CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 139 new homes on the edge of Watchet look set to get the green light.

At Somerset West and Taunton Council’s planning committee today (Thursday, October 3), members are due to make a decision on the plans for 139 new homes on land south of Doniford Road and Normandy Avenue.

Council planning officers have recommended the proposal for approval subject to a serious of conditions, but both Watchet Town Council and Williton Parish Council have raised concerns over the development.

The site comprises four fields covering approximately 10 hectares, and approximately 35 per cent of the homes would be required to be affordable housing.

In his report planning officer Andrew Penna notes that neither Somerset County Council, nor the Highway Authority have objected to the plans, and states that Highways has raised no safety concerns in respect of the application, having assessed the speed of traffic on local roads, accident data and the generation of traffic arising from the development.

He concludes: “The development of the site is acceptable in principle and is consistent with the Local Plan Strategy and settlement policies.”

However Williton Parish Council object to the proposal, saying the cumulative effect on traffic and demand for doctors and schools has not been taken into account givven there are outstanding applications in Watchet for 250 homes at Liddymore, and up to 400 homes plus a 60 bed retirement home on the former Paper Mill site.

The parish council says it is concerned about the Co-op junction and A358 roundabout junctions in Williton becoming overburdened.

Meanwhile Watchet Town Council objects, saying it does not believe the application meets with planning policy, and challenge the assertion that housing is needed in this location.

Watchet Town Council wrote: “The planning committee has concerns over access and whilst they support in principle the need for social housing within Watchet, they do not support Commercial Housing being built without the appropriate infrastructure being addressed.

“The Committee has serious concerns for road safety due to obvious increase in journeys on narrow footpath-less lanes.

“It is believed collisions and pedestrian injuries (or worse) will ensue if this development goes ahead, and they reject the points made in the traffic assessment.

“There are also serious concerns that flood mitigation measures and prevention may not be practical long term.”

To view the application, visit the planning section of the Somerset West & Taunton Council website, and search for application 3/37/17/019.