AROUND 70 residents gathered to show their support for the ‘Keep it Clean’ campaign regarding Galmington Stream.

The social-distanced gathering took place on Saturday, July 4, near to the stream in Galmington.

The campaign has grown after residents clubbed together to opposing a planning application for the new 2,000 home development, being delivered by a consortium of developers, which would have seen a foul pumping station built near to the stream.

However, the council declared the application ‘invalid’, stating access issues.

But the planning application hasn’t been withdrawn, to the residents’ anger.

Andy Stainthorpe, one of the key voices in the campaign, said: “The increased risk of flooding and pollution of Galmington stream from the building of the proposed sewage station is a major concern for many people.

“Residents expressed their serious concerns that they will be directly affected by such flooding and pollution events due to their homes being in close proximity to the stream as it flows onward into Taunton. The damaging negative effect such pollution would have on the wildlife of the stream was of an equally high concern.

“Those residents whose homes would be directly affected by the noise and odour associated with the sewage infrastructure itself expressed their demands for the application to be withdrawn forthwith. They demanded also that any subsequent application must be a full one with a specific and complete Environmental Impact Assessment. The design of the infrastructure should be amended so that any spillages would be contained and the facility be totally fail safe.

“The Comeytrowe Residents call on The Vistry Group and Taylor Wimpey to withdraw this inadequate and dangerous application immediately.”

Local councillors for the area Habib Farbahi, Simon Nicholls, and John Hunt, were also present at the gathering.

They too share concerns over the plans, but they are hopeful positive changes will be made to the application following meetings with the relevant representatives.

Cllr Farbahi said: “The Comeytrowe/Trull housing is the start of one of the largest developments in the district and we have to get it right. We need to ensure that the plans will do no harm to the natural environment of our area while communicating with residents and the parish councils on any changes being proposed.

“We have worked tirelessly with the residents and officers in the council to ensure that this development is sustainable in the long term.

“Once again we have demonstrated that when we all work proactively with the community we will get the desired outcome. We wish to thank all the senior officers for their support.”

But the developers say the application is not ‘invalid’, and that they have instead been asked by the council to submit plans through a different category.

The developers say changes have been made which should ‘alleviate’ public concern.

A spokesperson for the Comeytrowe Consortium said: “The council considered a different category of planning application as more suitable for the pumping station than the one put forward, and we are revisiting it in light of this feedback. It is not a case that the application was ‘invalid’, rather that it was requested we adjust the type of submission for this facility.

“The pumping station is being designed in accordance with national design guidance to be reliable, high quality and in an appropriate location. However, public feedback matters, and we have taken it on board and factored into our plans. We are subsequently making an amendment to the plans that should alleviate public concerns.

“We are committed to developing a new community in a way that is sensitive to both the natural environment and those living locally. We look forward to work starting on the development, bringing much needed new homes and facilities to the area.”