Crossroads for Ilminster after CG Fry plans, campaigner claims

Yeovil Express: Crossroads for Ilminster, campaigner claims Crossroads for Ilminster, campaigner claims

ILMINSTER is at a crossroads and people will have one chance to get the town’s future right, it was claimed this week.

Campaigner Rob Drayton, from the Save Shudrick Valley group, said he is deeply concerned developments in Ilminster could see the town’s population jump by 25%.

The Local Plan seems likely to allocate 310 homes at Canal Way and his fears escalated after developer CG Fry submitted plans to build 330 homes east of Shudrick Lane to South Somerset District Council.

He said: “The most recent household figure for Ilminster is 2,759 – if both of these planning proposals go through, the town will end up with over 28% extra households – that could mean close to 2,000 extra people.

“The Local Plan inquiry was told that the town’s first school will have insufficient capacity by 2016-17 – and that is just from the housing growth in the plan’s 310 homes. Adding another 330 homes would just be irresponsible and other services will also find it difficult to cope.”

Mr Drayton said if all the housing went ahead, people would be living in Ilminster but working elsewhere, making it a dormitory town.

Yeovil Express:

A map of CG Fry's proposed 330-home development.

He added: “It still looks as though Canal Way will be the chosen direction of growth in the Local Plan but even if the inspector did choose Shudrick Valley, there is no doubt a planning application will still go in for the 310 homes in Canal Way. There are ways to fight it and that is what residents should now aim to do if they do not want to see this sudden surge in housing and population.”

Tony Walker, who has lived in the town nine years, said he would be devastated if the housing developments were approved and the ‘vitality and vibrancy’ of the town centre was lost.

Mayor of Ilminster Emma Jane Taylor said the town council always looked at the impact any development had on the town as a whole.

She added: “I cannot comment on any application that has yet to come before us, in this case the Shrudrick Lane application, as that would be seen as prejudging an application.”

The closing date for residents to object to the plans is July 4 and Ilminster is awaiting the decision on its direction of growth in the impending Local Plan, expected by September 5.

A spokesman for CG Fry said it did not feel it was appropriate to comment at this stage.

Comments (11)

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8:48pm Wed 25 Jun 14

QuillPen says...

Is there any point in protesting? People made a lot of objections to the one way system in Ditton St which was demanded by Tesco.

People who don't live in the town barely listened to the local people at a public meeting, ignored evidence on paper given to them (didn't even look at it) about the extra mileage the new system would incur, then, without even discussing among themselves the views and thoughts of the people, they voted and passed the decision. I was at that meeting and it seemed very probable to me that the decision was made long before the meeting which was help just to keep the peasants happy.

We were very badly let down.
Is there any point in protesting? People made a lot of objections to the one way system in Ditton St which was demanded by Tesco. People who don't live in the town barely listened to the local people at a public meeting, ignored evidence on paper given to them (didn't even look at it) about the extra mileage the new system would incur, then, without even discussing among themselves the views and thoughts of the people, they voted and passed the decision. I was at that meeting and it seemed very probable to me that the decision was made long before the meeting which was help just to keep the peasants happy. We were very badly let down. QuillPen
  • Score: -1

10:04pm Wed 25 Jun 14

orchardman says...

Has to be said that Ditton Street is water under the bridge now, and though the one way system created an inconvenience for some, the traffic flow around the town centre certainly improved. As far as these latest two proposals go, we all know the people of Ilminster will get shafted, apart from the developer and the landowner of the Shudrick Lane proposal. Apart from the Local Plan issue being a done deal apart from location, it's pretty obvious the 'old boy' network and greasy palm brigade will ensure CG Fry will get his way, in which case the council should be looking at getting some sort of benefit for the town, (maybe some hedge cutters to tidy up the over grown hedge between the 'Rec' and Canal Way!). The over loading of the current infrastructure isn't of interest to them, that is someone else's problem. At the end of the day it's all £sd!.
Has to be said that Ditton Street is water under the bridge now, and though the one way system created an inconvenience for some, the traffic flow around the town centre certainly improved. As far as these latest two proposals go, we all know the people of Ilminster will get shafted, apart from the developer and the landowner of the Shudrick Lane proposal. Apart from the Local Plan issue being a done deal apart from location, it's pretty obvious the 'old boy' network and greasy palm brigade will ensure CG Fry will get his way, in which case the council should be looking at getting some sort of benefit for the town, (maybe some hedge cutters to tidy up the over grown hedge between the 'Rec' and Canal Way!). The over loading of the current infrastructure isn't of interest to them, that is someone else's problem. At the end of the day it's all £sd!. orchardman
  • Score: -2

