South Somerset adopted their Local Plan back in March 2015, it states that it is “shaping the future of the district, responding to specific needs and delivering sustainable development”.
Policies HG3 and HG4 of the Local Plan set out the expectations regarding affordable housing in the area. These can be seen below:
Policy HG3 identifies the affordable housing need for developments of 6+ dwellings or sites of more than 0.2ha. The expectation is that 35% will be provided as on-site affordable housing in Yeovil Sustainable Urban Extensions, Yeovil, Primary Market Towns, Local Market Towns, Rural Centres and certain developments in Rural Settlements. If it is not appropriate to provide the affordable housing on-site, a financial contribution towards the provision of affordable housing on another site will be considered.
HG3 is subject to viability, noting that if the target level of affordable housing renders a site unviable, then this can be reduced.
Policy HG4 sets out the requirements for affordable housing on sites of 1-5 dwellings. Depending on location, the affordable housing % differs. In Yeovil, Primary Market Towns and Local Market Towns, the equivalent to 5% affordable housing will be expected as a commuted sum, compared to Rural Centres and Settlements where 10% will be expected as a commuted sum.
Currently, a new Somerset Local Plan is in development which will incorporate all of the different districts that have their own policies as of now. However, there is no indication as to when this new document will be ready.
S106 Management would recommend a site-specific viability assessment to be carried out on all developments of 1+ dwellings in South Somerset, particularly on schemes under 15 dwellings in the current market environment.