Traffic, lack of jobs and pressures on school places top residents' concerns over Jurston Farm (From Somerset County Gazette)
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Traffic, lack of jobs and pressures on school places top residents' concerns over Jurston Farm
TENSIONS ran high at a meeting to discuss controversial plans for 900 homes on the outskirts of Wellington.
More than 100 residents packed into a special town council meeting last night (July 3) to air concerns over CG Fry's proposals to build homes at Jurston Farm.
Fears were raised over traffic, infrastructure, school places, sports provision, pressures on the medical centre and the lack of jobs for people who move to the town.
Councillors also agreed call on Taunton Deane Council to re-visit Jurston Farm as a site allocated for development in its core strategy.
Cllr Ross Henley, who proposed the motion, said: “This is not a core strategy, but a flawed strategy. Councillors on Taunton Deane see Wellington as an easy option for development.”
As part of the motion, the Deane will be asked to look at the possibility of a 14-class school, rather than two seven-class facilities, and ensuring adequate sports pitches are provided.
Some of the 900 houses are already under construction as these make up the second phase of the Cades development.
Around 650 of them are planned for the land around Jurston Farm, with the whole project expected to be phased between next year and 2030.
Resident Patricia Fletcher was one of many who spoke of their fears at the meeting.
She said: “There is not one good road around the development. The traffic is going to be horrendous.
“It needs to go back to the drawing board and get the proper infrastructure put in place.”
Ken Bird added: “This town council has already allowed Longforth Farm and Cades to get through, with no infrastructure in place.
“It is about time you stood up to Taunton Deane and say 'no', we don't want another development like those.”
Mayor Dave Mitton said the council is looking at an internal bus loop system to transport people around town if the development goes ahead.
One resident said Wellington is becoming a “dormitory town” for people who commute to other areas for work due to the lack of jobs.
Ann Rhodes, a Deane policy officer, said there will be opportunities on the edge of town and stressed that the council's long term objective is to push on with plans for a train station.
Other concerns included school places and questions over CG Fry's ability to see the project through.
Ms Rhodes said: “We are having ongoing discussions with the county council and are due to meet in a couple of weeks.
“We are looking at ways Court Fields School could expand and build new classrooms.”
She also said the primary school planned would “create more spaces than required for the development”.
Robin Upton, representing CG Fry, said: “The builder is a regional housing developer, not a national one and is very well funded.
“They are building 6,000 houses in Dorchester so they are more than capable of doing this.”
Mr Upton also said relevant traffic assessment work had taken place at particular junctions across town and added modifications would be made if necessary.
People can still have their say by emailing comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 10.