Junction 27 plans leave Taunton trailing – claim

KIT Chapman: “Junction 27 just illustrates the need for Taunton to get up on its feet and start running.”

KIT Chapman: “Junction 27 just illustrates the need for Taunton to get up on its feet and start running.”

First published in News by

TRADE and tourism in Taunton are in danger of falling further behind the competition after the announcement of plans for a unique leisure and tourism destination at junction 27 of the M5.

That’s the view of the town’s taskforce group, TauntonForward, who believe the ambitious plans for a surf park and man-made lagoon, as well as a worldclass concert venue and lifestyle outlet village at junction 27 for Tiverton could see the town fall further down the South-West’s pecking order.

Kit Chapman, proprietor of The Castle Hotel and a member of TauntonForward, said: “The junction 27 development is bound to take away from Taunton just as Cribbs Causeway and Exeter take away from Taunton.

“We need to make Taunton an interesting place to visit so people don’t go off to these other places.

“So many of our wives, friends and so on do their shopping anywhere they like but Taunton.

“Developing Firepool and Coal Orchard is important for Taunton – we need things that are going to attract people to Taunton to shop and for leisure, whatever that might be.

“We’re being overtaken and you can now add junction 27 to that.

“Junction 27 just illustrates the need for Taunton to get up on its feet and start running.”

The junction 27 proposals, christened Westwood, also include plans for hotels and an artisan area featuring food and other products from across the region.

Developers estimate that the attraction could create as many as 3,500 jobs.

Comments (19)

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4:00pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Westerbyg says...

Taunton does quite well in the Chav Town stakes and should take pride in its lack of any cultural pursuits other than binge drinking, charity shop consumerism and wandering around the Parade aimlessly.

Sometimes folk just get the town they deserve.
Taunton does quite well in the Chav Town stakes and should take pride in its lack of any cultural pursuits other than binge drinking, charity shop consumerism and wandering around the Parade aimlessly. Sometimes folk just get the town they deserve. Westerbyg
  • Score: 23

4:20pm Tue 22 Jul 14

prickles says...

Instead of moaning about it why don't taunton forward come up with some ideas.
Instead of moaning about it why don't taunton forward come up with some ideas. prickles
  • Score: 10

4:24pm Tue 22 Jul 14

RightToAnOpinion says...

Never fear Taunton has 3 new concrete benches on the High St that only cost £28,000, oh and nearly forgot to mention our greatest attraction which is Taunton's vision down on the old market site.
Never fear Taunton has 3 new concrete benches on the High St that only cost £28,000, oh and nearly forgot to mention our greatest attraction which is Taunton's vision down on the old market site. RightToAnOpinion
  • Score: 19

4:35pm Tue 22 Jul 14

T_12345 says...

I think Taunton should just build a theme park or be turned into a theme park. But yeah a surf park sounds pretty good too be honest, will take some beating that.
I think Taunton should just build a theme park or be turned into a theme park. But yeah a surf park sounds pretty good too be honest, will take some beating that. T_12345
  • Score: 9

4:41pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Somerset_BTGOG says...

Nothing like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted!

Years and years of under funding, saying yes to big supermarkets and a lack of ideas from the incompetent people who have been in a position to chance things has cost Taunton big time, if you stand still you will ultimately go backwards.

But never mind we have lots of new (unaffordable) houses popping up all over the place, an empty market site (soon to be another Supermarket), and a new road to nowhere to look forward to.
Nothing like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted! Years and years of under funding, saying yes to big supermarkets and a lack of ideas from the incompetent people who have been in a position to chance things has cost Taunton big time, if you stand still you will ultimately go backwards. But never mind we have lots of new (unaffordable) houses popping up all over the place, an empty market site (soon to be another Supermarket), and a new road to nowhere to look forward to. Somerset_BTGOG
  • Score: 22

8:49pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Hljomalind says...

