Published: May 31, 2012
Councillors delay decision on plans for 95 new Highbridge homes

A final decision on whether controversial plans to build 95 riverside homes in Highbridge will go ahead has been deferred by district councillors this week.

Members of Sedgemoor District Council's Development Control Committee considered the outline planning application on Tuesday, but they decided to make a site visit to the boat yard at Clyce Road before taking any decision.

The scheme - which includes eighty five 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses, plus ten 1-bedroom flats - has resulted in scores of residents signing a petition opposed to the plans and over 16 letters of objection being sent to the district council.

Town councillor Helen Groves, who attended the meeting as a resident, told after Tuesday's meeting: "I am very pleased that the Development Control Committee have decided to make a site visit, though I remain very concerned that the case being made by officers of Sedgemoor is highly misleading and demonstrates a very cavalier attitude towards Sedgemoor's Core Planning document."

"Of particular concern was the dismisal of the importance of the report by SCC regarding the impact upon education services. Somerset County Council predict that if this application is permitted to proceed without making educational contributions there will be a significant number of children without a local school placement by 2016."

"Furthermore, I was most disappointed that officers continually made reference to the H17 consortium land without once acknowledging that Sedgemoor District Council would find this land unviable on the basis of cost and access for development should the boatyard proposal not secure approval. Though they did point out that H17 and any application relating to it should not form any part of the decision making process."

Last month, the application for outline planning permission was given lukewarm approval by town councillors amid continuing concerns about vehicular access via Smith Way and the number of properties planned for the site.

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