THE future landscape of North Petherton hangs in the balance as the fate of three major developments looks set to be sealed at a crunch meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, February 13).

Sedgemoor District Council's development committee will rule over plans for 248 homes, a community hub and play area as well as 30-acres of polytunnels for supermarket fruit-growers at Folley Farm.

The housing plan is earmarked for land north west of Wilstock Farm.
At the same meeting, the council will also debate a new three-storey hotel and restaurant proposed at Compass House, off Bridgwater Road.

The 248 homes plan is recommended for approval subject to a series of conditions, despite 35 letters of objection from residents and the North Petherton Town Council.

The town council says: "The access to the site via Campion Way and Wilstock Way is already over capacity for existing traffic, with major congestion problems at peak times. The roads on the proposed development are too narrow, which, as with neighbouring developments, will cause serious traffic and safety issues.

"This will be particularly true in relation to the school access route. There is inadequate parking provision and this will add to the identified problems."

But Highways England has no objection to the plans.
The Folley Farm plan has also attracted 13 letters of objection as well as opposition from the town council and ward councillor for the area, Anne Fraser. The plan is recommended for approval by Sedgemoor District Council's planning officers.

Agri Fruit Ltd wants to expand its business at Folley Farm so it can provide millions of strawberries to supermarket chain Aldi.
The company, which produces 500 tonnes of strawberries a year, wants 180 temporary polytunnels, an irrigation pond and five mobile homes for staff on the site.

The proposal will create 60 new full and part-time jobs if given the go-ahead.

Rod Latham, clerk to North Petherton Town Council, has told planners the site is already a “significant cause of flooding in the area.”
He said: “The culvert under the A38 cannot cope with the run off from the existing tunnels and any additional development will make matters worse.

“The council is also concerned about the lack of facilities on site, the absence of proposals to meet obligations to the local labour force and the obstruction to the public footpath going across the site.”

The town council has also hit out at the hotel plans for Compass House, arguing that the development is outside the agreed core strategy, has an inadequate transport plan and the risk of flooding is not properly covered. This is recommended for approval by planning officers. 

The meeting takes place at 9.30am, on Tuesday, February 13 at Bridgwater House in King Square.