PLANS for 71 homes on the edge of Minehead have ground to a halt after an appeal by the applicant.

Williams Partnership, of Minehead, submitted plans to West Somerset Council in January to build the properties on a green field site off Hopcott Road.

Planners deferred the application last month, saying they wanted more information about how the development would fit in with a wider masterplan for the area.

But Peter Grubb, agent for Williams Partnership, said: “They require a masterplan for the whole of the area, but this can’t be provided yet as we’re waiting for the policy requirement.”

Though it was not part of the reason for deferral, councillors also wanted to hear the outcome of discussions between the developer and the council about the mix of affordable housing to be provided.

They also want the developers to provide £10,000 per dwelling towards a community and recreation contribution, as opposed to the £5,000 offered.

Mr Grubb said: “The council can’t just ask for the £10,000 without justifying why they require this
sum, and we have a dialogue going with the committee.”

When the application was made the plans were for five two-bedroom houses and 20 one-bedroom flats to be built as social housing, but the housing enabling officer said due to a greater need for homes in Minehead a mix of 11 one-bed homes, eight two-bed homes, four three-bed and two four-bed homes would be more appropriate.

Williams Partnership has since lodged an appeal against a decision not being taken.

It means West Somerset Council will no longer decide on the application – that will be down to the
Planning Inspectorate.

Over 80 letters of objection and support were received about the application.

Minehead Town Council said it was “totally opposed” to the development and the way it had been

It feels more is required to meet the needs of local residents, and is concerned about the development’s impact on medical, pre-school and transport facilities.

A report will go to the planning committee on July 31 when members will be asked to identify areas
of dispute so the appeal can be heard and defended where appropriate.

  • A FURTHER 321 homes could bebuilt on the land at Hopcott Road. Though a planning application has not yet been submitted, a developer, a Mr Stevens, of Dunster, has requested a screening option, asking the council if it will need to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment if and when an application is submitted. Mr Stevens has previously applied for screening options on the land, but for fewer homes.