Environmental Evidence

West Somerset Landscape Character Assessment 1999:

This study was commissioned to inform the preparation of the West Somerset District Local Plan April 2006.  In view of the very limited changes to the West Somerset Landscape since it was prepared, it remains a current and valid part of the evidence base.

Level 1 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment:

The preparation of a general Level 1 SFRA is required by PPS25 “Development and Flood Risk”. It involves the collection of existing information about past flooding incidents and identifies the extent of the various flood risk zones.  This will serve as a source of information for the management of future flood risk through the Local Plan. The Level 1 SFRA has been completed for West Somerset as a whole, in partnership with the Exmoor National Park Authority.

Level 2 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment:

A more detailed Level 2 SFRA has also been completed for the larger settlements within the Local Plan area, where development pressure is greatest, the settlements covered by the study are Minehead (including Dunster Marsh), Watchet and Williton.

Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Study:

Why do we need a study?  We need to know what potential renewable and low carbon energy resources lie within the local planning authority area*.  Not only does it help us meet government guidance, it helps us understand:
  • the changing climate
  • national targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from development
  • the security of energy supply
  • the rising costs of energy
  • employment and business opportunities presented by the low carbon economy
*The local planning authority area is the district of West Somerset outside Exmoor National Park, which has its own planning policies.

A summary of the report's findings is available to download from 'related documents' on this page or follow the heading link to the main report page where the full study can be downloaded.

Historic Environment Issues Paper:

In order the ensure the proper safeguarding of the outstanding built historic and archaeological heritage within West Somerset a Historic Environment Issues Paper has been prepared in response to the heritage provisions in the National Planning Policy Framework so that proper account is taken of heritage assets in Local Plan and development management decision making within the West Somerset LPA area.  The document can be accessed by following the heading link above.  As a result of matters identified in the Issues Paper a EB19---Parsonage-Farmhouse-Watchet-Heritage-Assessment---August-2015Parsonage Farmhouse, Parsonage Farm, Watchet, Somerset Heritage Assessment (August 2015) was also prepared and is available to download.