principle elevation that fronts onto Fore Street. The palette of materials will

match those of the existing premises and matters such as windows and door
apertures will be of matching proportions and design also.

3.6 Each proposed dwelling will be served by a rear courtyard garden to the North of
the building. In order to maximise the available space, it will be necessary to
remove the refrigeration units in order to provide modest gardens that are of a
scale similar to that of the courtyard serving no 3 Hammet Street to the East.
Each garden will be enclosed by existing/altered walls and fencing as required.

3.7 With regard to access it is proposed to utilise the existing vehicular access point
to the Western boundary of the site. Betterment to vehicular and pedestrian
inter-visibility will be provided by reducing the height of the boundary wall North
of the access to a height of 600mm above ground level; the alignment of the wall
South of the access will also be further splayed to enhance existing visibility.

3.8 In order to secure private parking, it is proposed to provide 1 vehicular parking

space per dwelling; such will be within a shared courtyard as indicated on the
submitted plans. Each dwelling would be allocated a private parking space;
turning would be provided within the site also. The parking and turning area
would be laid with a new permeable paving, replacing the existing concrete

3.9 Finally, it will be essential to provide for suitable foul and surface water drainage
to serve the development. Foul waste will be discharged via the existing system
within the building, which is connected to mains sewers. Similarly, surface water
will be drained via new rainwater goods to existing soakaways and storm water
drain within the site.

4.0 Planning Policy

4.1 Following the revocation of Regional Planning Guidance 10 and the Somerset
and Exmoor National Park Joint Structure Plan Review, the development plan
currently consists of the policies contained within the Sedgemoor Core Strategy.
The most pertinent Policies contained within the Core Strategy that are
considered to be relevant to the proposed development are:

S1 Spatial Strategy for Sedgemoor

S3 Sustainable Development Principles

D1 Managing Flood Risk

D2 - Promoting High Quality and Inclusive Design

D5 - Housing

D9 Sustainable Transport & Movement

D10 - Managing the Transport Impacts of Development

D11 Economic Prosperity

D16 - Pollution Impacts of Development and Protecting Residential Amenity

D21 Community and Cultural Facilities

P4 Key Rural Settlements

4.2 In addition to the Core Strategy, guidance contained within the National Planning
Policy Framework (NPPF), National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) and the
Somerset Parking Strategy are material considerations to the determination of
the proposed development.

4.3 The key policies and the relevant points within them are summarised below:

S1 Spatial Strategy for Sedgemoor

The Policy sets out a hierarchy of settlements towards which development

should be directed, with particular focus on the Districts housing, employment
and retail growth. As the principal town in the District, Bridgwater will
accommodate the majority of new development within its urban area through

the provision of a strategic urban extension, brownfield sites and at other well
related Greenfield locations.

For the remainder of the District, development will be concentrated at those

places which, after Bridgwater, offer the greatest opportunity for appropriate
sustainable development. These places will be Burnham-on-Sea &
Highbridge, Key Rural Settlements and Other Sustainable Settlements as
identified in the settlement hierarchy.

North Petherton is identified as being a Key Rural Settlement by the Strategy.

S3 - Sustainable Development Principles

This Policy is positively worded towards supporting development that meets the
following criteria:

Mitigating the causes of climate change and adapting to those impacts that are

Prioritise where appropriate the reuse of previously developed land and

buildings within existing settlements and then at the most sustainable locations
on the edge of the identified settlements in accordance with the Spatial Strategy
(Policy S1:Spatial Strategy for Sedgemoor);

Promote greater self-containment of settlements by contributing to communities

that are supported by adequate services, cultural, sporting and leisure activities,
a diverse range of employment opportunities, physical and social infrastructure
and transport options whilst taking into account flood risk;

Be located to minimise the need to travel and to encourage any journeys that
remain necessary to be possible by alternative modes of travel including
maximising opportunities for walking, cycling and the use of public transport;

Provide opportunities where relevant for housing to meet the needs of local

The creation of locally distinctive, well designed, healthy, safe, and accessible
neighbourhoods that empower and support inclusive and vibrant communities;

A vibrant, diverse and responsive local economy that supports investment and
regeneration of our towns and rural settlements

Raising the aspirations, skills and achievements of young people and adults
through accessibility education, training, local employment and housing;

Minimise the impact on natural resources, avoid pollution and incorporate the
principles of sustainable construction to contribute to energy efficiency,
renewable energy, waste reduction/recycling, the use of sustainably sourced
materials, sustainable drainage, reduced water use, water quality and soil

Maximise opportunities for local food production and farming by avoiding best
and most versatile agricultural land where possible, taking into account other
sustainability considerations; and

Protect and enhance the quality of the natural, built and historic environment
improving their understanding, appreciation and sustainable use.

