Sedgemoor District Council is in the process of reviewing the Local Plan. This has included a review of settlement boundaries across the District. Settlement boundaries are an important policy tool in identifying the interface between 'settlements' and 'countryside' for development management purposes, ensuring a plan led approach to the location of new development across the District.
The boundaries in the adopted Core Strategy 2006-2027 were generally unchanged from the preceding Sedgemoor District Local Plan 1991-2011, other than to remove boundaries for some locations to reflect the Core Strategy spatial strategy. In some cases boundaries originated in the earlier area-based Local Plans (Bridgwater Area / Burnham Area / Cheddar Area) in the 1980's / 90's. Therefore in some instances the boundaries have not been changed or reviewed comprehensively for over ten years. The review of the Local Plan therefore provides an opportunity to update the settlement boundaries to reflect changes that have occurred and ensure they remain effective going forward.
This paper provides the background, justification and approach for the review of the settlement boundaries. It includes the considerations when determining if and how an existing settlement boundary should be changed. It also includes maps illustrating the proposed changes and explaining the reasons for them.
It is important to note that this is a topic paper to inform revision of settlement boundaries as part of the Local Plan review. At present the revised boundaries shown in the document do not have any weight in the determination of planning applications. Current planning applications will be judged against the boundaries as shown in the adopted Core Strategy 2006/2027.