Councillors press for second Somerdale access route

Conservative councillors in Keynsham have said that plans to redevelop the Somerdale Cadbury factory site must not go ahead without a commitment to deliver a second access route to the development.

A planning application to redevelop the site with nearly 700 new homes, as well as a 60-bed care home, a new primary school and new Fry Club, is to be considered by Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Development Control committee next Wednesday, 25th September.

The application is split into two elements, with the developer Taylor Wimpey seeking full planning permission for 154 new homes plus 113 apartments in the first phase, and outline permission for a further 430 dwellings, for which a detailed application will have to be submitted at a later date.

Local councillors in the town have said they will press the cross-party committee of councillors not to give the development the green light without conditions being placed on the developer and Council to provide a second vehicle access to the site.

The planning application also comes at the same time as councillors in the town are calling on B&NES Council to produce an over-arching transport plan for Keynsham in order to deal with all the planned developments.

In his written submission to the committee, Councillor Charles Gerrish (Cons, Keynsham North) said, that whilst supporting the regeneration of the site in principle, ‘My overriding concern is the impact on the town as a whole by the transport proposals, and until these can be satisfactorily resolved I have no option but to object.’ Fellow Keynsham councillor Alan Hale (Cons, Keynsham South) has also written to members of the planning committee supporting the need for a second access.

The area’s local councillors Charles Gerrish and Brian Simmons have said that that the ideal solution would be for a new road to be built linking the Somerdale site to the Keynsham by-pass at the Broadbmead roundabout from Avon Mill Lane.

Councillor Brian Simmons (Cons, Keynsham North) said:

“The broad proposals to redevelop the Somerdale site with new affordable housing, new employment and community facilities are generally supported by most local residents.

“However, the major issue of concern is the impact traffic from the development will have on the town and the current lack of second access route to the site, something the Council had agreed was needed.

“The planning application as it stands should not go ahead without securing a commitment to delivering the second access road. I will be pressing the committee on this issue when they consider the application and urging them not to grant permission without the condition of a second access.

“This application has also come at the same time as we are calling on B&NES to produce wider transport plan for the town, which is why it is so important the door is left open to second access road.”