D1 Managing Flood Risk

The policy states that all development proposals in Flood Zones 2 and 3 as
defined by the Environment Agencys Flood Map will only be permitted where
the Sequential Test is passed as outlined in PPS25, unless:

PPS25 or subsequent replacement makes specific exception for the type of

development proposed.

The Policy advises that in undertaking the Sequential Test it is the responsibility
of the applicants to demonstrate that there are no reasonably available
alternative sites at lower flood risk within a defined area of search where the
proposed development could be sited.

For the purposes of the Sequential Test the area of search will be the
Sedgemoor District area unless:

It can be demonstrated that the development has a specific locational

requirement based on functional requirements or to meet a demonstrable
specific local need, in which case the area of search should reflect this; or

The site is located within or physically adjoining the urban area of Bridgwater, in
which case that will be the search area; or

The site is located within or physically adjoining the Burnham-on-Sea and

Highbridge urban area, in which case that will be the search area; or

The site is located within a settlement boundary of an identified Key Rural

Settlement, in which case that will be the search area.

For the purposes of the Sequential Test, reasonably available alternative sites
are those that are within the relevant area of search, can accommodate the
requirements of the proposed development and are deliverable. For residential
proposals alternative sites considered should be identified in the Councils 5
year Housing Land Supply Report.

D2 - Promoting High Quality and Inclusive Design

The Policy is concerned with ensuring that Council achieves high quality,
sustainable and inclusive design for all new developments throughout the
district to deliver places and spaces that are attractive and safe, accessible for
all, enjoyable to use and which encourage social interaction together with
healthy lifestyles and environments.

It states that development will need to demonstrate:

High quality sustainable and inclusive design that responds positively to and
reflects the particular local characteristics of the site and the identity of the
surrounding area as well as taking into account climate change;

That it contributes to the quality of the public realm through creating safe and
attractive public open spaces and street scenes using appropriate
materials/surface treatments, landscaping, public art, street lighting and
furniture which is appropriate for their locations;

That it does not harm the amenity value of the occupiers of nearby buildings or
the wider area;

That development promotes safety and security through design, location and
layout in a way that reduces the incidents of anti social behaviour, vulnerability
to crime, the fear of crime and distinguishes between spaces which are private
or public;

The use, where appropriate is of contemporary architectural styles and

innovative approaches to design;

That its design solution incorporates the need to make the most efficient use of
land through appropriate densities, whilst recognising the need for positive
treatment of the spaces around and between buildings (including soft and hard
landscaping), and their relationship to adjoining buildings and the local context;

That it is accessible to all potential users using a range of transport modes, be

integrated into existing patterns of movement and be permeable. Its design
should create good connections to wider areas with a clear network of routes
for walking and cycling using legible routes through the site and supported by
integrated networks of open space and green corridors;

That climate change issues are fully considered.

D5 Housing

In general housing proposals will be supported where they contribute to the

following objectives:

Accord with the Spatial Strategy;

Deliver a minimum of 10,605 new homes between 2006-27;

Consistent with the Councils Housing Trajectory;

Meeting local housing needs, including mix, type and tenure;

Making provision for identified specialist local needs including older persons
and those with disabilities;

Providing appropriate infrastructure (including green infrastructure) when


High quality sustainable design and energy efficiency;

Compatible with the scale, accessibility needs and character of its location;

No adverse impact on the transport network in terms of the nature and volume
of traffic.

The Council will manage housing delivery through its housing trajectory,
ensuring that a five year deliverable land supply for housing is maintained. The
release of additional greenfield land for housing (excluding sites promoted
under the Local Priority Housing Sites section of Policy P4: Key Rural
Settlements) will only be approved where it is demonstrated in the Councils
Annual Monitoring Report that there is a shortfall in the five year supply of
deliverable land supply for housing.

