Town councillors have this week voted to objection against controversial plans to build 248 new homes in Highbridge.

During Wednesday night’s meeting of the Town Council’s planning committee – which was the current council’s final meeting before next week’s elections – members voted to turn down the proposals for 248 homes on fields next to Isleport Lane.

Bickenhall Consulting Ltd was granted outline planning permission for 248 homes on the land in 2019, despite opposition from the Town Council and some residents.

Countryside Partnerships PLC, which has now acquired the development site, has proposed amended proposals for how the site may look.

The developer says that of the proposed new homes, 74 will be affordable. A new community hub would be provided in the middle of the site, which could also include several retail units or a doctors surgery.

However, Cllr Bill Hancock raised concerns about safety for motorists driving from Isleport Lane onto Mark Road, saying: “That junction is a big worry for me – it would be very dangerous. I’d want to see a new roundabout there at the junction or a 30mph speed limit along that stretch of Mark Road.”

Cllr Louise Parkin also expressed concern about road safety, and also the potential for anti-social behaviour on the housing site at one of the small proposed play areas, which has also been flagged up as an issue by the Police’s Crime Prevention Officer.

Cllr Andy Brewer added that if the plans are approved, he would like to see a “safe route  introduced for pedestrians and cyclists to get to Highbridge.” He added: “The developer of this site should make a significant contribution towards this work.”

Councillors objected against the plans on the grounds of road safety concerns; and that one of the proposed play areas on the site raises safeguarding and anti-social behaviour concerns. It was suggested that ‘106 funding’ could be allocated to building a bigger, more safe, multi-use games / play area on the site.

Several councillors attending the meeting – Bill Hancock, Louise Parkin and Andy Brewer – are not standing in next Thursday’s local election.

A final decision on the scheme now rests with Sedgemoor District Council.

 

 

 
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