DEVELOPERS have vowed to pursue plans to build 323 new homes on the edge of Chard despite staunch opposition from the parish council.

Persimmon Homes wants to develop land between the A358 and B3162 and first signalled their intention to build there with a plan to South Somerset District Council last July.

But the latest proposal was recommended for refusal by Tatworth and Forton Parish Council over fears the scheme will lead to increased traffic and flooding.

Simon Perks, regional managing director of Persimmon Homes South West, said: “The planning application has been deferred from the next South Somerset Council meeting.

“We have had positive feedback from the local planning authority to the proposals and I would have assumed the parish council would have welcomed the much-needed new housing that the district requires and, for that matter, that the country requires.

“We shall be continuing with the application despite the parish council’s view, given that it is South Somerset District Council who issue the approval not the parish council.”

This is The West Country:

A spokesman said for the parish council said Chard would struggle to cope with the influx of 323 homes and claims the capacity of doctors’ surgeries, dental practices and schools are insufficient.

The spokesman added: “The number of cars would be increased dramatically as there is insufficient bus services. Forton Road is too narrow and hazardous. The surrounding area is a quiet area with a large number of elderly people living there.

“There is already a large number of accidents on the A358 which may be exacerbated.

“The size, scale, mass and type of houses that are proposed are not in-keeping with the other houses in the area, either in Chard or in Tatworth and Forton in a rural setting.”

Residents in the area have also objected to the application.

Some say the plan is “unsympathetic” and the promise of 750 construction jobs is a “pipe dream”.

Tracey Berry, a resident against the proposed development, said: “I’m confused why Persimmon is allowed to keep re-submitting and wasting time and taxpayers’ money when they are not addressing the concerns from the council and the public?”

Ronald Green also echoed concern over a lack of GP services and school places for the number of people who would move to the new estate.

He added: “Also the T junction at the Chard end of Forton Road means more congestion in getting onto the main road – it’s bad enough now without updating the roads in Chard to make them safer. Why add more houses and why have a bypass road for Chard going through a housing estate?”