A GROUP which spent more than six years fighting a development has expressed its anger at the council after the land could once again be set for new homes.

The Save Shudrick Valley Group thought its fight was over in April 2017 when an appeal took place following the refusal of an application for more than 200 homes on the land in Ilminster. The saga had continued since the development was first proposed in 2012.

But now, South Somerset District Council is set to discuss which land within the region is ripe for development at a meeting on Thursday- with the site at Shudrick Valley up for debate.

Councillors will discuss feedback from its consultation on the local plan review which ran from October 2017 until January 2018.

A spokesman for Save Shudrick Valley Group said: “This is a disturbing disregard of hundreds of people who have fought this development since it was first mooted more than eight years ago.

“For the Save Shudrick Valley Group, it is back to square one - a position we were in when the original Local Plan was started in 2010.

“To be put back in the same situation five years before a Local Plan review was even necessary and so quickly after the council had thrown out the prospect of development in Shudrick Valley is a shocking indictment of the situation it finds itself in.”

Following the meeting, the council will start a further consultation with the preferred locations for housing.

More than 800 representations were made during the consultation, but the campaign group says ‘misleading’ information was used in the official documents.

The ‘misleading’ comment in the document concerned options for development in the town, stating Shudrick Valley was being included as it was ‘being promoted by the developer/landowner and therefore should be considered as part of this review process’.

According to the group, once it pressed the council, it replied: “It is likely we will receive a representation on the option from the landowner/developer, however no such representation has been received.”

The SSVG spokesman said: “The response gave no detail as to how the site was promoted but in fact shows that SSDC itself decided to include it without any substance for doing so.

“This was a misleading document to distribute to the public and could easily have swayed opinion one way or the other.

“Ilminster is now at a major crossroads. The town is set to increase by a third in the Local Plan period to 2036.

“There are two other housing options included in the review for Ilminster, it does not require a further 220 homes at Shudrick Valley and we would urge residents to oppose this option.”

But the council says the growing population is precisely the reason the review needs to take place.

A council spokesman said: “The district is facing a number of issues. The population is continuing to grow, with an increasing proportion of older residents.

“There is sustained pressure on the need to achieve the delivery of new housing of all types and tenures to meet current as well as emerging need. Alongside this, affordable housing for local people is a key concern.

“Maintaining access to services and rural connectivity are also important factors as we attempt to meet a housing requirement of 14,510 new homes through to 2036.

“This is why the creation of a comprehensive Local Plan to guide development is important but the issues in preparing a new plan are wide ranging. It will involve not just the council itself, but also many other organisations and individuals. No decisions have been taken and the forthcoming preferred options consultation provides an opportunity for communities to get involved and give views and comments. It is vital that as many individuals and businesses as possible respond.”