RESIDENTS of a small village near Taunton will have to fork out ANOTHER £200 to fight homes being build on their doorstep.

A planning inquiry got under way in Taunton on Tuesday morning (January 15) to decide whether Gladman Developments should be allowed to build 200 homes on Langaller Lane in Creech St Michael.

Residents paid £200 to hire a coach to the Albemarle Centre to give their reasons why the homes should not go ahead.

But a last-minute change in the running order means their statements cannot be taken until Wednesday (January 16).

Those wishing to attend and listed to speak will now have to hire another coach after the planning inspector declined a request to relocate Wednesday’s hearing to Creech St Michael village hall.

Mr Dakeyne confirmed submissions by residents (including parish and borough councillors) would be taken on Wednesday – the same date as the official site visit.

Their comments would be heard from 9:30am, with the site visit being conducted in the afternoon.

Mr Dakeyne said he would not be inviting any applications for costs at this stage, with both parties having until the final day of the inquiry to put forward such a request.

Josef Cannon, representing Gladman, said in his opening remarks that 50 of the 200 homes proposed for the site would be affordable.

He said: “The site is on the edge of the village of Creech St Michael. The site is a pleasant field with a public right of way right across it, but it is by means a tranquil place.

“This will further safeguard the separation of Creech St Michael and the new development of Monkton Heathfield.”

Gladman said it was in discussions with First Bus and Somerset County Council about funding for an improved bus service through the village, which could connect the new homes to nearby employment sites.

It has also offered to make a “substantial improvement” to pedestrian provision to and from the site, replacing 100 metres of “virtual foot-way” with a standard kerb.

Mr Cannon argued the development would bring benefits to the area and was in line with the council’s core strategy for rural settlements.

Scott Stemp, representing the council, said the development could not be viewed as sustainable and would put a strain on local amenities.

The hearing runs for a further five days until Wednesday, January 23. Mr Dakeyne will publish his decision on the Planning Inspectorate website later in the spring.