NEW lanterns on Taunton's Town Bridge, a free-standing barrel sauna and a food to go pod are among the schemes people are trying to get planning permission for in Somerset.

Every week, hundreds of planning applications are submitted to Somerset Council for determination – and we have selected some of the most interesting proposals.

Most plans will be decided by council planning officers, using their legally delegated powers, but some of the most significant or contentious will go before one of the council’s five planning committees.

Planning committees are made up of elected councillors, but the decisions they make should be decided based on the council’s planning policies, not local politics.

Taunton Town Bridge, A3027 The Bridge, Taunton

Somerset Council has been carrying around extensive repairs to the Taunton Town Bridge in Taunton town centre, at a projected cost of £1.3m.

While the bulk of the repairs to the grade two listed structure is complete, one small detail has yet to be carried out – repairing the globe lanterns along the bridge.

The council is seeking listed building consent to remove the existing lanterns, which are grubby and unsightly, and replace when with clean, bright lanterns.

This work is expected to be included within the budget of the wider bridge improvements, and will be completed before the end of the year if permission is granted.

Planning reference number: 38/24/0176/LB

High Street, Taunton

Taunton Central Holdings Ltd. has applied to convert the former Edinburgh Woollen Mill store at 62-63 High Street in Taunton town centre into four new dwellings.

The new homes, if approved, will lie on a new active travel route which will stretch from Vivary Park all the way to the railway station.

Due to their town centre location, and its proximity to the Crescent car park, none of the new homes will have dedicated car parking spaces.

Planning reference number: 38/24/0174/CMA

Westpark 26 Business Park, Wellington

The Motor Fuel Group has applied to build a new food-to-go pod within the Westpark 26 Business Park on the edge of Wellington, within easy reach of junction 26 of the M5.

The pod will be erected on a vacant parcel of land near the McDonald’s drive-thru, a short distance from the Shell petrol station.

The same developer secured planning permission in December 2023 to build three electric vehicle charging points within part of this site.

Planning reference number: 43/24/0040

Hillside, Axbridge

Photographer Dianna Bonner has applied to install a free-standing barrel sauna on her property on Hillside at the northern edge of Axbridge.

The property lies north of the busy A371, in the shadow of the Mendip Hills national landscape (formerly area of outstanding natural beauty, or AONB).

The barrel sauna will be constructed out of Nordic spruce or pine, reinforced with stainless steel bars.

Planning reference number: 02/24/00010

Stoke Road, North Curry

Jonathan Bennett, who lives in the village, has applied to build a development for six self-build homes on the northern side of Stoke Road.

The site lies at the eastern edge of this linear village on the Somerset Levels and is currently in agricultural use.

None of the new homes will be affordable, but if approval is given Mr Bennett will make a financial contribution to the council in lieu of this.

Planning reference number: 24/24/0013

To comment on any of these applications (and others), visit