Councillors vow to fight Midsomer Norton housing plans

Conservative councillors in Midsomer Norton have vowed to join with local residents to fight plans which could see up to three hundred new houses built on greenfield land on the outskirts of the town.

Bath and North East Somerset Council has sparked outcry from residents and councillors in Midsomer Norton after recommending that planning permission be granted for two new housing developments on opposite sides of the town.

The first application would result in up to 165 new houses as well as a sixty-bed care home being built on land off the Fosseway, whilst the second application would see up to 135 homes built on land off Monger Lane.

The town’s four Conservative councillors have expressed anger that B&NES is recommending approval of the applications despite the large number of objections of local residents and before the Town Council has had the chance to propose more appropriate sites for new housing. They have promised to back local residents in opposing the applications when they are considered by the Council’s planning committee on Wednesday 8th May.

Cllr Paul Myers (Cons, MSN Redfield) said:

“We will continue to back residents all the way in their fight to stop these developments and argue against granting them permission when the planning committee meets next Wednesday. The application for 165 houses on the Fosseway will result in significant extra traffic on local roads and is beyond the town’s stated housing development boundary.

“We accept the need for new housing for local people in the Somer Valley, but this must be coupled with new local jobs and bringing disused brownfield sites back into use should be the priority. The Fosseway application meets neither of these criteria.”

As part of Bath and North East Somerset Council’s draft Core Strategy, the Somer Valley area, which includes Peasedown and Radstock as well as Midsomer Norton, has been earmarked for an additional three hundred new houses over the next sixteen years.

However, Conservative councillors in Midsomer Norton have said that this development should be spread across the area and that the Town Council and local residents should get a say in where the new housing should go.

Cllr Barry Macrae (Cons, MSN North) commented:

“We’re frustrated and dismayed that B&NES has recommended approval of these applications before the Town Council has had the chance to produce its own local plan detailing more appropriate development sites in the area.

“Development in the Somer Valley should be spread across the area, not simply dumped in Midsomer Norton all at once. This is precisely why we urged B&NES move faster with producing its Placemaking Plan, which earmarks preferred development sites and will give greater defence against unwanted planning applications.

“The Monger Lane application is in a completely inappropriate location and totally contradicts the future economic vision for our town. We will be urging these applications be rejected so that the Town Council, working with local residents, can produce a more appropriate plan for our town.”