THIS development (Coal Orchard) is not in line with what was promised and I wish to object to the proposed development on eight grounds:

1. The development of Coal Orchard should be part of an outline plan to develop the ‘Garden Town’ which makes the most of the river and canal. Surely, Goodland Gardens, Coal Orchard, the riverside down to and including Firepool and beyond Obridge towards Bathpool should be thought of as one, with parts being developed over time, sympathetically. There appears to be no overall plan, no forward thinking.

2. There is no affordable housing in an area that needs more social diversity or it will become overwhelmed by housing for the ‘active elderly’.

3. The design of the buildings is not in keeping with Coal Orchard. The one on St James’ Street and all the others are too overwhelming. The promise of retaining the façade of the swimming pool has not been kept. St James’ Church tower is obscured, despite it being one of the iconic views of Taunton.

4. Neither the Dragon Boat Races nor Somerfest could be held if there is insufficient parking for organisers. If the Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre are to survive, there needs to be an adjacent car park with at least 80 places, as there is no nearby ‘on street’ parking available. The flats’ residents will need at least one car per flat to get to work because Taunton has a very inadequate public transport system, while the Park & Ride closes early and is shut at weekends. There is not even provision for a secure cycle park.

5. At the last public consultation, we were promised facilities for artists and craftsmen. These are not on the plans, nor are the ‘starter’ units.

6. The access onto the site for deliveries is totally inadequate and dangerous.

7. There are 65 ‘eateries’ within a 5-minute walk of Coal Orchard and 4 gyms within 10 minutes of the site. It is remarkable that a Conservative Council seems determined to undermine small local businesses.

8. What is happening to the valuable Ginkgo trees? A concrete jungle is planned. The lack of green space along the river shows this development is just a speculation funded by us, the tax payers.

Taunton Deane Borough Council pleads poverty but plans to gamble with our money. Is this right?