THE latest travesty perpetrated on local communities in Staplegrove by Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC) and the developers suggests a new version of the ever-popular family board game, Taunton Monopoly.

Marked on the board, instead of properties around the town, there could be lots of greenfield sites for developers to buy and build houses beyond the reach of local families who cannot get on the housing ladder. 

Don’t bother to include any squares representing social and affordable housing, because the developers simply don’t want to build them and TDBC has capitulated, accepting a bare minimum of 15 per cent on each new site.

READ MORE: Special report: 1,600 homes approved for Staplegrove

Instead of the ‘stations’ which represent transport solutions and infrastructure, we could have blank squares to show that the developers are getting away with pathetic ‘solutions’ which will inevitably lead to traffic gridlock, air pollution, flooding etc etc.

And, we could remove some key buildings from the board entirely: Deane House would cost too much for any player to buy, because of the millions TDBC is due to spend refurbishing an already under-used building, while taking on responsibility for more council offices in Williton when they merge with financially insolvent West Somerset Council.

The story goes on and on: Monkton Heathfield, Comeytrowe and Trull, now Staplegrove and north Taunton. 

In each case, the Conservative ruling group has persisted in putting forward unsustainable sites and accepting shoddy ‘solutions’ to the problems of sustainable infrastructure. 

READ MORE: LETTER:'I'm delighted Staplegrove homes were approved'

Local communities are not only ignored by TDBC but also by County Highways. 

Anyone who objects is accused of ‘talking Taunton down’ when in reality, it is the Conservatives running Taunton Deane who are storing up huge problems for our county town.

Surely it is time to put away the counters, fold up the board and tackle these serious issues properly?