In such circumstances the release of sites will be considered according to the


For sites at Bridgwater against Policy P1: Bridgwater Urban Area;

Elsewhere in the rest of District sites will be prioritised at Burnham-on-Sea &

Highbridge unless it can be demonstrated that there are no suitable and
deliverable sites. If this can be demonstrated, priority will then be given to the
Key Rural Settlements and then followed by Other Sustainable Settlements. In
all cases sites should be identified in the SHLAA as having future potential and
meet the above objectives and other relevant policies of the plan.

D9 - Sustainable Transport and Movement

The Policy states that travel management schemes and development

proposals that reduce congestion, encourage an improved and integrated
transport network and allow for a wide choice of modes of transport as a means
of access to jobs, homes, leisure and recreation, services and facilities will be
encouraged and supported. Proposals will:

Support the travel improvements identified in the Somerset Local Transport

Plan (and successor Future Transport Plan transport policies, implementation
plan and modal strategies) and Infrastructure and Delivery Study;

Be compatible with the existing transport infrastructure or, if not, provision shall
be made, where necessary, for improvements to infrastructure to enable
development to proceed;

Contribute to reducing adverse environmental issues, including air, light and

noise pollution, vibration and surface water run-off, through appropriate
mitigation measures, including tree planting along road corridors for shade,
amenity and air quality;

Enhance road and personal safety;

Enhance the facilities for pedestrians, cyclists, those with reduced mobility and
other users;

Develop innovative and adaptable approaches that deliver higher quality and
accessible public transport options;

Encourage efficient, safe and sustainable freight transport; and

Be resilient to climate change.

D10 - Managing the Transport Impacts of Development

The Policy states that development proposals that will have a significant transport
impact should:

Be supported by an appropriate Transport Assessment , Air Quality

Assessment, Noise and Vibration Assessment and Ecological Surveys where
there are significant transport implications;

Include an appropriate Travel Plan outlining how the development will manage
transport impacts and encourage more sustainable modes of travel;

Ensure provision is made for inclusive, safe and convenient access for
pedestrians, people with disabilities, cyclists and users of public transport that
addresses the needs of all;

Provide safe access to roads of adequate standard within the route hierarchy;

Ensure that the expected nature and volume of traffic and parked vehicles
generated by the development would not compromise the safety and/or
function of the local or strategic road networks in terms of both volume and
type of traffic generated;

Comprehensively address the transport impact of development and

appropriately contribute to the delivery of the necessary transport

Not prejudice existing and new safeguarded transport infrastructure (sites and
routes) as shown on the Saved Local Plan Proposals Map; and

Enhance and develop rights-of-way as a means of managing transport

impacts of development and should not reduce the convenience and safety of
existing rights-of-ways, bridle paths and cycle paths, unless suitable
alternative routes are provided.

D11 Economic Prosperity

Safeguarding Existing Employment Land and Buildings

The Policy states that proposals to change the use, redevelop or convert
existing employment sites and buildings to non-employment uses will not be
supported unless it can be demonstrated that there is no likelihood of a viable
employment use or redevelopment; and

It would be preferable for the existing activity, as a result of adverse

environmental impact, to be relocated to a more suitable site and its reuse for
employment is not feasible or appropriate; or

No suitable alternative provision for the proposed use has been made
elsewhere in the Local Development Document.

Where it is accepted that employment use or redevelopment of such sites is not

viable or suitable, priority will be given to alternative uses in the following order:

1. Mixed use schemes;


2. Residential only schemes.

D16 - Pollution Impacts of Development and Protecting Residential Amenity

Pollution Impact of Development

The Policy states that development proposals that are likely to result in levels of
air, noise, light or water pollution (including groundwater), vibration or soil
contamination that would be harmful to other land uses, human health,
tranquillity, or the built and natural environment will not be supported.

It goes on to say that where there are reasonable grounds to suggest that a
development proposal may result in a significant adverse environmental
impact, the Council will require planning applications to be supported by
assessments relating to:

Air pollution;

Noise pollution and/or vibration;

Light pollution;

Carbon Emissions;

Contaminated Land/soil;


Water pollution;

Odour; and

Any other sources.

