PLANS for a new motorway service station and large employment park near Bridgwater will go before Sedgemoor District Council's development committee.

The new motorway service station and industrial units will be built on land at Junction 24 near Huntworth if it is given the green light - however even if approved at this stage, a reserved matters application will still need to go in at a later date.

The site consists of 37 hectares consisting of three land parcels; the largest of which consists of 26 hectares running parallel to the M5, the second parcel is 4.3 hectares to the south of the motorway junction, while the final seven hectare parcel wraps around the Bridgwater Lawn Tennis Club.

The existing access road would be altered so that a four arm roundabout could be introduced, with arms directing motorists into the service station and to the industrial units.

North Petherton Town Council has given its support to the application, stating that the land was identified in the Local Plan for employment use, however add that with this development and other major ones in progress, the need for a relief road is vital.

Ward councillor Bill Revans has objected, stating that the local transport infrastructure is insufficient to cater for the extra traffic the development would generate, and that the large industrial buildings are not in keeping with the hamlet of Huntworth.

A total of 43 letters of objection were submitted by residents, with one letter in support.

Residents raised concerns including noise and light pollution, the loss of agricultural land and the impact on the Bridgwater Lawn Tennis Club.

In the report to committee members ahead of Tuesday's meeting, planning officers recommend that the application is approved.

The report highlights that County Highways are satisfied with the development, and Highways England have withdrawn their objection after agreeing appropriate conditions.

The report states that the proposal is considered to be of 'appropriate size, scale and design', and highlights that revised plans have incorporated a pedestrian and cycle link through the site to the end of Huntworth lane and connecting with the tow path.

However the report does state that the loss of 32 ha of good agricultural land 'cannot be mitigated for', but says the potential to create in excess of 1.200 jobs will have a 'significant impact on the area, creating an opportunity for training and upskilling, potentially reducing the need for residents to commute away'.

The report also highlights that concerns have been raised from the operators of the adjoining services about potential 'over-provision', but planning officers say this is a 'market concern'.

The proposal is recommended for approval and will be discussed at Sedgemoor District Council's development committee meeting on Tuesday, August 4.