Taunton has spent years being smug about it’s position as the County Town ……. and now the proverbial chickens are coming home to roost. Although it would be good to have something more local the 3,500 jobs at J27 looks positive – people need somewhere to work with the ongoing contraction of the public sector which must be hurting the town given its historical reliance on these jobs, but those that seem to consider themselves our betters appear to be completely incapable of thinking about anything else other than granting planning permission for massive amounts of housing that is unaffordable on average local wages. There seems to be no strategic thinking about allocating land for employment or where the jobs will come from – just an assumption of “build more houses, jobs will come”. A cynical resident might suggest that too often the politicians who are making the decisions don’t, or maybe never have, had to think about having to work for a living as it’s something other people do, hence why it comes so far down their list of priorities! Sadly I don’t see much of a future for Taunton – the train has departed the platform and those with power and influence have been too busy naval gazing and spending millions on follies to notice. Places like Bridgwater and Exeter will create the jobs and Taunton will, at best, become a dormitory town.......
Taunton has spent years being smug about it’s position as the County Town ……. and now the proverbial chickens are coming home to roost. Although it would be good to have something more local the 3,500 jobs at J27 looks positive – people need somewhere to work with the ongoing contraction of the public sector which must be hurting the town given its historical reliance on these jobs, but those that seem to consider themselves our betters appear to be completely incapable of thinking about anything else other than granting planning permission for massive amounts of housing that is unaffordable on average local wages. There seems to be no strategic thinking about allocating land for employment or where the jobs will come from – just an assumption of “build more houses, jobs will come”. A cynical resident might suggest that too often the politicians who are making the decisions don’t, or maybe never have, had to think about having to work for a living as it’s something other people do, hence why it comes so far down their list of priorities! Sadly I don’t see much of a future for Taunton – the train has departed the platform and those with power and influence have been too busy naval gazing and spending millions on follies to notice. Places like Bridgwater and Exeter will create the jobs and Taunton will, at best, become a dormitory town....... Hljomalind
  • Score: 19

8:43am Wed 23 Jul 14

rolo130267 says...

It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get the ball rolling on this and get something tangible on the table. We can then compare it to how long it has taken anything wothwhile to happen at Firepool & Coal Orchard.
I live in Wellington so personally I think J27 'Westwood' is a great idea and it will be easier for me to get in & out of than Taunton town centre. Hopefully this will be the kick up the backside that Taunton needs to get its act together wrt town development.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get the ball rolling on this and get something tangible on the table. We can then compare it to how long it has taken anything wothwhile to happen at Firepool & Coal Orchard. I live in Wellington so personally I think J27 'Westwood' is a great idea and it will be easier for me to get in & out of than Taunton town centre. Hopefully this will be the kick up the backside that Taunton needs to get its act together wrt town development. rolo130267
  • Score: 8

12:45pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Harryhourse says...

Much easier and quicker getting to J27 than driving through Taunton
Much easier and quicker getting to J27 than driving through Taunton Harryhourse
  • Score: 13

11:18pm Wed 23 Jul 14

boliston says...

I can't think of anything LESS appealing - basically a load of shops next to a motorway junction - if I was a surfer I'd rather just go to a beach and surf!
I can't think of anything LESS appealing - basically a load of shops next to a motorway junction - if I was a surfer I'd rather just go to a beach and surf! boliston
  • Score: 5

12:28am Thu 24 Jul 14

somersetvoyager says...

The area around J27 is beautiful countryside. What a shame it would be to bury it under this pointless development.
The area around J27 is beautiful countryside. What a shame it would be to bury it under this pointless development. somersetvoyager
  • Score: 4

2:29am Thu 24 Jul 14

RightToAnOpinion says...

Rather like the countryside around Taunton and Wellington that were losing to overpriced wooden framed houses.
Rather like the countryside around Taunton and Wellington that were losing to overpriced wooden framed houses. RightToAnOpinion
  • Score: 9

7:31am Thu 24 Jul 14

swjoduk says...

Sounds like a pipe dream to me and I will believe it when I see it.
Sounds like a pipe dream to me and I will believe it when I see it. swjoduk
  • Score: 3

9:54am Thu 24 Jul 14

Somerset_BTGOG says...

Yet more good news for Taunton the soon to be former Lidl site in the town centre will be .......... Retirement flats!

Thats forward thinking on prime land in the town.

Well done.
Yet more good news for Taunton the soon to be former Lidl site in the town centre will be .......... Retirement flats! Thats forward thinking on prime land in the town. Well done. Somerset_BTGOG
  • Score: 3

2:37pm Thu 24 Jul 14

RightToAnOpinion says...

Somerset_BTGOG wrote:
Yet more good news for Taunton the soon to be former Lidl site in the town centre will be .......... Retirement flats!

Thats forward thinking on prime land in the town.

Well done.
Better that than the Houses across the road that are constantly up for let to the next immigrants to arrive in the town, thought they were supposed to be for local people but alas it's a little like Morrison's distribution depot in Bridgwater where local means locally imported from Krakow. For those of you who think that's racist I suggest you do your homework as then you will find that the above mentioned company has just returned from yet another recruitment drive from Eastern Europe as they treat their staff with such contempt that no-one who knows them wishes to work there.
[quote][p][bold]Somerset_BTGOG[/bold] wrote: Yet more good news for Taunton the soon to be former Lidl site in the town centre will be .......... Retirement flats! Thats forward thinking on prime land in the town. Well done.[/p][/quote]Better that than the Houses across the road that are constantly up for let to the next immigrants to arrive in the town, thought they were supposed to be for local people but alas it's a little like Morrison's distribution depot in Bridgwater where local means locally imported from Krakow. For those of you who think that's racist I suggest you do your homework as then you will find that the above mentioned company has just returned from yet another recruitment drive from Eastern Europe as they treat their staff with such contempt that no-one who knows them wishes to work there. RightToAnOpinion
  • Score: 8

4:40pm Thu 24 Jul 14

K-78 says...