Where it is demonstrated that it is possible to manage the potential adverse

impacts of the development proposal through its design or mitigation measures,
the Council will, by means of condition or legal agreement, seek to ensure such
measures are effective, for example by imposing limitations on matters
including hours of operation, emission of fumes, noise and light, parking and
servicing for both construction and operational stages.

Residential Amenity

The Policy states that development proposals that would result in the loss of
land of recreational and/or amenity value or unacceptably impact upon the
residential amenity of occupants of nearby dwellings and any potential future
occupants will not be supported. Particular consideration will be given to the
extent that the proposal could result in unacceptable noise and disturbance,
overshadowing, overlooking and/or visual dominance.

D21 Community and Cultural Facilities

The Policy states that existing facilities will be retained, unless it can be
demonstrated that:

There is appropriate alternative provision available locally; and

There is no longer a demand for the use and/or it is not viable; and

The facility is no longer fit for its intended purpose.

P4 Key Rural Settlements

The Policy states that proposals for development in the Key Rural Settlements
will be supported which meet the following objectives:

Enhance their role as service centres for their local community;

Improve self-containment;

Support the needs of the local community;

Respect environmental limits.


Housing proposals for redevelopment, infill, subdivision and conversion within

existing settlement boundaries will be supported where it is appropriate to the
scale, design and character of the existing community.


Employment proposals will be supported within or adjacent to existing

settlement boundaries where they are compatible with the scale and character
of the community, and encourage local job opportunities. In addition the
retention, remodelling or appropriate expansion of existing businesses will be
supported. However employment proposals that have a potential significant
effect on internationally and nationally designated nature conservation sites will
not be supported.

Local Services

Proposals to provide or enhance local services and facilities will be supported.

In order to sustain the local service centre role of the Key Rural Settlements,
the loss of existing services and facilities that meet the day to day needs of the
local community will be resisted unless an over-riding justification can be

5.0 The Case

5.1 The following section will justify the proposed development when considered
against the backdrop of the relevant development plan policies and additional
guidance contained within the Nation Planning Policy Framework.

5.2 The section begins with addressing the general principle of the proposed
development in terms of planning policy and then deals with material
considerations, which given the context of the site and its surroundings, are
considered to comprise the impact of the proposed development upon visual
and residential amenity, transport and highway safety and flood risk.

Development Principles

5.3 There are a number of key elements to the proposed development that must be
considered under the principle of development; these are the provision of
housing, the re-use of previously developed land and the loss of employment
land and community facility.

Housing Provision

5.4 The application site is located within the centre of North Petherton, a well
serviced, sustainable town within Sedgemoor. North Petherton is a sustainable
settlement; the following list provides an indication of the services available, but
is not exhaustive:

Primary School; Tesco Express;

3 no. nursery schools; 4 no. takeaways/restaurants

Community centre; Hotel and restaurant;

Library; Football, rugby, cricket, bowls,

tennis and other sports clubs;
Doctors surgery;
Recreation and play grounds;
Dental practice;
Assisted living and care homes;
2 no. public houses;
2 no. hairdressing salons.
3 no. convenience stores;

5.5 Policy S1 of the Sedgemoor Core Strategy identifies North Petherton as being a
Key Rural Settlement. It is recognised by the Strategy that these locations offer
the best opportunity to facilitate sustainable patterns of development.
Paragraph 49 of the National Planning Policy Framework states that Local
Planning Authorities should determine housing applications in the context of the
presumption in favour of sustainable development. In addition, Para 111 of the
NPPF states that planning policies should encourage the effective use of land
by re-using land that has been previously developed (brownfield land). The site
is considered to meet the definition of brownfield, or previously developed land
and such designation must weigh heavily in favour of the proposed
development, as set out within Para 111 of the NPPF and Policy S3 of the Core

5.6 Further, Policy P4 states that within Key Rural Settlements:

Housing proposals for redevelopment, infill, subdivision and conversion within

existing settlement boundaries will be supported where it is appropriate to the
scale, design and character of the existing community.

5.7 Policy D5 (Housing) sets out a number of criteria that must be met in order for
new residential development to be met.

5.8 North Petherton, being located along the A38, is served by regular bus services
that travel between Wellington, Taunton, Bridgwater and Weston Super Mare.
The services operate through the town every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday,
with more restricted service provision also provided on Sundays.

