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Campaigners to fight on against Crimchard development
2:00pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to fight on after a developer lodged an appeal against a planning decision to block up to 110 homes near Chard.
The controversial proposal for land east of Crimchard, which drew objections from bodies including Chard Town Council, and individuals who voiced concerns about issues such as increased traffic, was thrown out by South Somerset District Council planners in August.
They concluded that the proposed development did not tally with the Chard Regeneration Scheme and there was a lack of provision for highway infrastructure.
But the developer, David Wilson Homes, has now lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate in a bid to get the decision overturned.
A document submitted by agents AP Planning lists 21 grounds for appeal which will be expanded upon at a hearing expected to take place in February.
They will argue that there is a need for housing in Chard, that the site is in a sustainable location and that there is sufficient capacity at the Convent junction for the development not to impact on the highways network.
Jeremy Sutcliffe, strategic land director at David Wilson Homes, said: “There’s an acceptance that the site’s suitable in principle for residential development.
“In the absence of a five-year housing land supply we think this is a suitable site to meet needs in the area.”
But members of the Cuttifords Door and District Residents Association and the Mount Hindrance Action Group, who both raised objections when the original application was submitted, are coming together to prepare a case against the appeal.
CCDRA chair Michael Gilling said: “We’ll continue to oppose this development.
“David Wilson Homes and the highways authority have under-estimated and ignored the impact of additional traffic through our hamlet, which is being misused as a bypass to and from Chard town.
“The road is narrow with a dangerous 90-degree bend and an equally dangerous junction with the A358.
“Traffic volumes have increased Combe St Nicholas Parish Council has aired concern at the volume of traffic already using Wadeford and Combe as an access route to Taunton via the Eagle Tavern junction.
“These and other highway and Traffic Plan problems are reason enough to refuse permission, leaving aside the main reason of the adverse impact on the Chard Regeneration Scheme.”
A Mount Hindrance Action Group spokesman said: “Our group was delighted at the unanimous refusal by South Somerset’s Area West Committee of David Wilson Homes’ application to build 110 houses at Crimchard.
“This sent a clear message to the developers that the Chard Regeneration Scheme is the only sustainable plan for Chard’s future prosperity and that, ad hoc, opportunistic development which conflicts with the CRS will be strongly contested.
“We’ll continue to work hard to oppose the appeal and will ensure that the inspector hears all the true facts, which the developer is trying hard to dismiss as unimportant.”
Three weeks remain for the groups to compile evidence which they will present at the hearing next year.
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