STOGURSEY Parish Council has agreed to send a letter of ‘no confidence’ in the Somerset West & Taunton Council planning department with fears several large developments are going to be approved and overwhelm the village.

The extraordinary move was mooted by Councillor Chris Ford and approved at Stogursey Parish Council’s online meeting held via the Zoom app on Wednesday, May 13.

Cllr Ford’s proposal was accepted meaning the Parish Council will now send a letter expressing no confidence in the way planning department has handled Stogursey’s applications and disputing the way the Local Plan is being interpreted.

Cllr Ford cited particular concerns regarding an application for 40 to 50 homes on land off the High Street, a plan for 27 homes at Paddons Field which has been submitted and appealed several times and another proposal for homes off Lime Street.

Cllr Ford said: “The West Somerset District Council Local Plan recommended that development in Stogursey should be limited to to five new homes a year and yet there have been several large developments recommended for approval by the Somerset West & Taunton Council planning department.

“The parish council has strongly stated its objections to several of these developments but it doesn’t seem to make a difference.

“If these developments go ahead, they will completely change the village.”

Cllr Ford said he believed there was not enough demand for this many new homes to be built in the village, and there were not enough employment opportunities if there was an influx of new residents.

Cllr Ford added: “I want to be clear that there is no issue with the actual planning committee itself or the Somerset & West Taunton councillors.

“Our concerns relate to the way the planning department is giving these developers so many opportunities to respond to concerns about developments instead of rejecting them as they should.”

Somerset West & Taunton Council has been approached for a comment.