8:13am Thu 26 Jun 14

adamkennedy says...

Well QuillPen may have been at the meeting when the one way system was decided but this was most certainly not 'demanded by Tesco' as suggested
I was at the meeting as well and involved in the planning process and the one way system was put in place well before Tesco were involved at all
It is this sort of re-writing of history that eventually distorts the way people remember events and needs to be corrected before anyone starts to think this was actually the way it was
The town has grown and will grow more and the Tesco store is a huge sucess for this town
The various planning applications that are now about will only enhance the town even more and provide more shoppers for all the towns shops
Well QuillPen may have been at the meeting when the one way system was decided but this was most certainly not 'demanded by Tesco' as suggested I was at the meeting as well and involved in the planning process and the one way system was put in place well before Tesco were involved at all It is this sort of re-writing of history that eventually distorts the way people remember events and needs to be corrected before anyone starts to think this was actually the way it was The town has grown and will grow more and the Tesco store is a huge sucess for this town The various planning applications that are now about will only enhance the town even more and provide more shoppers for all the towns shops adamkennedy
  • Score: 5

8:50am Thu 26 Jun 14

regularreader says...

Sorry Adam, everyone knows you were in favour of Tesco's right from the start. You were even voted off the Town Council (probably due to your views). The one-way system may have improved traffic flow for some and there is no denying that the entrance to Ditton Street from the Square was becoming intolerable, but the flow of traffic is in favour of Tesco's and the junction with Shudrick Lane is again in favour. Ditton Street traffic should not have to give way to vehicles to-ing and fro-ing from the store. Incidentally, I gather that the Ilminster store is one of the worst performing stores in the country and probably because people like me prefer not to use it when we have perfectly adequate shops in the town selling far better quality goods. Tesco is cheap for a reason!
Sorry Adam, everyone knows you were in favour of Tesco's right from the start. You were even voted off the Town Council (probably due to your views). The one-way system may have improved traffic flow for some and there is no denying that the entrance to Ditton Street from the Square was becoming intolerable, but the flow of traffic is in favour of Tesco's and the junction with Shudrick Lane is again in favour. Ditton Street traffic should not have to give way to vehicles to-ing and fro-ing from the store. Incidentally, I gather that the Ilminster store is one of the worst performing stores in the country and probably because people like me prefer not to use it when we have perfectly adequate shops in the town selling far better quality goods. Tesco is cheap for a reason! regularreader
  • Score: -1

9:55am Thu 26 Jun 14

QuillPen says...

Well said, regular reader. I am another who has never set foot in that supermarket and I never will. (or any other branch of the firm)

Local shops are far better.
Well said, regular reader. I am another who has never set foot in that supermarket and I never will. (or any other branch of the firm) Local shops are far better. QuillPen
  • Score: -2

10:53am Thu 26 Jun 14

Dick Turpin Works For Council says...

