Welcome to

Monkton Heathfield Community Facilities

New Community Facilities Proposed for the Former Land Rover Site in Monkton Heathfield.

Questions & Answers

Questions and Answers

The mix of facilities proposed on the site, including a ‘walk’ in convenience store, children’s nursey and pharmacy will serve and support the growing community of Monkton Heathfield. This will provide local people with a wider range of services that are accessible by foot, bicycle and public transport.

 

The new facilities will also generate significant local employment opportunities across multiple occupations.

 

The development will provide a new and positive use for the site, which has been vacant for a number of years since the relocation of the Land Rover dealership.

The site has been vacant for several years since the relocation of the Land Rover dealership to new premises. This means there is an opportunity to redevelop this brownfield site, which will make efficient use of previously developed land. There is also scope to adapt and re-use the existing buildings which will help to minimise the carbon footprint of construction.

 

The site offers a highly accessible location as it can be easily reached by walking, cycling and public transport. It is therefore well placed to serve the growing community of Monkton Heathfield, ensuring the long term viability of the businesses that would occupy the site.

 

The convenience store will be small in scale, with a sales area of around 315sqm. It is therefore intended to act as a ‘top-up’ shop, selling day to day items including fruit, vegetables, bread, toiletries etc. Common examples of convenience stores include Spar, Tesco Express and One Stop. A shop of this scale will provide a useful resource for local people, but is too small to attract shoppers from further afield.


Given the purpose of the convenience shop, it will be significantly smaller than the supermarkets in Taunton, including Aldi on Bridgwater Road. Convenience shops are designed for small ‘top-up’ shops rather than a full shop hence, it is not expected that this use will generate much traffic.

 

The site offers a highly accessible location as it can be easily reached by walking, cycling and public transport. It is therefore well placed to serve the growing community of Monkton Heathfield, ensuring the long term viability of the businesses that would occupy the site.

No. Due to the site’s accessible location we would expect the majority of visitors to travel by foot and bicycle. Furthermore, Bridgwater Road is not a through road and so the shop will not benefit from passing trade (i.e. people popping in on their way to another destination).

 

It is also important to bear in mind the significant reduction in vehicle movements that now occur along Bridgwater Road following the introduction of the bus gate. Since that time Bridgwater Road has become very lightly trafficked.

 

As such there are no concerns regarding highway capacity or safety.

The current building will be reused to accommodate the convenience store and children’s nursey. The building along the eastern boundary will be removed, thus providing greater distance between the community facilities and the properties at Saffin Drive. This will greatly enhance the outlook of those properties.

 

The pharmacy will be situated in the south-east corner of the site through the erection of a single storey pod which will comprise a steel frame, mono pitch roof and glazed elevations. Special care has been taken to keep this building low in order to protect the outlook of adjoining properties.


High quality, modern materials will be incorporated into the development including glass frontages.


The frontage of the site will remain largely as it is whilst ensuring the site is a pedestrian friendly environment. Car parking will also be provided for visitors who prefer to drive or are unable to walk or cycle.

The table below outlines the provisional opening hours for each facility, however these are yet to be confirmed.

Use

Opening Hours

Pharmacy

Monday – Friday: 9am – 6pm

Saturday: 9am – 1pm

Sunday: Closed

Convenience Store

7 days a week : 6am – 11pm

Children’s Nursery

Monday – Friday: 7am – 7pm

 

Yes. The proposals are supported by both the Taunton Deane Core Strategy and the West Monkton and Cheddon Fitzpaine  Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Policies within these plans are generally supportive of development which:

• Is inside the development boundary;
• Is in an accessible location to encourage walking and cycling;
• Makes effective use of previously development land i.e. brownfield sites;
• Generates employment uses and benefits a growing community;
• Safeguards the amenity of neighbouring uses.

 

It is considered that the proposals satisfy all of the above and is therefore in accordance with the local development plan. It is important to note that all uses proposed are within use class E, which are recognised as being appropriate in residential areas. There are numerous examples across Taunton where convenience stores, pharmacies and children’s nurseries sit comfortably alongside residential properties. Conversely, the former use of this site as a car showroom and service centre was industrial in nature and was not well suited to being in close proximity to residential properties.

 

To date very few community facilities have been provided alongside the growing residential developments taking place in Monkton Heathfield and no convenience shops have been provided to meet local needs. The provision of such facilities is therefore long overdue. The mix of uses proposed is in accordance with Policy SS1 of the Taunton Deane Core Strategy and will complement the proposed district centre when it is eventually delivered.

 

The planning application will be assessed against all relevant policies in the local development plan, which covers matters relating to transport, biodiversity, the historic environment and others. All of these matters have been fully assessed as part of the application and will be addressed by the technical documents submitted with the application.

The planning application will be submitted to Somerset West and Taunton Council. Once the application is formally registered, the Council will aim to issue a decision within 13 weeks.

If you have a question that you would like to ask, please use the contact form.