THE developer behind plans to create a new motorway services and industrial area has agreed to an extension of the determination period to allow for amendments after objections were raised to the original proposals.

The application relates to a plan to build a modern, contemporary new service area, creating around 70 new jobs including a brand new amenity building with a unique roof terrace area accessed by an external walkway near J24 at Huntworth.

The proposal was submitted alongside another outline application to create an employment park adjacent on approximately 85 acres of land to the east of the motorway junction allocated for development in the Sedgemoor Local Plan.

However Sedgemoor District Council say this application is invalid awaiting the determination of the outline.

There have been a large number of objections from residents as well as North Petherton Town Council.

The applicant has agreed to extended the application determination period for the service station up to December 20th.

Gavin Houlgate, a Huntworth resident and one of those strongly against the development, penned an open letter saying if there were deficiencies in the application the plan should be rejected.

Dawn de Vries, Sedgemoor District Council's principal planning officer responded saying: "There are outstanding consultee responses on the application which are hindering the applicant in amending the scheme to address any concerns that have been raised.

"Once all consultee responses have been received we would usually review the case to determine if the issues were so significant we would recommend refusal or whether amended details may address some or all of the concerns.

"At this point the application would be assessed to determine if the recommendation would allow it to fall under the scheme of delegation or if it would progress to Planning Committee.

"In this case there are currently objections from the Town Council and if we were looking to support the application it would therefore need to be determined by councillors.

"If we were refusing the application we could do this through delegated powers."

Mr Houlgate also questioned whether it was appropriate for applicants to meet with Sedgemoor District Council representatives and be given advice about planning applications, and questioned whether the process was being 'tipped in the applicant's favour'.

Mrs de Vries responded saying it is the council's practice to be 'pro-active when dealing with development proposals' and to work with the applicant and consultees to 'identify potential impacts' and 'consider amendments to reduce these'.

Mrs de Vries added: "Applications for development are considered relative to the adopted Local Plan Policies and all material considerations.

"This includes the site constraints, neighbours, listed buildings, levels and relationship to surrounding uses in addition to reviewing the comments received from statutory consultees and neighbouring properties."

The original application was submitted by JLL on behalf of the land owner S Notaro Land Ltd and the new motorway services operator, Euro Garages, the plans have been prepared by a consultant team including Peter Brett Associates (part of Stantec), LHC Design and ADS Design.

To view the full application visit the planning section of the Sedgemoor District Council website and search for application number 37/19/00004.