Ilminster divided after u-turn on Shudrick Lane housing site

This is The West Country: Canal Way. Canal Way.

A U-TURN on Ilminster’s future housing growth has left the town divided.

South Somerset District Council this week formally agreed to change plans to build 315 homes in Shudrick Lane (above) and instead earmark them to be built at Canal Way in the south-west of the town.

The council’s district executive went back to its original idea of Canal Way for development as part of their Local Plan, which is laying down the areas of development to bring 496 homes to Ilminster by 2028.

At last Thursday’s meeting, council leader Ric Pallister supported the Canal Way option, but Ilminster town councillors criticised the plan’s sustainability appraisal and consultation period, and backed the Shudrick Lane option instead.

Ilminster Mayor Emma Jane Taylor said the Canal Way option left her concerned about increased crime, health and wellbeing provision, and damage to beauty spots at Herne Hill.

She said: “The Shudrick Lane option would bring a link road and a lot of residents would like to see the town joined up with a circular route so you can get around.

“We’re trying hard to protect the flora and fauna at Herne Hill, some of which is rare, and this option will have an impact because a strip of houses will be around the bottom of it.”

Town councillor David Miller said: “We’ll be sticking to our guns. The prime drive for the Shudrick Lane option is because it will bring an alternative route into the car park that offers options in the longer term for partpedestrianising East Street and Silver Street.

“We believe it would make Ilminster an even more attractive place to shop and be a good commercial benefit for the town.”

District councillor Carol Goodall abstained from the vote, but told the meeting she felt the proposed modifications were not necessarily the best solution for Ilminster.

The decision will now go to the Inspector in June, and Rob Drayton, of the campaign group Save Shudrick Valley, said they were delighted, but would wait until the inspector’s final decision before celebrating.

He said: “The district council has come to the decision which is not only the best solution for sustainability, but also the best way forward for the town. It will eventually bring a new first school, when money is available, two extra playing fields and a development which people will be able to afford.

“There were only six objections from the district council to the original Canal Way option back in 2010, and this decision shows Ilminster Town Council’s stance to back Shudrick Valley as its preferred option was ill considered, had no backing from the townspeople and wasn’t in the best interests of the town.”

Comments (3)

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7:09pm Wed 19 Mar 14

regularreader says...

Congratulations to Rob Drayton for his tireless efforts to persuade the councils to back the development on Canal Way. This area was designated in the Local Plan of 2008 as the preferred option for the next house-building phase. There are many advantages, some of which are highlighted by Mr Drayton, but in addition, more housing in the Canal Way area would be the logical option being as it is, near to land designated for commercial (employment) use. If the Local Plan was to be ignored, then there seems little point in councils spending our money in commissioning a plan in the first place.
If our town council are so convinced of Shudrick Valley being a more suitable site for 315 new houses, one has to wonder if some commercial forces of which the general public are not party to are being exerted.
Congratulations to Rob Drayton for his tireless efforts to persuade the councils to back the development on Canal Way. This area was designated in the Local Plan of 2008 as the preferred option for the next house-building phase. There are many advantages, some of which are highlighted by Mr Drayton, but in addition, more housing in the Canal Way area would be the logical option being as it is, near to land designated for commercial (employment) use. If the Local Plan was to be ignored, then there seems little point in councils spending our money in commissioning a plan in the first place. If our town council are so convinced of Shudrick Valley being a more suitable site for 315 new houses, one has to wonder if some commercial forces of which the general public are not party to are being exerted. regularreader
  • Score: -1

9:26pm Thu 20 Mar 14

orchardman says...

Is there any danger that Cllr. Goodall will actually vote on these important issues. If, as reported, she didn't feel the modification wasn't in Ilminsters best interest, then she should have vote accordingly, not sat on the fence yet again. If she hasn't got the courage of her convictions, then she should stand down. As far as the development itself goes, why does it have to be on the western side of the town where over the last 10 - 12 years there has already been substantial residential development, and the argument that that side of town is earmarked for businesses doesn't hold water, especially now that land due for business use is now in the hands of Persimmon!. In any case, no huge number of jobs will be created in the foreseeable future.. Of course, the old chestnut of the Horlicks site comes up. Why does this brownfield, eyesore area never come into the equation.It has to be said, flooding can't be a particularly serious issue since In the recent wettest winter for donkeys years, I don't believe the Isle overflowed, the only flooding being caused by the road contours and poor drainage. With proper planning and landscaping, this could become an attractive gateway to the town, not the current eyesore.
Is there any danger that Cllr. Goodall will actually vote on these important issues. If, as reported, she didn't feel the modification wasn't in Ilminsters best interest, then she should have vote accordingly, not sat on the fence yet again. If she hasn't got the courage of her convictions, then she should stand down. As far as the development itself goes, why does it have to be on the western side of the town where over the last 10 - 12 years there has already been substantial residential development, and the argument that that side of town is earmarked for businesses doesn't hold water, especially now that land due for business use is now in the hands of Persimmon!. In any case, no huge number of jobs will be created in the foreseeable future.. Of course, the old chestnut of the Horlicks site comes up. Why does this brownfield, eyesore area never come into the equation.It has to be said, flooding can't be a particularly serious issue since In the recent wettest winter for donkeys years, I don't believe the Isle overflowed, the only flooding being caused by the road contours and poor drainage. With proper planning and landscaping, this could become an attractive gateway to the town, not the current eyesore. orchardman
  • Score: 0

5:59pm Mon 24 Mar 14

Min683 says...

It seems crazy that that Horlicks eyesore of a sight, has some divine protection, while the productive and lovely farmland, whether Shudrick lane or that by the cycle path, is condemned to tarmac, concrete and bricks. I know we need more housing (Where are people going to work?) but please fill up the brown sites before the useful land.
It seems crazy that that Horlicks eyesore of a sight, has some divine protection, while the productive and lovely farmland, whether Shudrick lane or that by the cycle path, is condemned to tarmac, concrete and bricks. I know we need more housing (Where are people going to work?) but please fill up the brown sites before the useful land. Min683
  • Score: 1

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