The Unitary Authority and how is this going to affect planning?

Published: 26/04/2023

The Unitary Authority and how is this going to affect planning?

If you live in Somerset, you will be aware of the forthcoming changes to our local Authority.’ One Somerset’ will be replacing the districts; South Somerset, Sedgemoor, Mendip and Taunton & West Somerset and this change was decided through a vote in June 2021 and will come into force on the 1st of April 2023.

Initial information has started circulating about how the newly formed Authority will work, and as Cooper and Tanner’s Development Manager the main area I am interested in is the Planning aspect, and how this is going to impact on planning moving forward.

There appears to be two main factors to consider:
1 short term planning
2 long term planning

Regarding short term planning, we would hope that on small scale schemes the changes will not have any real impact. The Unitary Authority will be the main body, but the districts will be kept for the time being and their housing requirement numbers will stay the same.

Long term opportunities which fall under strategic land will see a change, one of which is that there will be a Strategic Planning Committee being formed along with four area-based planning committees.

As a company we are keeping a close eye on the proposed changes and adopting a flexible approach to ensure we are able to provide our clients with the most up to date advice and information.
If you have any concerns related to land and the forthcoming local authority changes, please do not hesitate to contact me - Darren Woodyer