Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting using Zoom meeting software. View directions

No. Item



To approve as a correct record the minutes of previous meetings held on 6th October 2021.  The draft minutes can be viewed at:


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 6th October 2021 were approved as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman.




Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Council's current Code of Conduct (as amended 26 February 2015), which includes all the provisions relating to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI), personal and prejudicial interests, Members are asked to declare any DPI and also any personal interests (and whether or not such personal interests are also "prejudicial") in relation to any matter on the Agenda for this meeting. 

Members are reminded that they need to declare the fact that they are also a member of a County, Town or Parish Council as a Personal Interest.  Where you are also a member of Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council within South Somerset you must declare a prejudicial interest in any business on the agenda where there is a financial benefit or gain or advantage to Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council which would be at the cost or to the financial disadvantage of South Somerset District Council. 

Planning Applications Referred to the District Council’s Regulation Committee

The following members of this Committee are also members of the Council's Regulation Committee:

Councillors Peter Gubbins, Tony Lock, David Recardo and Andy Soughton.

Where planning applications are referred by this Committee to the Regulation Committee for determination, Members of the Regulation Committee can participate and vote on these items at the Area Committee and at Regulation Committee. In these cases the Council's decision-making process is not complete until the application is determined by the Regulation Committee.  Members of the Regulation Committee retain an open mind and will not finalise their position until the Regulation Committee.  They will also consider the matter at Regulation Committee as Members of that Committee and not as representatives of the Area Committee.


There were no declarations of interest.


Public Question Time


There were no questions from members of the public.


Chairman's Announcements


There were no Chairman’s announcements.


Market Review Working Group - Verbal Update


Councillor Karl Gill gave a verbal update on the work of the Market Review Working Group.  He explained that they were looking to re brand the Yeovil market and launch something new rather than build around the old existing market.  He said a meeting was to take place next week with ‘Eat Yeovil’ with an aim to encourage and raise awareness and renew interest with other markets within the area.


Members thanked him for his update and the work being done.





Progress Update Yeovil Refresh pdf icon PDF 260 KB


The Yeovil Refresh Project Manager presented the report and updated members on the following:


·         Access strategy adopted with work ongoing regarding the creation of walking and cycling packages.  Three sections as listed in the report are currently out for invitation with statutory consultation currently being undertaken.  This feedback will then be used to aid the design and address any specific issues or concerns raised.  He hoped to tender out in the early part of the summer.

·         Work ongoing regarding bus stops with further meetings planned to discuss options going forward.

·         Public realm works:   

o   Experiencing difficulties around the Westminster Street section due to the administration of Midas, however they were working through the legal process with an announcement over next few weeks with the aim to start works again very quickly.

o   Aware of the traffic management and safety issues of the site at Westminster Street and that this issue would be dealt with in the coming days to rectify this issue.

o   Wine Street works had been delayed slightly due to recent storms but hoped drainage works in the area would commence shortly.

o   Hoped that the Middle Street, High Street and Borough would be in contract by end of May with view to start works late summer.

·         Development Schemes are not making significant progress at the moment but work continues to seek to enable these.

·         Complementary initiatives theme now underway on a number of activities including:

o   Re-start on the night time economy group.

o   Market review and re brand works ongoing.

o   Setting up management and licensing arrangements for public realm.


In response to members questions’ the Project Manager advised that:


·         Acknowledged the concerns raised regarding the difficulties at the entrances of the two shops at the top of Westminster Street.  This was currently being addressed to make access to these shops more accessible.

·         Standard safe on street storage facilities for bicycles was included within the proposal of the walking and cycling packages, however larger scaled proposals have not been considered at this stage.

·         Works at the Triangle was ongoing with trees already removed ahead of work.   Construction is reasonably complicated due to diversion of utilities, but it is hoped a start due will be confirmed soon and he would inform members as soon as possible of this date.

·         Acknowledged the concerns of safety and security at the Westminster Street site.  He explained the issues of the site and expected these issues to be addressed very soon.


The Chairman thanked the Project Manager for his detailed report and requested that he bring a visual powerpoint presentation to the next meeting showcasing the works currently being carried out within the town. 



















Phosphates Update pdf icon PDF 112 KB


The Lead Specialist, Built Environment explained that he was attending Area South Committee on members request to give a brief summary of where the five Somerset Councils are in terms of managing phosphates.  He also explained what work was being done at a national level with the increasing problem of the phosphate impacts on development across Somerset and beyond.


Some of the key points he raised included:


·         The history and background of the phosphate situation and the impact within the areas of South Somerset.

·         The creation of the phosphate calculator, a tool that allowed applicants and agents to understand the likely phosphates emissions before and after development to create a differential which was the level of phosphate mitigation they would need to deliver.

·         This process has allowed some developers to use existing land, upgrade existing cesspits and other small scale solutions to allow smaller housing developments but not currently strategic scale development.

·         One significant project delivered houses in Crewkerne where the applicants were able to fallow a large amount of land to provide an offsetting through not spreading phosphate fertilizer on that land.

·         Working with Royal Haskoning to produce a follow up document that gives a ‘best practice’ guide.  This sets out where the most effective land management solutions would come from for best value for money in terms of visibility and costings and provide an opportunity for land owners whether promoting projects would suit them.  

·         The aspiration was to produce a supplementary planning document that sets out national and local policy to each individual planning applications and the benefits of this document.

·         Explained the work currently being done by Somerset West and Taunton council and their commitment to delivering phosphate mitigation projects.  However they currently have retained council hosing stock, which SSDC do not have, although we are working with local housing associations to encourage these mitigation projects.

·         The five Somerset councils wrote to Defra and what was the ministry for housing, communities and local government last year requesting they consider funding infrastructure improvements.

·         Additionally, the council’s requested that central government should apply pressure to Ofwat (Water Services Regulation Authority), who sign off on the improvement plans of Wessex Water and others to improve their programmes for phosphate stripping where this is not currently programmed.

·         Solutions required are not at a district or county level and that national standards and national best practice needs to be rolled out to help Natural England with more evidence rather than ‘reinvent the wheel’ as progress is made.

·         There was currently a lack of coordination and focus in terms of the national bodies involved in the process.  The solutions need a coordinated approach at government, non-governmental organisation level, and those associations that represent the various interests involved.

·         Working with EnTrade (a Wessex Water derivative) to help part fund and future monitoring work going forward to deliver land management solutions.

·         Land management solutions are unlikely to be the long term primary solution given the likely land take involved. There needs to be a recognition  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.


Area South Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 262 KB


This item was taken before Item 7 on the agenda.


A request was made by Cllr John Clark to start to undertake work to identify and agree area priorities within Area South going forward into the new Local Community Networks (LCN’s).


During a full discussion, members voiced their support of this request although some members believed this may be a little premature, due to the unknown clarity of prospective boundaries or responsibilities of the LCN’s at this stage.  However at the conclusion of the debate it was agreed that a workshop be arranged for Area South committee members only to start work on this issue. This request was noted and that Cllr John Clark would liaise with officers accordingly.  Members would be kept updated.   





Planning Appeals (For Information) pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Additional documents:


Members noted the Planning appeals.