5.9 The town is recognised as being a sustainable settlement by the Core Strategy;
it has excellent service provision, access to employment opportunities and
sustainable modes of transport. This coupled with the re-use of the site, as a
brownfield development, leads to the conclusions that the principle of residential
use of the site is acceptable.

Loss of community facility

5.10 One of the most contentious issues with the proposed development is likely to
be the loss of the A1 retail unit (butchers shop) to residential use. Planning
Policy aims to support the retention of local community services and facilities in
order to ensure that existing settlements remain sustainable, and to a degree,
self-sufficient. Most recently, applications of a similar nature and taken to set a
general precedent, have been granted planning permission for the following
retail conversion and re-use of employment land within North Petherton:

37/00/00019 Conversion of shop to flat 1 Quantock Parade;

37/02/00036 Conversion of shop to flat 2 Quantock Parade;

37/03/00017 Conversion of shop and flat to 4 flats, 75-77 Fore St;

37/06/00030 Conversion of shop and flat to dwelling Portman Stores;

37/06/00168 - Conversion of Butchers shop to Residential, 71-73 Fore St;

37/07/00073 - Conversion of Butchers shop to Residential, 71-73 Fore St;

37/10/00018 - Conversion of shop to flat 2 Quantock Parade.

5.11 Policy D11 of the Core Strategy states that the conversion of employment land
or buildings to non-employment generating uses will not be supported unless it
can be demonstrated that there is no likelihood of a viable employment use or
redevelopment. Such an approach is confirmed by Policies D12 and P4 of the
Core Strategy, which seek to retain community facilities and services unless an
overriding justification can be made for their loss.

5.12 Over the years, the retail environment and degree of public services and
facilities provided within North Petherton has dwindled; largely one assumes
due to the increased dependence of families upon large national retailers and
super market chains that dominate the competition within the open market.

5.13 Over the past twenty years or so, North Petherton has seen the loss of small
retail premises which include the former Four Bees shop, W Gibbs outfitters,
Harvest Fayre, original Post Office shop and Pynes Butchers. The latter was
granted planning permission to change its use from butchers to office space
whilst W Gibbs and a section of the old Post Office site have been converted

into residential units. In addition, the Swann Inn public house has been
converted into a modern Tesco Metro super market and Pynes Butchers has
been allowed to relocate to a new build retail premises outside the settlement
boundary of North Petherton.

5.14 Notwithstanding the unavoidable closure of some premises, and the relocation
of others, North Petherton continues to provide a wide range of services and
facilities to the community. F J Scriven and Sons no longer have a need for
their premises in North Petherton. Any remaining business activity relating to
ancillary catering work has been transferred to the sole remaining premises at
Langport, which has rendered the site and shop vacant since the end of
September 2014.

5.15 The fact that the business has had to close is regrettable, but inevitable due to
the natural occurrence of retirement and there being no natural successor
within the family to take the business forward for years to come. Such has been
unavoidable to the applicants, who have, over the past eight years, made
several concerted and genuine attempts to sell the business as a going
concern in order to continue its service to the community. Sadly, such has not
been achievable. Therefore, based on a lack of viable alternative uses or
shows of interest in the site, the redevelopment of the shop and flat over is
being sought.

5.16 Policy D11 of the Core Strategy requires it to be demonstrated that there is no
likelihood of a viable employment use or redevelopment. Within the planning
environment, it is a well-established principle that in order to demonstrate
whether or not a viable alternative use exists for a site, a marketing exercise be
undertaken in order to ascertain levels of interest in the business/property, be
that for the existing business as a going concern, or for alternative employment
generating uses, subject to planning.

5.17 As a moral obligation to the community that they had served for so many years,
the applicants have been attempting to sell the existing business as a going
concern over the past eight years. It was initially advertised through
Amberglobe Ltd; a national agent that deals with commercial businesses
amongst other freehold premises. As can be seen at Appendix 1, the property

was previously advertised for sale from May 2007 for 775,000. After two years
and no formal approaches or offers the property was removed from the market
and the applicants continued to run the business until their recent retirement.

5.18 Despite having failed to sell the business through Amberglobe, the business
was once again advertised for sale through Greenslade Taylor Hunt (GTH)
from June 2013 and it continues to be marketed to this day with an asking price
of 400,000. You will note that the asking price has depreciated significantly
since first being marketed as a going concern, despite to the applicants
acceptance that the business continues to operate at a highly profitable level.