If you are opposed to the JCB'ing of a lovely part of our natural environment, the Shudrick Valley, you should save your breath on this page (they won't pay any attention to it), and instead raise your objection through the official channels.
For the avoidance of any doubt you need to do so before 4 July.
Ilminster does not NEED several hundred for houses. There is no NATURAL population growth in the area.
People with a vested interest in selling land and in making money by building houses want to chop down your trees, evict your badgers and deer, further increase the risk of flooding the low parts of your town and cause your children, who already attend inadequately provisioned first and middle schools to be further cramped.
If they get their way, you won't ever get your green fields back.
Ever!
If you are opposed to the JCB'ing of a lovely part of our natural environment, the Shudrick Valley, you should save your breath on this page (they won't pay any attention to it), and instead raise your objection through the official channels. For the avoidance of any doubt you need to do so before 4 July. Ilminster does not NEED several hundred for houses. There is no NATURAL population growth in the area. People with a vested interest in selling land and in making money by building houses want to chop down your trees, evict your badgers and deer, further increase the risk of flooding the low parts of your town and cause your children, who already attend inadequately provisioned first and middle schools to be further cramped. If they get their way, you won't ever get your green fields back. Ever! Dick Turpin Works For Council
  • Score: 4

11:05pm Thu 26 Jun 14

orchardman says...

Seems QuillPen lives up to his pen name and still living in Janet and John land with rosy cheeked shopkeepers. I assume he was one of the 3 placard waving protesters on the stores opening day.This is the 21st century and whilst nostalgia is a nice thing, you also need to adapt.to current ideology. Yes we are lucky to have a good selection of local shops in the town. However Tesco is the magnet which, since opening, has brought far more people, both local, and visitors into town (even though our local one is a good example of the groups current problems), which with 3 hours free parking, means more people going on to visit the town centre outlets.I gather in the course of conversation that most have actually seen an increase in trade since the advent of Tesco. A good example is the Thursday market where the stores car park is full, but the store virtually empty. With the likely development in the town this convenience will surely improve the town centre trade, unless, as is always a possibility, a second supermarket fancies its chances in the town. It's just a shame that the good burghers of the town can't spend a few bob to make Swan Precinct a bit more attractive to the people trading there, and those passing through!.
Seems QuillPen lives up to his pen name and still living in Janet and John land with rosy cheeked shopkeepers. I assume he was one of the 3 placard waving protesters on the stores opening day.This is the 21st century and whilst nostalgia is a nice thing, you also need to adapt.to current ideology. Yes we are lucky to have a good selection of local shops in the town. However Tesco is the magnet which, since opening, has brought far more people, both local, and visitors into town (even though our local one is a good example of the groups current problems), which with 3 hours free parking, means more people going on to visit the town centre outlets.I gather in the course of conversation that most have actually seen an increase in trade since the advent of Tesco. A good example is the Thursday market where the stores car park is full, but the store virtually empty. With the likely development in the town this convenience will surely improve the town centre trade, unless, as is always a possibility, a second supermarket fancies its chances in the town. It's just a shame that the good burghers of the town can't spend a few bob to make Swan Precinct a bit more attractive to the people trading there, and those passing through!. orchardman
  • Score: 1

7:39am Fri 27 Jun 14

QuillPen says...

You have assumed wrong, orchardman. I was not present at the opening of the store.

My objection to the way the Ditton St decision was made was that the wishes of the people who do live here were overridden by people who do not live here.At the public meeting we were treated like children, told not to clap, cheer, make any noise etc.
Is that the way to talk to intelligent adults? A patronising attitude from those running the meeting. Indeed, one of them (I can't recall who) couldn't even be bothered to do us the courtesy of standing to speak to us, but lolled back in his chair talking as if he couldn't really be bothered with it all. That behaviour earns no respect.
The meeting was a farce.
A group had carried out a survey of the traffic and compiled statistics about the extra mileage etc the one-way system would incur. This was presented at the meeting - and put aside without a glance.

I have to agree the car park is useful. I leave my car there then use the local shops. Janet and John land still actually exists in Ilminster with the friendly shopkeepers.

But wasn't the store originally supposed to be on the far side of the car park? Tesco, as I understand it, unilaterally decided to change the layout and threatened expensive legal action if the councils challenged them.

So, unless things have changed, local people's views will be ignored. We will be taken over by developers and supermarkets. Those with money and those who make decisions but don't live here will hold sway.

