WE in the villages of Trull and Staplehay are not alone in wishing to preserve the green spaces that surround us. As we’ve seen in recent media articles, people are drawn to live in this county from far afield by the benefits to mental and physical well-being of living amongst beautiful countryside.

Unfortunately, we are facing yet another application for 145 houses to be built outside the Taunton Settlement boundary on a site that has previously been rejected by planners.

We have a government that has created planning policies that support such development proposals. The difficulty for local authorities is that they must find arguments as to why such development cannot happen. We need a government that listens to the people they represent. There has to be housing but it needs to be in the right places. Developments of this scale should not sit on the edges of villages in unsustainable locations. If the government are not going to protect these green spaces, who will? Farmers impacted by Brexit and changes in demand are looking to other ways to make money. Communities are at ever increasing risk of losing the beautiful countryside that so many value and wish to preserve.

How many times must we fight to save our fields? We have already lost a scenic rural landscape to 2,000 houses at Comeytrowe. The capacity of our roads and waterways are seriously challenged by these developments with dangerous consequences.

People are fighting to save all that they value in village life over much of Somerset. When are our government going to listen? One hundred and twenty eight residents have written objections so far to this latest Broadlands development application. Unless this government changes its policy of forcing councils to approve thousands of new homes, speculative developments by greedy developers will continue to come forward against the will of the people.

I wonder if the same rules would apply should developers seek to build on our Prime Minister’s green spaces?

Dawn Johnson, Somerset County Councillor for Comeytrowe and Trull

Simon Nicholls, SWT Ward Councillor for Comeytrowe and Bishops Hull