BATTLE lines have been drawn ahead of a planning appeal hearing which could affect residents on the outskirts of Chard.
Developer David Wilson Homes is hoping its plans to build 110 homes to the east of Crimchard will be accepted by the planning inspector after the application was turned down by South Somerset District Council’s planners in August last year.
Among the developer’s 21 grounds for appeal are: the district’s lack of a five-year housing supply, the potential for a significant amount of affordable housing and the claim that there is sufficient capacity at the Convent junction to ensure the road network would not be affected.
But individuals and groups in the area, including the Mount Hindrance Action Group and Cuttifords Door and District Residents Association (CDDRA), continue to campaign against the proposals on a number of fronts.
CDDRA secretary Helen Lock said: “We will continue to oppose this development at appeal, primarily on the grounds that this application will be prejudicial to the implementation of the Chard Regeneration Scheme which this organisation continues to support, and the democratically-chosen development of Chard in the future.
“The Highways Authority and the appellants have underestimated and ignored the impact of a cul-desac development with one entrance onto a country lane for access to A358 at Hornsbury Hill via Cuttifords Door and A303 at Eagle Tavern, via Wadeford and Combe St Nicholas.
“Local knowledge of transport movements confirmed by traffic surveys on these lanes illustrates the increased use of tractors/trailers daily servicing even larger farming enterprises.
“Agricultural land is a valuable asset which needs to be retained and farmers need to have access to their land, consequently leaving no room for the increased local traffic movements this development would inevitably bring, being an unsustainable distance for local shopping and employment purposes.”
The planning appeal hearing begins at 10am tomorrow (February 4) in the Guildhall and is expected to run for three to four days.
Mrs Lock added: “We would appeal to anyone with an interest in the future development of Chard to try and attend the appeal, even if for a short period.
“Anyone requiring transport to attend the appeal can contact me on 01460-63047 and we will do our utmost to accommodate them.”