Beware.
You have assumed wrong, orchardman. I was not present at the opening of the store. My objection to the way the Ditton St decision was made was that the wishes of the people who do live here were overridden by people who do not live here.At the public meeting we were treated like children, told not to clap, cheer, make any noise etc. Is that the way to talk to intelligent adults? A patronising attitude from those running the meeting. Indeed, one of them (I can't recall who) couldn't even be bothered to do us the courtesy of standing to speak to us, but lolled back in his chair talking as if he couldn't really be bothered with it all. That behaviour earns no respect. The meeting was a farce. A group had carried out a survey of the traffic and compiled statistics about the extra mileage etc the one-way system would incur. This was presented at the meeting - and put aside without a glance. I have to agree the car park is useful. I leave my car there then use the local shops. Janet and John land still actually exists in Ilminster with the friendly shopkeepers. But wasn't the store originally supposed to be on the far side of the car park? Tesco, as I understand it, unilaterally decided to change the layout and threatened expensive legal action if the councils challenged them. So, unless things have changed, local people's views will be ignored. We will be taken over by developers and supermarkets. Those with money and those who make decisions but don't live here will hold sway. Beware. QuillPen
  • Score: -3

9:02am Fri 27 Jun 14

adamkennedy says...

Oh dear so many things here are wrong in what you say Quill Pen
I remember the meeting you refer to and they majority of the people did behave like spoilt little children who could not get their own way so decided to create a big fuss which earned them a rebuke from the chair
Tesco had nothing to do with the siting of the store either as several options were considered prior to Tesco ever getting involved
The siting was to do with where the planning officers considered the town centre to be and not to suit any particular company
Yes indeed the car park is very useful can we remember the sorry state of that area before the development took place?
All I ever did was fight to give people the option of shopping in a large store without going to Chard Taunton or Yeovil and I am pleased that this option now exists for local residents
No one was ever going to be forced to shop there after all
Oh dear so many things here are wrong in what you say Quill Pen I remember the meeting you refer to and they majority of the people did behave like spoilt little children who could not get their own way so decided to create a big fuss which earned them a rebuke from the chair Tesco had nothing to do with the siting of the store either as several options were considered prior to Tesco ever getting involved The siting was to do with where the planning officers considered the town centre to be and not to suit any particular company Yes indeed the car park is very useful can we remember the sorry state of that area before the development took place? All I ever did was fight to give people the option of shopping in a large store without going to Chard Taunton or Yeovil and I am pleased that this option now exists for local residents No one was ever going to be forced to shop there after all adamkennedy
  • Score: 4

9:58am Fri 27 Jun 14

QuillPen says...

My memories of the meeting are correct.
My memories of the meeting are correct. QuillPen
  • Score: -4

12:23pm Sat 5 Jul 14

Farcical says...

Whilst many may not walk the shudrick valley, the Townsend area, they certainly admire it. Some of those individuals cannot be bothered to campaign to keep this green area and will rue the day they sat and did nothing, especially when they can't get to the tescos car park in their cars because of the flooding that any further building will instigate. Any attempts to mitigate flood risks will probably be unsubstantial, underfunded, underestimated and unsustainable. At present Local individuals unblock the latest improvements to the drains in the vicinity of the culvert , as the council do not carry out enough regular maintenance. I implore you all, act now to save the beautiful area and the wildlife around you before it becomes extinct.
Whilst many may not walk the shudrick valley, the Townsend area, they certainly admire it. Some of those individuals cannot be bothered to campaign to keep this green area and will rue the day they sat and did nothing, especially when they can't get to the tescos car park in their cars because of the flooding that any further building will instigate. Any attempts to mitigate flood risks will probably be unsubstantial, underfunded, underestimated and unsustainable. At present Local individuals unblock the latest improvements to the drains in the vicinity of the culvert , as the council do not carry out enough regular maintenance. I implore you all, act now to save the beautiful area and the wildlife around you before it becomes extinct. Farcical
  • Score: 1

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