Walrow, Highbridge new homes protest

Controversial plans for 47 new homes at Walrow in Highbridge were rejected by Sedgemoor District Councillors on Tuesday (March 19th).

At a meeting in Bridgwater, members of the Development Committee voted in favour of throwing out the plans amid a number of concerns and 123 letters of objection from residents.

Land to the north of Walrow in Walrow Road will not be transformed into the proposed mixture of new flats and houses by the applicant, Flower & Hayes Ltd.

“We are over the moon about the decision and would like to thank the local councillors and community for their support,” said Joy Russell, one of the residents.

The rejection comes after residents raised a number of concerns including over-development, insufficient infrastructure for additional houses, highway safety and proximity of access to the bridge, traffic congestion, out-of-keeping plans, plus concerns about wildlife, ecology and a loss of green space.

Town councillors also raised an official objection against the plans when they initially reviewed the scheme last autumn.

The Town Council objected on the grounds of inadequate highways access, over-development of the site, insufficient flood prevention measures, poor infrastructure, and detrimental to wildlife.

District councillors carried out a site visit last month to the see the location for themselves when residents lobbied councillors, as pictured here.

Highbridge district councillor Roger Keen spoke during Tuesday’s meeting against the plans, raising fresh safety concerns about restricted stopping distances for traffic coming over the Walrow railway bridge on the approach to the proposed access road to the new homes.

He had also cited concerns over transport, ecology and flooding risks. “I strongly urge you to refuse this application,” he told fellow councillors.

Cllr Janet Keen also raised concerns about the negative impact on ecology and over-development.

Councillors voted to reject the application, with two votes in favour and 1 councillor abstaining. The applicant has six months to appeal against Sedgemoor District Council’s decision.

Walrow, Highbridge new homes protest