Go-ahead likely for 73 new homes in Watchet

A TOTAL of 73 homes would be built on the land just off Doniford Road in Watchet. PHOTO: Summerfield planning application.

A TOTAL of 73 homes would be built on the land just off Doniford Road in Watchet. PHOTO: Summerfield planning application.

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Somerset County Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for 73 new homes in Watchet is set to be given full planning permission at a council meeting today (January 30).

Summerfield Developments applied to West Somerset Council in November 2013 for permission to build a mix of affordable homes and homes for the open market off Doniford Road.

Proposals include plans for 25 social and affordable homes to rent, shared equity properties and low-cost houses.

There would be eight homes with one bedroom, nine two-bedroom homes, 39 homes with three bedrooms, and 17 properties with four bedrooms.

In their application, Summerfield said: “The development will offer a range of new houses, including 35% of the dwellings as affordable, adjacent to existing development.”

Twenty-five of the homes would be affordable, with a mix of social rented, affordable rent or shared ownership and low cost ownership.

There are also plans for additional parking areas in courtyards and a play area.

The development has met with resistance from residents, including a 40-strong petition submitted in December.

The petition expressed concern about getting doctor’s appointments, which residents say they already struggle to do and fear the problem would worsen.

Residents also expressed anger after plans they were consulted on changed without being informed.

In the original application, Summerfield applied to build 71 homes.

Sara Summer, aWatchet resident who lives in Bay View said: “The main concern of residents is the road safety.

“There will be up to 150 new vehicles using that road and it’s a very sharp bend and very busy already.

“We also have concerns over suitability of Doniford Road for the HGV vehicles that are going to be using it if planning permission is given.

“There are two small bridges which are unstable for the vehicles because of the weight limit size.

“The people who make these decisions have no regard for residents and their worries.

“They live elsewhere and so they don’t know the problems as we do.

“Doniford Road has problems when there’s lots of rain, the sewers aren’t sufficient to cope with the water pressure and with another 73 homes this will get worse.

“I don’t understand why they can’t build a few homes in different areas around the town as they have done elsewhere as opposed to a large number of them all together.”

The development is being discussed at a council planning meeting today at 4.30pm at the Council Chamber in Williton.

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