CONTROVERSIAL plans for a foul pumping station in Taunton were approved last week.

And Comeytrowe and Galmington residents who campaigned against the plans, said the news is "very disappointing".

But they are pleased the petitions and objections managed to get the pumping station moved from its original site.

The developers originally put forward plans in April 2020 for a “foul pumping station, water booster station and gas pressure reducing station” on Comeytrowe Lane, in the north-eastern corner of the Comeytrowe Urban Extension site.

The original planning application was proposed in a high flood risk area of Horts Bridge Field, which residents say would have potentially polluted Galmington Stream.

And so they set up a Friends of Galmington Stream (FROGS) group to keep the stream clean.

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

So Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) requested the developers adjust the type of planning submission, and the site of the pumping station was moved in the new application.

READ MORE: Hundreds sign petition to protect Galmington Stream near major housing development in Taunton

READ MORE: Plans for pumping station near Galmington Stream declared invalid by Somerset West and Taunton Council

The new plans were approved when the SWT planning committee met on Thursday, February 25 - after a seven hour meeting.

READ MORE: 140 homes and pumping station plans approved for Orchard Grove in Taunton

And despite numerous objections from residents and councillor's concerns, the committee ultimately voted to approve the pumping station plans by seven votes to four, with four abstentions.

"The councillors of Comeytrowe and Trull were outstanding in their support, as they understand the plight of their residents," said Judy Stainthorpe, who lives next to the proposed foul pumping station.

"The almost five hour discussion that took place was very much dominated with concerns and objections to the planning application.

"Concerns raised about the pumping stations still very much exist, there will be an ongoing risk that the sewage pumping station may leak into Galmington Stream; there is not “access at all times” (as required in Sewers for Adoption) to the site, due to flood issues on Comeytrowe Lane and the sharing of the park access with tankers, service vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists will pose a serious risk to those using the park."

However, the Orchard Grove developers are pleased with the decision to approve the plans - and say the pumping station is a "vital piece of supporting infrastructure".

"We are pleased that Somerset West & Taunton Council has approved this necessary facility," a spokesperson for Orchard Grove Consortium said.

"An extensive planning and consultation process ensured our design is safe and suitable – and the planning committee’s recognition of this is appreciated.

"We expected there to be conditions alongside the planning consent and have already made it known that we are happy to comply.

"We are confident the approved design will meet the planning committee’s requirements.

"Commonplace at housing developments across the UK, the pumping station is a vital piece of supporting infrastructure for this new community.

"It has been designed to meet and exceed national standards that prevent against noise and odour, and also safeguard the surrounding environment."

Somerset County Gazette:

Even though the plans have now been approved, The Galmington Stream - Keep it Clean campaign is still running.

"The Friends of Galmington Stream (FROGS) group are volunteering every week to maintain the best possible environment for our community," Judy added.

"Residents actions were not just intended to have a sewage pumping station moved but were also to protect the local environment and defend the community over the longer term.

"Part of this effort will involve monitoring the construction work that will no doubt follow soon.

"The Friends of Galmington Stream litter pick the stream on a Sunday morning at 11am and have now been given funding to help improve and maintain the stream and the surrounding area.

"Please feel free to join us either at the stream or on the Facebook Group Galmington Stream – Keep it Clean."