Plans for 135 new houses on Monger Lane in Midsomer Norton have been rejected by Bath and North East Somerset Council.
However, despite strong objections from members of the public, a second application in the town for 165 new houses on land off the Fosseway at Charlton Park was granted permission at a meeting of the Council’s Development Control Committee last Wednesday, 8th May.
At the meeting, Midsomer Norton’s four Conservative councillors joined with residents in calling for both planning applications to be rejected, arguing that more suitable development locations existed within the town.
The councillors have said they are pleased that the Monger Lane application was ultimately turned down, but have joined residents in expressing outrage at the decision to give the Charlton Park plans the go-ahead.
The planning committee’s five Conservative councillors all voted against granting permission for both the planning applications. However, they were out-voted by the committee’s Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors on the Charlton Park application, who voted to approve the plan.
Councillor Paul Myers (Cons, MSN Redfield), who spoke against the Charlton Park application at the meeting, said:
“We’re bitterly disappointed by the committee’s decision to grant planning permission for the 165 houses at Charlton Park and I know residents are rightly outraged. This was completely the wrong decision and the committee was given ample opportunity and numerous reasons to reject these plans. It makes no sense at all to allow development on a greenfield site when we have disused brownfield land which could be developed first. This is completely contrary to Government guidelines.
“The local community should be given the opportunity to decide upon the most appropriate locations to accommodate new development, not have it dumped on local greenfield sites.”
Councillor Barry Macrae (Cons, MSN North), who spoke against the Monger Lane application, commented:
“I’m obviously pleased and delighted with the outcome on the Monger Lane application, but also surprised with the inconsistency of the decisions over the two applications and I share my colleagues’ disappointment over the Charlton Park outcome. We have to address the issue of lack of local employment in the Somer Valley before allowing more and more houses to be built. New housing should be spread across all communities in the Somer Valley, not just Midsomer Norton.”