A PETITION has been launched in a bid to stop Sedgemoor District Council selling off a piece of open public land in Highbridge so it can be replaced by 110 homes.

Earlier this month developer Coln Residential won outline planning permission to build a play area and a fitness trail on land between Lakeside and Isleport despite more than 140 objections from residents.

The land is currently owned by five parties including Sedgemoor District Council (SDC.)

On February 11 SDC launched a consultation as it plans to sell off the land for the development with residents having until March 13 to share their views.

But residents in Highbridge have vowed to fight against the plans and have launched a petition in a bid to stop the land being sold.

Joy Russell, a Highbridge resident who started the petition, said she was inspired to take action after hearing that the developer had won permission to build the homes.

“I was so upset to hear about the proposals of this housing development on this precious pocket of land in an area which is becoming so overdeveloped to the detriment of our local nature and wildlife,” Joy said.

“I have walked this field regularly for many years and always feel a state of calm and pleasure knowing that this this little pocket of green was right on my doorstep.

“I hate that many people don’t value places like this and the property developers class this area as a disused ‘wasteland’ wanting to cram houses on to an untouched wildlife haven.

“I have started a petition hoping to show Sedgemoor District Council how much the community cares about our last precious pocket of green.

“I wish Sedgemoor District Council could just see the benefits in keeping this ground for the wildlife and the public to enjoy especially as they have signed up to climate emergency.

“We need to see them acting on their pledge and this is the ideal opportunity to prove to us they mean what they say.”

Joy said she thinks the land could be put to better use and used not only as a park but a wild, open space where trees could be planted and children could learn about how to care for the planet.

“Highbridge needs an open space far more than another 110 houses built on a flood zone when there are so many other suitable sites that could be built on first,” Joy said.

“It is time for people to wake up to this fact and think responsibly about caring for our environment and giving our children and theirs the chance to do the same.

“The proposals for developing this open space shows a complete disregard to our local nature and wildlife and to the opportunity to actually improving and sharing this space by spending the S106 money for what it was originally intended.”

Charlie Tillam, a resident who lives at Lakeside who objected to the proposals, said she has signed Joy’s petition and residents at Lakeside are angry that SDC plans to sell the land.

“We don’t want the land to be sold, it’s public land. We want it unused for the wildlife and public, “ Charlie said.

“We don’t need any more houses in Highbridge there’s at least 500 which have been built or are going up so we don’t need public land sold for housing.

“It’s mad. It’s a wildlife haven. It’s madness to drive through a small estate from a busy A38, there will be so many cars.

“There are no facilities it’s all about money not wildlife. I have seen the destruction of wildlife in Australia through fire.

“This time its bulldozers and buildings. I would encourage everyone to sign the petition and object to it. We have to fight this.”

To obtain a plan of the proposed land contact Tim Mander on 01278 435331 or email Tim.Mander@Sedgemoor.gov.uk.

To sign the petition pop into Thyers Tackle shop in Highbridge.