5.19 Details of the marketing strategy by GTH are to follow under separate cover,
although basic details are provided at Appendix 1 and online at Despite having been offered to the market continuously
for more than 18 months to this day, at a fair and realistic market value and
stating that alternative uses and development might be feasible subject to
planning, it has become clear that there is no call for the premises to provide an
employment use within North Petherton. GTH have confirmed that very little
interest has been shown in the premises over the past 12 months, no viewings
have taken place and no offers received. Similarly the applicants have received
no formal offers for the business as a going concern or for the purchase of the
site for alternative employment generating uses. A residential use for the
premises should therefore be considered favourably in line with development
plan policies.

5.20 With the above matters in mind, it is left to consider whether the loss of the
retail and employment site would have an adverse impact upon the vitality and
viability of North Petherton, as a Key Rural Settlement.

5.21 To this end, regard must be had to the wide range of services that are available
within North Petherton. There remain no fewer than three shops where cold
meats, dairy products and other locally sourced produce can be bought. The
McColls, Premier and Tesco Metro convenience stores all offer goods that are
comparable to those offered for sale within the butchers shop.

5.22 In addition, Pynes Butchers is located approximately 100 metres outside of the
settlement boundary of North Petherton. This local business can be accessed

by residents of North Petherton by foot, bicycle or the public bus services which
stop immediately outside the new premises at Market Way, North Petherton. It
can only be assumed that in allowing this retail use to originally relocate to their
bespoke new premises outside of the settlement where retail is usually
restricted, Sedgemoor District Council considered the site to be sustainable
and accessible by modes other than the private motor vehicle.

5.23 The loss of the butchers premises as a retail unit will not unbalance the
sustainability, vitality or viability of North Petherton. It will not undermine its
position as a Key Rural Settlement within Sedgemoor. As already referenced,
the town will remain well serviced for the purchase of fresh meats and local
produce given the central location of Tesco Metro and, at the opposite end of
the retail spectrum, the award winning butcher, Pynes of Somerset.

5.24Having regard to the matters above, the proposed change of use of employment
premises to housing is considered to be acceptable and satisfies the policy
tests set out by Policies S1, S3, D5, D11 and P4 of the Sedgemoor Core
Strategy and with guidance contained within the NPPF.

Visual amenity

5.25 Policy D2 of the Core Strategy requires high quality, sustainable and inclusive
design for all new developments. Enhancing the quality and appearance of the
public realm is key to providing well designed development. The site is not a
Listed Building or located in a Conservation Area, however the proposed
development will only seek to enhance the visual appearance of the site and its

5.26 As already described within Section 3.0 above, the proposed change of use and
conversion of the butchers shop will have little effect to the external fabric of the
building. Existing or historic openings are being utilised wherever possible in
order to retain as much of the original building and its layout as possible.

5.27 The proposed two storey extension is modest in scale and adopts a design
approach that reflects the character of the original two storey building. It is
subservient in scale to the principle building and will be finished in matching

5.28 The conversion works, provision of rear gardens and shared parking and
turning areas will only enhance the character of the local area. The existing site
contains a number of ageing flat roof refrigeration and condenser units visible
to the public and a concrete yard area that is again visible from the public
realm. The site, other than the well maintained retail shop, is in need of
modernisation and general enhancement. The proposed conversion and
associated works will result in a more vibrant appearance to the site, resulting
in an enhanced appearance to the immediate area of public realm and wider
street scene. As a result the proposals will comply with Core Strategy Policy

Residential Amenity

5.29 Policy D2 of the Sedgemoor Core Strategy states that development will need to
demonstrate that it does not harm the amenity value of the occupiers of nearby
buildings or the wider area. The need to afford protection to residential amenity
is also expanded upon within Policy D16 of the Core Strategy.

5.30 In short, the proposed conversion of the retail unit and the associated works will
not adversely impact upon the amenity of the adjoining dwelling houses located
along Hammet Street immediately adjoining the site. Indeed, it is firmly believed
that the residential use of the site will improve the amenity of neighbouring
residents through the removal of refrigeration and condenser units which emit
noise and vibrations 24 hours a day and by removing the high level of vehicle
and employee movements around the premises six days per week.
Furthermore, removing the refrigeration unit that abuts no. 3 Hammet Street will
also have a beneficial impact upon the outlook enjoyed by neighbouring
residents from their North facing courtyard garden.

