Neighbourhood Plan for Castle Cary/Ansford-the draft Core Principles are here-draft texts will follow in due course

Introduction

As you may know, a small group of volunteers is working in conjunction with Castle Cary Town Council and Ansford Parish Council on a joint Neighbourhood Plan for the two parishes. This will outline the residents’ vision for how, where and if the town should develop. The plan will be produced in consultation with all residents and will culminate in a referendum. After that, it has to be ratified at a higher level and when approved it will become a legal document which can be used to help the town develop according to the wishes of its residents.

Click here for information on the team of volunteers working on the Neighbourhood Plan

Background

The settlements of Ansford and Castle Cary lie adjacent to each other on the edge of the Somerset Levels beside the River Cary. Ansford/Castle Cary has a rich historic environment that has been recognised by the town’s three designated Conservation Areas and many Listed Buildings including most notably the Grade II* listed Market House.

In the South Somerset Local Plan (adopted in March 2015) Castle Cary/Ansford, due its relatively small size, is defined as a Local Market Town in the settlement hierarchy and as a consequence has been allocated reduced levels of additional housing and employment development in line with other Local Market Towns.

The combined settlements have a population of approximately 3,421. The isolated nature of the town and its largely rural surroundings mean that it serves a more strategic service role than expected.

The town supports a full range of services including both a primary and a secondary school, doctor’s surgery, pharmacy, dentist, library, bank, convenience store, post office and public houses.

The town centre provides quality shopping with many niche and independent traders and a range of supplementary services. It is accessible by bus and has free parking provision although there is some congestion at peak times on Fore Street.

The two councils have joined together to produce a single Neighbourhood Plan setting a positive vision for the future. For full details of their work so far and the constraints and Core Principles they are working towards, click here.

This plan will be amended over the next few months, so do check back occasionally.