We are not against development in principle, to the contrary we are for good development. We have always supported good quality housing built in the right place as identified in local plans and which meets our planning principles.
Working with the local planning system to make good choices for the location and design of development is absolutely essential. That is why we want to ensure the planning system is well resourced and effective – so that everyone benefits.
When we very occasionally release land for development we aim to use it as an opportunity to showcase what good housing can look like.
We only sell land for development when we are completely satisfied that any proposed scheme passes a rigorous set of design and environmental standards we apply as part of our decision-making process. The proposed development at Pyrland north of Taunton is a good example of this.
On our land at Pyrland, we propose to set aside a large proportion of green space for the residents of the new homes and those already living nearby. Proposals include footpaths, cycleways, community allotments, orchards and conservation areas. We are also proposing that the historic parkland landscape at Pyrland is restored and made accessible to the public for the first time.
The land at Pyrland was left to the Trust by John Adams who gave it at the same time that he gave us Fyne Court. It was his wish that we would sell this land to raise funds to look after Fyne Court and other special places in our care in Somerset. As always, we have ensured that the sale and development of the land complies with the wishes of the donor who gave it to us.
The vast majority of our land is held forever, for everyone. Housing development takes place on only a tiny fraction of our land. Less than 0.01% is currently allocated for housing in local plans and proposed for development by the Trust. The proceeds from this goes straight back into our conservation work.