The Regulation Committee at South Somerset District Council will make the final decision on whether to grant permission for a development of up to 150 homes, on agricultural land south of Kit Hill in Crewkerne, with access in Lang Road coming out onto Cathole Bridge Road, when it meets on Tuesday September 17th at 10 am in the Council Chamber, Brympton Way, Yeovil. The outline planning application, presented by Pegasus Planning Group Ltd on behalf of the applicant Land Value Alliances LLP, was unanimously rejected by SSDC’s Area West Committee on grounds of road safety concerns and a questionable traffic survey.
Speaking on behalf of the developers, Andrew Bullock said: “The timing and the scope of the traffic survey was agreed by Highways.” This was confirmed by SSDC’s Planning Officer Andrew Gunn who also confirmed that Highways were no longer objecting to the proposal. Mr Gunn said: “Crewkerne is one of our larger towns and is expected to take extra housing. The CLR site has not delivered yet, so there is a shortage of housing.”
District Councillors raised serious concerns on the traffic survey. Councillor Linda Vijeh said: “What criteria was applied to monitor the traffic. It appears that the survey was conducted for only one day and for an hour between 8.15 to 9.15 am. Cathole Bridge Road is a death trap.” Councillor Val Keitch queried why there was no mention of the level crossing: “There has been no consideration to traffic coming up from the left of Lang Road. When the level crossing barrier is down, traffic is back to back.” Councillors and the public were aghast when Andrew Gunn advised that statistics show only three motor accidents along Cathole Bridge Road or at its junctions, within the last 20 years. He quickly clarified that he had meant accidents which had resulted in personal injury.
At the start of Public Question Time, at the meeting in Chard Guildhall, Chair of Crewkerne Town Council’s Planning & Highways Committee, Councillor Jo Roundell Greene said: “Highways were vehemently against it, what has changed? There is a sheer drop on one side of Cathole Bridge Road, increased traffic movements would make the road extra dangerous, the emergency access is worrying, there is a lack of infrastructure, no jobs and no transport links.” Crewkerne Town Council is liaising with residents to conduct an intensive traffic survey along Cathole Bridge Road and actual statistics of the current status of the infrastructure in Crewkerne are being recorded. Volunteers who would like to help with the traffic survey are asked to contact Michelle on 07894265550 or Karen on 07814390630.