Greenfield site saved as Wembdon application rejected

Bridgwater Mercury: Ann Bown Ann Bown

CAMPAIGNERS have hailed people power after a bid to build 400 homes on greenfield land was thrown out a second time.

Sedgemoor District Council turned down the application for land at Cokerhurst Farm, Wembdon, last year but developers Cavanna Homes and Ensign Group appealed the decision.

A two-week public inquiry was heard at the start of this year and now a Planning Inspector has again rejected the scheme.

The council’s planning policy manager Nick Tait said: “This is an excellent result and shows the Secretary of State has backed local policy.

“The council has a clear strategy that has seen record numbers of new homes and affordable housing in the last year despite the recession.

“There was simply no current need or justification to release this site.”

In his decision letter, Secretary of State Eric Pickles agreed with the recommendations of the planning inspector who heard the appeal.

Mr Pickles concluded the proposal was not in accordance with local or national policy and there was no current need to release the greenfield site.

He also said it would result in harm to the rural character and appearance of the area and the loss of locally significant wildlife habitat.

District councillor Ann Bown said: “I am delighted for the residents and parish council who have worked so hard to prevent this inappropriate development going through. It proves that people can be listened to.”

Fellow district councillor Gill Slocombe said: “I’m really pleased with this decision; it shows democracy works.

“There are already major problems on the A39 and this would only have made them worse.

“Also, there are other prime sites that can be developed – we need to be careful about overdeveloping greenfield sites.”

No-one from Cavanna Homes was available for comment at the time of going to press.

Comments (3)

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7:02am Fri 7 Sep 12

silver_fox says...

A great result for common sense and the environment. This application should NEVER have reached this far - to build in beautiful, prime agricultural land when there are still plenty of brown field sites available was just greed on the part of the land owner and developers.
A great result for common sense and the environment. This application should NEVER have reached this far - to build in beautiful, prime agricultural land when there are still plenty of brown field sites available was just greed on the part of the land owner and developers. silver_fox

11:30am Fri 7 Sep 12

MartinB58 says...

The Sedgemoor villages seem to be under constant threat from developers. This is good for news for Wembdon.

I just hope that Sedgemoor District Council's Nick Tait remembers his comment ("The council has a clear strategy that has seen record numbers of new homes and affordable housing in the last year despite the recession. There was simply no current need or justification to release this site.”) when looking at proposals to develop outside the village boundary at Crockers Hill in Woolavington.
The Sedgemoor villages seem to be under constant threat from developers. This is good for news for Wembdon. I just hope that Sedgemoor District Council's Nick Tait remembers his comment ("The council has a clear strategy that has seen record numbers of new homes and affordable housing in the last year despite the recession. There was simply no current need or justification to release this site.”) when looking at proposals to develop outside the village boundary at Crockers Hill in Woolavington. MartinB58

8:03am Sun 9 Sep 12

silver_fox says...

You need to keep pestering your local councillors, visit and write to your MP as these developers will find any way possible to build on prime agriculural land that brings a premium when the house come to sell. Give the Wembdon address and you can add on 25%. Good luck and keep opposing this kind of development.
You need to keep pestering your local councillors, visit and write to your MP as these developers will find any way possible to build on prime agriculural land that brings a premium when the house come to sell. Give the Wembdon address and you can add on 25%. Good luck and keep opposing this kind of development. silver_fox

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