Bishops Lydeard Employment Land Defended from Housebuilder

Well, together we managed to send housebuilder Taylor Wimpey packing after its attempt to abandon the permitted employment uses at Station Farm, Bishops Lydeard.  As I’ve said many times, the applicant completely failed to demonstrate that the employment uses are not viable; the £1million+ that the businesses would generate in wages are far more important to the village than another 8 houses.  I went to the Taunton Deane Planning Committee Meeting at which the applications were decided, on Wednesday because despite all the objections and the strong case we advanced to retain the employment uses, the Council officers had, inexplicably, recommended approval.  I was accompanied by our 3 Borough Councillors and the Chair of the Parish Council who all spoke out against the plans and they were thrown out emphatically by 9 votes to 2.  Taylor Wimpey have the right to appeal the decision, so we will have to be vigilant and may need to support the Council if such an appeal is lodged.  I’ll keep my ear to the ground and will be sure to let everyone know if this happens.  Hopefully Taylor Wimpey will have got the message and will make a serious effort at marketing the land earmarked for employment uses to owners capable of developing it.

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3 Responses to Bishops Lydeard Employment Land Defended from Housebuilder

  1. Adrian Gibb says:

    Ref the Taylor Wimpey (not Wimpey Taylor — perhaps that’s a Freudian slip?) development, those of us in Station Road keep hearing about the A358 roundabout that is a planning approval requirement. We can get no information from TDBC Planning (other than they’ve passed it to County), from Somerset CC Highways (other than local boss Dennis Quick telling Maureen Bryant that they’d rejected the first proposal) or from the elected representatives to TDBC and SCC; the Chair tells me that the PC has received no information. It’s a bit bizarre that the most major piece of roadworks in the parish since the construction of the Cotford roundabout seems to be shrouded in secrecy.
    We all accept that there is a desperate need to improve the A358/Station Road junction and a roundabout is the best option; I suppose it was only SCC parsimony that prevented one being constructed when the industrial/trading estate was created. What we want to know is
    1) the precise location and layout; and,
    2) the likely dates of commencement and completion.
    At best it is an extreme discourtesy for the developers or councils to make any information available to us, or to consult us in any way.
    We are also concerned that construction vehicles will use the cul-de-sac part of Station Road for parking, turning, etc, creating a hazard to the many people who use the underpass and turning our access into a mudbath. There is also the question of protecting the little garden there and the verges that I have created over the last couple of years.
    Perhaps you might be able to help.

    • Mike Rigby says:

      Hello Adrian, Yes, it has all gone rather quiet hasn’t it? I last spoke to the County Council on this subject a few weeks ago. I have tried to get an update but the relevant person is not in the office. At the time of my last conversation, the designs had been put forward by Taylor Wimpey and were being being subjected to ‘safety audit’ by the County Council before final approval could be given. The Council’s best estimate at that time was that this was likely to be concluded in early November and that the work would probably start in December. I have tried to find some detailed drawings but there do not appear to be any in the public domain, which does seem a bit odd given how soon the works are likely to begin. Legally, the developer does not have to provide the roundabout until 50% of the dwellings are occupied. As of last week, 6 were occupied so we are probably some way off the point when Taylor Wimpey is obliged to build it. It does, however, seem very likely that the roundabout will be provided before that trigger point. It is surprisiing that there are no plans available. I will do some more digging next week and let you know what I find out. I will also make enquiries as to the construction method statement and see if we can have the cul-de-sac part of Station Road closed to construction traffic. Watch this space……..

  2. Mike Rigby says:

    I have posted a plan of the proposed layout of the new roundabout here
    You can see that it is planned to realign Station Road closer to its original course, through the copse that has been felled. The plans will be discussed at the meeting of the Parish Council on 14th November. 7pm at the Village Hall.

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