PLANS for almost 300 homes in North Petherton were called “a classic example on how not to plan something” by North Petherton councillors.

At an emergency planning meeting last Thursday to discuss the plans by Bridgwater Gateway to build up to 292 homes south of Stockmoor village, North Petherton Town Council officially rejected the proposals.

One of the major complaints from councillors and local people were that the proposed homes would increase traffic on the already gridlocked A38 and Huntworth Roundabout.

Cllr Julian Taylor said: “Taunton road is at 108% capacity. We have a road that over capacity already and we are putting in another 292 homes. This is classically how not to do things.”

Bill Revans, Mayor of North Petherton, said: “We were promised last January and then promised last May and on and on that the Huntworth roundabout would be finished.”

Bridgwater Gateway did offer some assurance at the meeting that the proposed plans would not worsen the existing traffic problems.

The housing development is stage two of the Bridgwater Gateway project with stage one being a development for industrial purposes that have already been granted planning permission.

Ian Jewson, planning consultant for Bridgwater Gateway, said: “Phase one will provide significant improved to the Huntworth roundabout. If the improvements do not go ahead for the A38 and the Huntworth roundabout then the phase two will not go ahead.”

However the council and local people expressed cynicism, claiming they had been burned in the past by previous plans for Stockmoor and Wilstock.

Cllr John Buckland said: “We have discovered that builders are not trustworthy. These reserved matters allowed for more houses to be squashed into Wilstock.”

Mr Revans described the situation with Stockmoor and Wilstock as “a shambles” and said: “I look at that design by Bridgwater Gateway which is only accessible through an industrial estate. There is not even a pretension that this is building a community.”

Comments to Sedgemoor District Council must be received by April 5. The planning application is available to view online on Sedgemoor District Council's website, planning application number 37/14/00020.