ALTERNATIVE ACCESS ROAD TO CONTROVERSIAL HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

An alternative access road to the proposed housing development in fields south of Kit Hill may be possible, following news that a green belt of land opposite the Old Stagecoach Inn on Station Road is being considered for a mixed development of 350 dwellings, 60 bed care home, possible retail store and car parking associated with the railway station.

A public right of way, known as Green Lane already provides a link between the two sites for walkers, showing the close proximity of the separate development proposals. County Highways have recommended refusal of the proposed access road from the Kit Hill site, shown on plans as entering and exiting onto Lang Road near to the junction with Cathole Bridge Road, after carrying out a site visit and comprehensive review of the Transport Assessment (TA). A Highways spokesman said: “The TA fails to demonstrate that the traffic impact from the development will not be severe.”

Highways raised significant concerns with the approach road along Cathole Bridge Road, which is narrow and has parts where two way vehicle movements are difficult. Due to its restricted width, Cathole Bridge Road which would likely be the route of traffic from the site has been deemed unsuitable. Crewkerne Town Council have not yet discussed the Outline Planning Application for up to 150 dwellings on the Kit Hill site and are looking to hold the meeting, when the date is announced, in a larger room than at the council chamber.

Misterton Parish Council, as a neighbouring parish, have registered their concerns regarding the potential impact of the Kit Hill development on traffic levels through the village, with the proposed exit of traffic putting extra pressure on the single lane parts of Cathole Bridge Road and raising the volume of traffic in Misterton considerably. Over 40 letters of objection have been received by South Somerset District Council, with the application still pending consideration.

An outline planning application is expected to be submitted in the near future by Place Land LLP, on behalf of landowners, following SSDC’s decision that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was not required for the land off of Station Road, as it is not within an Impact Risk zone for designated nature conservation. The land is however within 2 kilometres of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and landscape and visual impacts on the AONB will need to be assessed and the developer will need to agree the scope of a Transport Assessment with Somerset County Council.

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