HOUSING DEVELOPMENT BEHIND SCHOOL GRANTED PLANNING AFTER DEVELOPER WINS APPEAL

A planning application by Stonewater Ltd to build 42 dwellings behind Ashlands School on the North Street Trading Estate has been granted approval, following a successful appeal by the developer. Plans for the new housing development, which will include at least 35% of affordable homes, was refused by South Somerset District Council in July last year, due to major concerns for pedestrian safety and vehicular access.

An appeal was lodged against the decision in February and a final decision to allow the appeal and grant planning permission was made at a council meeting of the Area West Committee on June 21st. A lengthy list of conditions were imposed, which must be fully met before work on the new housing development can begin, with the developer instructed to start building within 3 years of last week’s decision date.

In addressing safety concerns raised by Crewkerne Town Council, the access road must be modified to make it at least 4.8 metres wide, apart from an intentionally narrowed section which would be introduced for traffic calming purposes. The road widening works, combined with built out areas of kerb will help to improve visibility from the access road onto the busy main road.

The site at North Street Trading Estate is within a Flood Zone 2 and engineering measures need to be taken to minimise the risk of flooding. Conditions were also imposed to safeguard the adjacent Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its ecological interest and importance as a county wildlife site.

An application for a Lawful Development Certificate for the existing use of land as a car park by Ashlands First School and the children’s centre was permitted after an appeal at the beginning of June. A separate footpath link to North Street via Ashlands School at North Street Trading Estate are included in the original plans submitted by Stonewater Ltd in October 2015, and now approved by South Somerset District Council.

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