The developer behind controversial plans to build 248 new homes on fields next to Highbridge’s Isleport Lane is seeking to progress them with the removal of a key condition.
Bickenhall Consulting Ltd was granted outline planning permission for 248 homes on the fields in 2019 despite opposition from the Town Council and some residents.
Countryside Partnerships PLC, which has acquired the site, has proposed amended proposals for how the site will look.
And in a new development, the firm is now seeking to have a planning condition removed to enable it to build the 248 proposed homes faster.
The developer wants ‘Condition 32’ removed from its application by Sedgemoor District Council.
This condition states that “no more than 100 dwellings of the development hereby permitted shall be occupied or brought into use unless either: (1) improvement works at M5 J22/A38 Edithmead roundabout, comprising the full signalisation of the A38 Edithmead roundabout, have been implemented in full and are open to traffic; or (2) An alternative scheme is proposed by the applicant and implemented in full to ensure that the predicted traffic effects at M5 J22 caused by the development are mitigated to at least the same extent as (1).
The condition was placed on the developer by the district council to “ensure the safe and efficient operation of the Strategic Road Network at M5 J22, by mitigating the traffic impacts of the development which would otherwise cause vehicle queues to extend onto the M5 carriageway.”
However, in a new transport report on traffic numbers along the A38, the developer states: “Since the planning application was granted, further transport modelling work has been undertaken to assess the impact of the development on the M5 carriageway. This work identifies that the development would not cause vehicle queues to extend onto the M5 carriageway.”
The developer has also proposes to introduce a new community hub which would be provided in the middle of the site. There would also be several retail units or a doctors surgery.
Town councillors recently raised concerns about 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.
A final decision on the scheme now rests with Sedgemoor District Council with a period of consultation underway.