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No go for Mactaggart & Mickel proposals
9:00am Wednesday 28th August 2013 in Somerset
COUNCIL meetings and theatrical performances are rarely mentioned in the same sentence, but that was the case last week at Holyrood Academy in Chard.
South Somerset District Council’s Area West committee met at Holyrood for an emotive meeting in which controversial plans to build 350 homes and move Chard Town Football Club to land east of Mount Hindrance Farm in Mount Hindrance Lane were discussed at length.
Councillors had waited several months for the application to come before the committee and were primed with emotional speeches of objection.
It reached the point where committee chairman Cllr Angie Singleton had to remind councillors that they were not performing on stage.
“This is a council debate, not an opportunity for councillors to address the audience,” she said.
It came after Cllr Brennie Halse gave a thunderous and impassioned speech, slamming developer Mactaggart & Mickel for its “obnoxious” proposals.
“You have to admire Mactaggart & Mickel for taking the proverbial,” she said to cheers of support from the audience.
Councillors took it in turns to voice their opposition to the scheme, which would, by virtue of its size, link the hamlet of Cuttiford’s Door with Chard.
Cllr Martin Wale said: “I was hoping to give a rousing speech and get a round of applause, but I won’t because it has all been said already.
“It’s a disgrace that the plans have come before us with total disregard for the Chard Regeneration Scheme.”
Part of the scheme was a proposal to have a three-way traffic light system along the narrow stretch of Crimchard road leading to neighbouring Combe St Nicholas at the top of the envisaged entrance to the new housing development.
“Are they seriously thinking about putting in three-way traffic lights on that road to Combe,” asked Cllr Wale.
“It would be nonsense.”
Earlier, James Edwards spoke in support of the application on behalf of Mactaggart & Mickel.
He said it would be a “much needed” development and it would “encourage investment” into Chard.
“The Mactaggart & Mickel scheme is a sustainable development,” he said.
Mr Edwards was heckled from the public gal-lery and his words were rubbished by the audience.
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