PLANNERS look set to approve a development which aims to revitalise a derelict area of Wellington.

Freemantle Development submitted the application for the site behind Cornhill in August of last year.

Taunton Deane Borough Council's planning committee will meet on Wednesday evening (February 6) to discuss the plans to build 42 new homes on the land north of Fore Street.

Councillors have been recommended to approve the plans, which do not allocate any of the properties as 'affordable housing' due to viability concerns.

A spokesman for TDBC said: "The proposal is considered on balance to be acceptable in terms of its design and impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area.

"The listed buildings 4 and 5 Cornhill will be preserved together with their settings and the settings of other listed buildings surrounding the site.

"It is considered that the viability of the development is marginal at best and that, in this case, the desire to undertake remedial works to the properties on Cornhill, thereby improving the character andappearance of the town centre outweighs the need to provide affordable housing.

"It is recommended that planning permission is granted, subject to a Section 106 agreement to secure the financial contribution for children's play equipment."

Somerset County Gazette:

PLANS: The outline from Freemantle Development

Some Wellington residents have voiced concerns against the plans.

Mr Davis voiced his views during the online consultation on the Deane's website.

He said: "I feel the proposal to develop Cornhill into residential properties is a mistake as we as a town desperately need more small local businesses to match

the future requirements of the current residential housing developments.

"Several new housing estates have sprung up around the town over the last few years, yet not one new business development has happened.

"Now a further plan is proposed, again with not a single business unit being considered."

Other residents voiced concerns about the 'historically important' buildings and hoped they could be preserved.

But the developer says it's a 'high quality' design which will not detract from the character of the area.

The plan follows previously applications for the site, but they never came to fruition.

A spokesman said: "The proposal follows the outline planning approval for a similar scheme but makes considerable improvements in the design and layout of the site to the benefit of the setting of

the listed buildings and the wider conservation area.

"The scheme is of high quality design and materials providing which will provide a visual enhancement to the character and appearance of the conservation area.

"The proposed access will take account of the servicing of the development including refuse collection and maintains pedestrian links from Fore Street and the new link to Cornhill.

"The proposal will not affect the amenity of any adjoining residential properties."