RightToAnOpinion wrote:
Somerset_BTGOG wrote:
Yet more good news for Taunton the soon to be former Lidl site in the town centre will be .......... Retirement flats!

Thats forward thinking on prime land in the town.

Well done.
Better that than the Houses across the road that are constantly up for let to the next immigrants to arrive in the town, thought they were supposed to be for local people but alas it's a little like Morrison's distribution depot in Bridgwater where local means locally imported from Krakow. For those of you who think that's racist I suggest you do your homework as then you will find that the above mentioned company has just returned from yet another recruitment drive from Eastern Europe as they treat their staff with such contempt that no-one who knows them wishes to work there.
Good on the Europeans for coming to work here - takes courage to leave your home to and make the effort to make a better life for yourself. Unfortunately for us 'natives' too often the benefits option and complaining about no jobs seems to be the preferred method of job hunting. Those guys and gals in the factories in the area who are not from the UK will be hard working, largely over qualified, and (I reckon) statistically significantly less likely to get drunk at the weekend and cause mischief in town. Like Taunton, the UK has only it's own attitude to blame.
[quote][p][bold]RightToAnOpinion[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Somerset_BTGOG[/bold] wrote: Yet more good news for Taunton the soon to be former Lidl site in the town centre will be .......... Retirement flats! Thats forward thinking on prime land in the town. Well done.[/p][/quote]Better that than the Houses across the road that are constantly up for let to the next immigrants to arrive in the town, thought they were supposed to be for local people but alas it's a little like Morrison's distribution depot in Bridgwater where local means locally imported from Krakow. For those of you who think that's racist I suggest you do your homework as then you will find that the above mentioned company has just returned from yet another recruitment drive from Eastern Europe as they treat their staff with such contempt that no-one who knows them wishes to work there.[/p][/quote]Good on the Europeans for coming to work here - takes courage to leave your home to and make the effort to make a better life for yourself. Unfortunately for us 'natives' too often the benefits option and complaining about no jobs seems to be the preferred method of job hunting. Those guys and gals in the factories in the area who are not from the UK will be hard working, largely over qualified, and (I reckon) statistically significantly less likely to get drunk at the weekend and cause mischief in town. Like Taunton, the UK has only it's own attitude to blame. K-78
  • Score: 5

4:47pm Thu 24 Jul 14

K-78 says...

Whilst the J27 development seems bizarre considering how close the coast is for Devon/Somerset; Taunton has been resting on its reputation for too long. Bridgwater, historically the butt of jokes in the area, recognized that its industrial nature was an asset and worked hard to change, bringing in millions of investment.. As far as I'm concerned, Taunton (as a town) does not know what it is, so it does not understand what it can offer. Identify that, and suddenly strategic direction and plans fall into place. Stop building roads to nowhere, get a proper dual carriage way ring road in, and focus on businesses, not housing.
Whilst the J27 development seems bizarre considering how close the coast is for Devon/Somerset; Taunton has been resting on its reputation for too long. Bridgwater, historically the butt of jokes in the area, recognized that its industrial nature was an asset and worked hard to change, bringing in millions of investment.. As far as I'm concerned, Taunton (as a town) does not know what it is, so it does not understand what it can offer. Identify that, and suddenly strategic direction and plans fall into place. Stop building roads to nowhere, get a proper dual carriage way ring road in, and focus on businesses, not housing. K-78
  • Score: 12

4:39pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Monument says...

Taunton died many years ago due to chronic mismanagement and lack of any foresight by Taunton Deane and SCC.

J27 is a dream and time will tell if that dream comes to any sort of reality. Taunton's corpse will continue to rot with absolutely no hope of resurrection.

County Town = County disgrace
Taunton died many years ago due to chronic mismanagement and lack of any foresight by Taunton Deane and SCC. J27 is a dream and time will tell if that dream comes to any sort of reality. Taunton's corpse will continue to rot with absolutely no hope of resurrection. County Town = County disgrace Monument
  • Score: 4

6:02pm Sun 27 Jul 14

KevinTurvey says...

Andrew Carnegie where are you when we need you?
Backhanders rule.
Andrew Carnegie where are you when we need you? Backhanders rule. KevinTurvey
  • Score: 1

9:42pm Sun 27 Jul 14

theoldsilverfox says...

wecome to taunton the dirtiest town in somerset were litter bins go unemptied fo days on end,who would want to build a leisure facility in this dump of a town
wecome to taunton the dirtiest town in somerset were litter bins go unemptied fo days on end,who would want to build a leisure facility in this dump of a town theoldsilverfox
  • Score: 2

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