A PLANNING application which would have seen a foul pumping station built on an area prone to flooding has been considered ‘invalid’.

The joint planning application from Taylor Wimpey, Bovis Homes, and Summerfield developments was for the new multi station to serve the 2,000 new homes which have received permission.

The 2,000 homes development saga in Trull and Comeytrowe has been rumbling on for years.

The latest plan sparked outrage amongst residents who feared the stations could potentially cause noise pollution, contaminate the nearby stream, and could be seen by adjacent properties.

Some parts of the plans were not outlined in the initial ‘outline planning’ application, and need more consideration.

So the authority, Somerset West and Taunton Council, has declare the application ‘invalid’.

A spokesperson said: “The facilities proposed under the new application 42/20/0024 are shown accessed directly off Comeytrowe Road, from an access point that was not part of the agreed outline consent. Neither was it indicated on the approved ‘access and movement parameter plan’.

“SWT as the local planning authority is of the opinion that this new vehicular access point cannot be dealt with as a reserved matter and would require a full permission in its own right.

“For this reason, the local planning authority considers that the whole application is invalid.

“As a result, it is not progressing the proposal but is currently negotiating on this issue with the applicant.

“Further details on any progress with these negotiations will be posted on the Council’s website under the application reference number.”

The application saw a host of opposition, including from local councillors.

Councillor Habib Farbahi said: “Myself and fellow councillor Simon Nicholls have been campaigning against the badly-located multi-stations, which brings a high risk of flooding to the Comeytrowe and Trull major housing development.

“The campaign has now been vindicated by the objection from Somerset Drainage Board to the inappropriate proposal from the developers, who had hoped to slip it through without anyone noticing during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The letter from Somerset Drainage Board states ‘the pumping station appears to be located in both Flood Zone three and in an area of high water surface flood risk’.

“It goes on to state that the application appears not to be in accordance with the information submitted with the outline planning permission.

“With the help of Somerset West and Taunton Council, we have ensured that the proposal from the developers must first be considered by the planning committee.”

Around one hundred people objected to the application, and a petition created to protect the stream gained more than 3,000 signatures.

The campaign was started by Judy and Andy Stainthorpe, who noticed the application on the council’s website and proceeded to distribute materials about it around the neighbourhood as it hadn’t been publicised or consulted on.

Now, it’s ‘wait and see’ for the residents, who hope any other forthcoming application will be better thought-through.

Mr Stainthorpe said: “We’ve had around 100 objections on the planning application.

“The latest one from the drainage board says there is no justification for it to be built on the flood zone when there is space elsewhere.

“We want to be clear about where we stand, there’s lots of quality objections.

“We imagine the developers will resubmit the plans. What we want to see is a better location, a better design, and more consultation.

“We are watching carefully, and we are pleased that others share our concerns.

“It needs to be good for the existing community, and for the residents to come.”