Council responds to residents’ concerns over Somerdale site access

Bath and North East Somerset Council has responded to concerns expressed by residents over the current access to the Somerdale housing development in Keynsham.

Residents in the area presented a petition to the Council calling for concerns over safety at the road junction to be resolved by the developer, Taylor Wimpey, and the Council.

The Leader of the Council, Cllr Tim Warren, has now responded to the petition on behalf of the Council. In the response, the Council has agreed to set out a timeline of Autumn this year for the delivery of a long-term solution to the junction layout by Taylor Wimpey. In the meantime, the Council has installed temporary safety barriers at the entrance to the Somerdale development to slow traffic to the site, which the Council has said it will monitor closely.

As part of the original planning consent for the Somerdale development, it was proposed that the junction to the site should be traffic light controlled, with a separate light-controlled pedestrian crossing on Station Road near the site entrance. However, both residents and officers have since raised concerns over the impact this design could have on traffic flow.

As a result, the Council has been working with the developer to try and agree upon an acceptable alternative design for the junction layout.  The Council has said it is attempting to find a solution that would avoid the need for new planning consent, which would cause further delays to implementing a scheme.

Councillor Charles Gerrish, who was copied a response to the petition as the local ward councillor, said:

 “The problems with this junction have been a long-running challenge which I and fellow councillor Brian Simmons have been pressing Council officers to resolve for many months, and so I am pleased there is a recognition that the original junction design needs to be reviewed.

 “I also welcome the fact that the Council has put a timescale on finding a permanent resolution, with Council officers stating that they want to work with Taylor Wimpey to agree a design and enable work to commence by Autumn this year. 

“I understand the concerns residents have and share their frustration in not finding a solution sooner, and Brian and I are doing all we can to get this matter resolved.  A separate meeting with residents of Priory Road has also been held with Council officers to discuss the concerns they have over parking and other related matters.”