CAMPAIGNERS are preparing to fight plans for dozens of new homes in Milverton – almost 40 years on since the battle began.

Notaro wants to build 70 homes and a children’s play area at Creedwell Orchard, a project many residents feel is too large.

The developer, who has historic outline planning permission dating to 1975, last week submitted fresh plans to Taunton Deane Council.

Michael Reynolds, of Save Milverton Action Group (SMAG), says it will continue to try and protect the village’s green space.

He said: “I do not believe it is in the best interests of Milverton and would change the character of the village.

“The plans do not address or assist the village’s needs in terms of affordable housing or employment opportunities but is effectively creating a community that is going to go elsewhere.”

The application is the latest twist in a long battle to build homes on the land. In 1981, work started to activate the existing permission and in 2007 planning bosses ruled this preparatory work was lawful, despite objections from campaigners.

As a result, the permission still stands and the latest proposals include a 14-space public car park and recycling centre near the site entrance.

Mr Reynolds added: “It is easy to say ‘SMAG opposes everything’ but this application does not pay a lot of attention to the guidelines put in place by national Government and Taunton Deane.

“The scale is not appropriate – it is as many houses that have been built in the village in the last 20 years.”

Steve Rosier, project manager for Notaro, said: “It is important to recognise this land has planning permission to build 72 new homes.

"Notaro has also agreed terms with Taunton Deane to acquire a small area of land to provide access to the site.

"The proceeds will be used to provide 25 new affordable homes and the development will create a significant number of jobs during construction.”

A public exhibition on the proposals will be held at the Methodist Chapel, Silver Street, from 2-8pm Friday (April 4) and 10am to 4pm on Saturday.