Defending our Green Fields Cries of ‘shame’ came from many people who joined me in attending last week’s Deane council planning committee meeting to argue against inappropriate housing development on 19 acres of green fields at Bishops Hull.

A more appropriate word would be ‘shambles’.

Rarely have I seen such a debacle as when the Persimmon application for over 200 homes was bounced through by the committee chairman and officers.

I share the dismay of residents who saw a befuddled committee voting to destroy the countryside outside their back doors.

People expect better of the Deane council, but once again they were let down.

Just as residents of North Curry were let down when the pub redevelopment was approved, just as residents of Wellington were let down when the medical centre relocation was approved, just as Milverton residents were let down when developers were told they could build at Creedwell Orchard, and the list goes on… Next up, is likely to be the garden centre plan on green fields between Wellington and Langford Budville, where the council’s planning officer has already tied the committee’s hands by saying the proposal is acceptable.

Add to this the startling disclosure that almost half of all appeals against council planning decisions are successful, and it begs huge questions about the Deane council’s ability to make proper decisions.

Time and again I stand up for local people and argue their case against inappropriate housing development, and time and again the Deane council ignores people’s views.

Bishops Hull, however, is a different story, because the council’s ‘decision’ is effectively only a recommendation which goes the Secretary of State.

The council now has to get Government permission because the site is outside the area the council has identified in its democratically-agreed Local Plan as suitable for development.

I am now taking the battle against the Bishops Hull scheme to the Secretary of State and I will lobby strongly on behalf of residents to ensure the Minister comes to the right decision, which in my opinion will be to refuse consent.

To find out about how the Conservatives will give more planning powers to local communities, email me at or visit