Cadbury Somerdale site – ‘residents must get real say’

Housing developer Taylor Wimpey has been called upon to give residents in Keynsham a genuine say over the future of the Somerdale Cadbury Factory site by the town’s Conservative councillors.

It was announced this week that Taylor Wimpey is Kraft’s preferred buyer for the site, which it plans to develop for housing, a hotel and an elderly person’s home. The current plans are for 700 new houses and would also mean the rebuilding and moving of the Fry Club.

Conservative councillors representing the town have already raised some concerns about the number of houses proposed for the site and the low amount of land given over for full time employment. They are calling on B&NES Council and Taylor Wimpey to work together to ensure residents in Keynsham are consulted on the plans and are given a real say over the future of the site.

Charles Gerrish, the Conservative Shadow Cabinet Member for Resources and Councillor for Keynsham North, said:

“What’s most important now is for the developer to engage with community to ascertain their aspirations for the site and ensure any plans meet with these. This is an historic and important site for Keynsham, so it’s vital that the town’s residents are engaged in a full and open consultation before detailed plans are put forward.

“It’s positive that the initial proposals retain and improve the sports facilities at the site and would mean the creation of new Fry Club, which is much valued by local people. However, we are concerned that these proposals plan for 700 new houses, a very large number which would be difficult to accommodate on the site and have a significant impact on nearby roads. The amount of land given over for employment also appears too low given the need to create new and sustainable jobs for the local area.”

Cllr Alan Hale (Cons, Keynsham) added:

“Clearly some local people will be concerned that Taylor Wimpey didn’t listen to residents’ concerns over another development at the other end of the town on the K2 site, which makes genuine public engagement all the more important here.

“We hope that at the plans progress and develop further these points, and many others from the public, are taken on board before any plans are finalised.”