5.31 With regard to privacy and overlooking, the proposed first floor has an extant
residential use as a flat. The subdivision of the floor space into two units will not
result in any additional overlooking of neighbouring garden areas. The same
can be said for the proposed extension, which will be sited away from, and will
not adversely impact upon, neighbouring amenity.

5.32 With regard to vehicle movements over the courtyard parking and turning area,
the residential use of the building will generate fewer vehicle movements than
that of retail or other business use with its service, delivery and employee/staff
movements. This coupled with the sustainable location of the site and its
excellent access to sustainable modes of transport will only serve to benefit
neighbouring residents by reducing the level of disturbance caused to
neighbours from vehicle movements within the site.

5.34 Taking the above into consideration, it is felt strongly that the proposals will
accord with Core Strategy Policy D2 in that the proposed development will
result in betterment to the visual amenity and the amenity of neighbouring
properties and residents.

Transport and Development

5.35 Core Strategy Policy D9 refers to sustainable transport and movement whilst
Policy D10 considers managing the transport impact of development. With
regard to Policy D10, the Policy wording begins by referring to development
that will have a significant transport impact.

5.36 It is, with respect, suggested that the proposed residential use will not result in
significant transport impacts. The site is located within the centre of a
sustainable settlement, which provides for all necessary services generally
required for day to day living. The butchers business had six full time
employees working from the site and had daily deliveries from outside
wholesalers and also delivery and service vehicle movements associated with
the business.

5.37 As stated above, North Petherton receives a bus service from two independent
operators; buses connect the town directly to Taunton and Bridgwater every 15
minutes, six days a week (See Appendix 2). There are bus stops immediately
outside the site and that to the North bound carriageway can be safely access
by Pelican and Pedestrian crossings which are within 100 metres of the site in
either direction.

5.38 There are large employers located to the South of Bridgwater and within 2
kilometres of the site. A high level of amenities, services and employment

opportunities can therefore be reached by sustainable modes of transport,

inclusive of walking, cycling and public bus.

Parking provision

5.39 Within the shared parking and turning areas, two parking spaces are to be
allocated for the proposed dwellings, one for each of the proposed units. It is
accepted that the number of parking spaces would be below the level set out
within the Somerset County Council Parking Strategy (SCCPS), which would
require 4.5 spaces to serve the two dwelling houses (2 for a two bedroom unit
and 2.5 spaces for the three bedroom unit).

5.40 Notwithstanding the SCCPS standards, the document also makes reference to
Note A (foot note to Page 61 of said document) when looking at the required
number of spaces. Note A states:

The car parking standards set out here are optimum standards; the level of
parking they specify should be provided unless specific local circumstances
can justify deviating from them. Developments in more sustainable locations
that are well served by public transport or have good walking and cycling links
may be considered appropriate for lower levels of car parking provision.

5.41 As previously stated, given the status of North Petherton as a Key Rural Centre,
the high level of facilities within the town, the close proximity of the site to
employment opportunities off Junction 24 of the M5, its proximity to Bridgwater
and Taunton, the level and regularity of public transport services available to
residents, it is strongly contended that a reduction in the number of parking
spaces required is justified in this location.

5.42 In addition, the Council will be mindful of the limited parking space that has
been provided for the butchery business and retail premises historically and to
the higher level of vehicle movements associated with a retail business use at
the site. LGVs, HGVs and other delivery vehicles have been unable to park
clear of the highway historically. Customers are not provided with parking clear
of the highway either; this has generally been filled by spaces along Hammet
Street and within the public car park which is free to use 24 hours a day and
only some 50 metres from the application site.

5.43 Whilst the applicants do not support the parking of private residential vehicles
along the highway, if such did occur as a result of the residential conversion
being proposed, it would not result in any material harm to highway safety
given the historic use of the site and the historic under provision of parking
associated to the site. Such has always resulted in vehicles parking along the
highway of Hammet Street, opposite the site along the North bound
carriageway of the A38 within the allocated parking bay and within the nearby
public car park. On this basis the reduced parking provision is justified and
given the provision of alternative, sustainable modes of transport, a modal shift
in movement choices can be achieved in this location to reduce the reliance
upon private motor vehicles.


