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Bridgwater ward councillors make last ditch homes protest
WARD councillors have made an 11th hour effort to fight a controversial housing development in Bridgwater.
Summerfield Developments was granted planning permission by Sedgemoor District Council to build 120 homes to the south of Durleigh Road, Bridgwater.
But Sedgemoor planners voted on Tuesday to allow the developer to alter the application to allow for changes to building height, changes to the style of homes and to build an electrical sub station in the centre of the site.
The council received seven letters of objection to the changes from residents and ward councillors who have been campaigning against the project since it began, also objected.
Cllr Gill Slocombe said: “It is extremely disappointing to say the least.
“The report says this revised scheme is ‘acceptable’ – when did we decide to assume this word ‘acceptable’ is good enough in Sedgemoor?
“The parking, access and general highway arrangements are not acceptable or satisfactory and this proposal will have a greater impact on highway safety than you can ever imagine; this variation is doing nothing to improve this.
“The ward councillors and the residents we represent have stated all the issues against development in this area and now to come back with a variation in which the developer wishes to increase some of the houses by 30 inches and place an electrical sub station in the middle of an estate is just a step too far.”
Cllr Ann Bown, county councillor for Bridgwater West, also objected to the changes.
She said: “I would ask that the planning officer look at the previous scheme that was submitted and see that this was deemed by many as inappropriate.
“To then come back with an even taller design I feel will be visually intrusive to the development and surrounding areas.”
She added that the sub station could be “intrusive to the street scene”.
Chairman of the planning committee Cllr Bob Filmer said: “There was an existing planning application which had already been passed and these changes were just tweaks of that.
“The ground level has changed slightly and the changes introduce better footpaths. We were concerned about the electricity substation but we have asked for that to be landscaped.”