Plans to build 250 houses alongside Huish Park have been unveiled by documents released by South Somerset District Council.
The council has published responses to a request for opinions on whether the proposed development would have a sufficient impact on the local area that it would require an extra study being undertaken.
These responses refer to a proposals for “250 dwellings at land off Lufton Way/Copse Road, Yeovil, Somerset” and suggest the proposal is for the development to take place on land all around Huish Park.
In the original “request for a screening opinion” submitted by DLP Planning asking whether an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was required for the work, it describes the plans for “approximately 250 dwellings with ancillary open space, parking, soft landscaping and supporting infrastructure” – read in full here.
It adds: “Car parking arrangements provided will allow for sufficient parking to be delivered within the site in
compliance with the Council’s existing standards. Spaces will be provided to each unit and comprise a
mix of allocated spaces in private parking courts, private drives and garages.
“It is acknowledged that the proposed development of this site will result in the loss of the former sports
pitches. Sports England have previously objected to proposals for the development of this site unless re-provision of these facilities can be provided.
“It is understood that the sports pitches on site are not currently used and are of poor quality. It is noted that there is the opportunity to replace the existing pitches with a new 4G pitch on land to the east of the football club.”
None of the statutory bodies – the kind of people who get asked about the impact of development on ecology, roads, archaeology and suchlike – raised enough objection for an Environmental Impact Study to be required in to the development.
However, the Highways Department at SSDC did raise “concerns” over the loss of matchday parking and warned it would put heightened the risk of accidents in the area.
In his response, Adam Garland, Principal Planning Liaison Officer at SSDC said: “Where such facilities are lost it will create indiscriminate parking in the new estate road, and surrounding roads.
“The increase in manoeuvring, braking and turning movements, and higher levels of pedestrians crossing the local roads will increase the risk of collisions within the highway.
“This is further exacerbated by dint of the fact that match days are generally at weekends where there is a higher risk of residents being at home, and children are more likely to be in the streets.”
He added that if the authority were given “an amended proposal showing the retention of parking for match days further consideration would be given.”
So, now we wait and see what happens next as far as this development is concerned.
Plans have surfaced showing the land around Yeovil Town FC at Huish Park being developed into a housing estate, it also shows a hotel behind the away terrace. We understand this was a draft plan, but gives an indication of the scale of development being considered. #YTFC pic.twitter.com/nK4iVlIDNp
— Glove Actually (@Glove_Actually) February 10, 2023
In May 2022 when the sale of Huish Park and surrounding land to SSDC was completed in a deal the authority says was valued at £2.8m, club chairman Scott Priestnall said in a statement: “When I first came into the club, I saw the opportunity to grow this already amazing club into an organisation off the pitch that could provide revenues all week, not just on match days. While I had very positive conversations with local planning (authorities), developers and funding partners, the pandemic delayed our options to grow, at the same time causing huge financial difficulties to our ongoing operations.
“There is and has always been a massive opportunity to develop the club’s infrastructure, but over the last 30 years the custodians of this club have never been able to put a plan together that works for all related parties.”
Back in October 2022, we reported changes to the core and non-core land – basically land with restrictions on what development can take place on it (core land) and land without such restrictions (non-core land) – which had been agreed before the sale completed, but not publicised.
That means the area which is currently occupied by a 3G surface outside Huish Park could also be developed on.
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