5.44 As already noted, the proposed parking and turning area will utilise an existing
vehicular access off the A38, with said access being located within the Western
boundary of the residential curtilage associated to 108 Fore Street.

5.45 The A38 is a busy highway subject to a 30 mph speed limit. The existing access
is substandard with regard to the pedestrian inter-visibility splays to both the
North and South. At present, visibility lines are interrupted by high level walls
either side of the access. Once clear of the access into the site off the public
highway, visibility along the carriageway edge of the A38 exceeds minimum
sightline requirements in both directions for vehicles to see and be seen.

5.46 The proposed development will enhance inter-visibility splays between vehicles
exiting the parking courtyard and pedestrians walking along the public highway
(pavement). The wall to the North is to be reduced to a height of 600mm to the
point where it returns East, wrapping around the rear of the bus stop. To the
South, the wall will be realigned away from the pavement as indicated on the
accompanying plans.

5.47 The effect of the access improvements will be to enhance the safety of
pedestrians within the area. Furthermore, the residential use of the shop
premises will not significantly increase the traffic flows associated with the site,
particularly bearing in mind the extant use of the first floor as a residential unit.

The cumulative impact of one additional dwelling would, when offset against
business related vehicle movements, be negligible.

5.48 Notwithstanding the above, the works to the existing access and visibility splay
will provide a significant benefit to highway safety for drivers and pedestrians
along this section of the A38. Para 32 of the NPPF makes it clear that
development should only be refused on transport grounds where the
cumulative impacts of development are severe. Such would not be the case
here based upon the above justification and the proposed development is
therefore considered to be safe in highway terms.

Flood Risk

5.49 The site is located within an area identified as being at risk of flooding. Such is
associated with the proximity of the site to Petherton Brook to the North. The
site falls predominantly within Flood Zone 2 with a small section to the
Southern periphery falling within Flood Zone 3.

5.50 I refer you to the submitted Flood Risk Assessment, written by John Harcombe
of Harcombe Environmental Services in support of the proposed development.
This provides a detailed analysis of the proposed development (in conjunction
with the redevelopment of the Northern area of the site).

5.51 As noted at Para 4.1, the Sequential Test is not required for the proposed
development, however the Exceptions Test has been applied to the proposed
development. The Exception Test is considered to have been passed.

5.52 As alluded to within the Flood Risk Assessment, the proposed extension and
conversion of the shop premises will have a negligible impact upon flood risk
and there will be little risk to future occupiers of the dwelling houses.

5.53 The proposed development is considered to meet the requirements of Policy D2

of the Core Strategy and the guidance contained within the NPPF and its
accompanying Technical Guide.

6.0 Conclusions
6.1 This statement has demonstrated that the proposed redevelopment accords with
the relevant development plan policies contained within the Sedgemoor Core
Strategy and guidance within the National Planning Policy Framework.

6.2 The proposed development will make good use of an otherwise redundant retail
unit within a sustainable settlement, to the benefit of local housing stock
provision. The development will enhance visual amenity and the character and
appearance of the street scene within the immediate vicinity of the site. It has
been demonstrated that betterment can be made to highway safety and
vehicular access to the site.

6.3 Whilst the loss of an employment site is regrettable, the marketing of the
premises and business over the past eight years demonstrates that there is no
longer a need for such a service in this location and that there is no interest in
the site for alternative employment uses. The proposal will, therefore, not
adversely affect the vitality or viability of North Petherton or the level of services
and facilities which it has to offer to the public.

6.4 Flood risk issues have been overcome through the production of a thorough
Flood Risk Assessment which demonstrates how the development meets the
local and national policy guidance relating to development in flood risk areas.

6.5 The development is acceptable in all respects as set out above and we therefore
request that planning permission be duly granted.

Appendix 1 Marketing

Phase 1 Marketed by Amberglobe (775,000)

Further details available at:

Phase 2 Marketed by Greenslade Taylor Hunt (400,000)

Further details available at:

Appendix 2 - Public Bus Time Tables

Webber Bus Service 15/75 (


First Group 21/21A Service