On Tuesday 19 November 2019 South Somerset District Council’s Regulation Committee will make the decision about whether to approve an application to build 60 houses in a field immediately to the south of Brewham Road. If they approve the application on Tuesday, there is no right of appeal. This is the final opportunity for Bruton residents to influence their decision. Turning up in numbers will show the committee that their decision matters to local people.
Please attend if you can. The Committee will sit at 10.00 am in the District Council Offices in Brympton Way, Yeovil, BA20 2HT. There is free parking for visitors. Please arrive by 9.45 am. (Allow 40 minutes for the drive. The best route is normally via the A303 west to the Podimore Roundabout then left into Yeovil on the A3088).
Bruton Town Council is not opposed to the principle of development on this site, but we are recommending refusal of this particular proposal, as ‘the potential scale and density of the proposed development would have a detrimentalimpact on the character, biodiversity and appearance of the area’. We have also decided to ‘oppose the proposed development unless proper provision is made for the safety of pedestrians and for highway safety more generally’. The decisions were made at an Extraordinary Town Council meeting on 4 April 2019.
The agenda for the Regulation Committee, together with supporting documents, can be viewed here: http://modgov.southsomerset.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=140&MId=2638&Ver=4.
Let the District Council know your views at the Community Hall this Thursday 15 August, 4 pm to 7 pm, when there will be a public drop-in section. This is likely to be the only chance to talk face-to-face to the staff in South Somerset District Council who are putting the Local Plan together.
You can read the plans for Bruton here, and view a map of the proposed development area here.
To find out more about the Local Plan, comment in writing, and read the full document go to South Somerset District Council’s consultation page here.
People have been asking how long Lovers Lane is going to be closed. We don’t know, but have been told by the County Council’s footpaths officer that it should open again at some time this autumn.
The Town Council reported a dangerous wall and fence to the County Council in October of last year, and, having inspected it, the County Council closed it on safety grounds. The fence has, we understand, been fixed by Network Rail. The wall still needs to be repaired by its owner. The statutory closure notice has effect until December 2019, but the County Council is hopeful that work on the wall will be completed over the summer, and that the path can then reopen in September 2019.
Thanks to Jennifer Guest for permission to share her photograph, and to the public-spirited person who cleared up the rubbish that had accumulated.
The reports of the consultants who have been carrying out a consultation to envisage how the Unionist Club might become a 21st Century Community Centre for Bruton were completed in April 2019. Following the Council election the reports can now be published. The consultants’ recommendation is that:
The Club and Council are advised that local people’s vision for a new community centre can be realised with a multi-purpose event space that allows for gatherings and performances, with community café (not for profit model) and Club bar, skittle alley and some new parking.
Their reports have been noted by the Council at its meeting on 28 April 2019. It will now be for the Unionist Club to decide whether and how the recommendations are taken forward.
The consultants (Counterculture Partnership LLP) produced three reports in support of their recommendation.
There is more background information about the tender process, and what the Council asked the consultants to do on the Procurement page.
Following the resignation of our long-serving Town Clerk we are looking to recruit a replacement.
£21,117 to £23,740 pa, subject to qualifications and experience, for 28 hours per week. Some evening work will be required.
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a highly motivated individual, ideally with relevant experience, to undertake this interesting and varied post supporting an active and ambitious town council.
Bruton is a small rural market town situated in Somerset, served by 13 town councillors. In addition to employing an assistant clerk, the council also has a dedicated group of community office volunteers.
We are seeking a clerk of the highest calibre to lead and develop our team, to work actively with elected members to help improve the town, and to ensure that all legal, financial and other governance requirements are met.
The successful applicant will either hold or be willing to obtain the Certificate in Local Council Administration.
The position is graded at mid-LC2, (new SCP 24-28). The full time equivalent for this grade is £27,905 to £31,371.
Closing date for applications is noon on Monday 20th May with interviews scheduled for Tuesday 28th May.
How to apply
Please read the Job Description and Person Specification for the post carefully.
Send us a short covering letter and a CV, which when read together should demonstrate that you meet the criteria in the Person Specification.
Please also provide the name and contact details of two referees, one of whom should be your most recent employer, and let your referees know that we may be in touch with them.
In order to be considered, your application needs to be with us by 12.00 on Monday 20th May. Email applications to firstname.lastname@example.org are preferred, but postal applications received by this time will be accepted. The postal address is Recruitment, Bruton Town Council, 26 High Street, Bruton, Somerset, BA10 0AA. (If you chose to post, please note that Bruton’s post often arrives after midday).
Interviews will take place in Bruton on Tuesday 28 May 2019. The Town Council will make a decision about who to appoint at its meeting that evening, and we should be able to let the successful candidate know the next day (subject to receipt of satisfactory references).
About Bruton: information for applicants
Bruton is a small town at the eastern end of South Somerset District. It has a long history, was mentioned in the Domesday book, and had an Abbey, some of the remnants of which are still visible. The whole of the town centre is a conservation area, with many listed buildings, and a mediaeval street pattern which is a delight to look at but less convenient for pedestrians and cars, as the houses are simply too close together.
Despite its mediaeval centre, Bruton is anything but preserved in aspic. In 2014 Hauser and Wirth opened a renovated farmhouse on the edge of the town as an international art gallery with restaurant and garden, which now attracts 140,000 visitors each year. The town is well-marketed by this and other prominent local businesses, and has become something of a tourist destination, with over 28 AirBnB listings and overnight accommodation for nearly 150 visitors. This, coupled with its accessibility from London, has in turn made it a popular destination for people down-sizing from London (DFLs, or Down from Londons, as locals refer to them).
The other major business of the town centre is education. Kings School, a long-established private boarding school, occupies much of the land to the south of the town, and Sexey’s School, Somerset’s only voluntary aided boarding school, is also to the south-west of the town. Bruton School for Girls (which despite its name is in the neighbouring parish of Pitcombe) is another private boarding school less than a mile from the town centre. The often quoted 2011 census Bruton population of 3,000 actually includes over 400 boarding pupils.
Apart from Bruton itself, the parish is largely rural and pastoral, with two small outlying settlements at Wyke Champflower and Redlynch. Dairy cattle predominate, but several farms have diversified into related industries: Wyke Farms Limited, now a cheesemaker, has a turnover of £64M and 160 employees.
Because of its attractions and its employment opportunities Bruton feels and is a town that is thriving. The challenge for the town and its Council is to ensure that the changes that come with this prosperity are for the town’s benefit, and that Bruton remains a community that meets the needs of all its residents. In the 2016 Town Plan Survey residents valued the town’s friendliness, and its people, above everything else, but there was an under-current of anxiety about incomers, shops that didn’t sell anything that local people might want, and lack of affordable housing for young people. The Town Council’s Planning Committee sees this tension most acutely: in the historic centre there are frequent applications to create guest accommodation, on the edge of town there is widespread public opposition to new development that might provide the needed affordable housing.
You can download a copy of our Town Plan here, and read much more about the Council and the Town elsewhere on this website.