Taunton Deane Borough Council has earmarked large parts of Staplegrove for development in the Council's adopted Core Strategy. More than 1,600 homes could be built in Staplegrove, as well as a new primary school, a new east-west link road between the western end of the site and Kingston Road.
Update on Planning Committee 20 September
TDBC planning committee will meet on 24 October at the Somerset County Cricket Club at 6.00pm to discuss the outline application for the North Taunton development.
Last month the committee voted to defer a decision for further negotiations on:
relocating junction on Kingston Road to avoid felling so many old oaks
increasing the proportion of affordable homes from 15 percent
scrapping the drop-down road in Corkscrew Lane
considering the wider traffic implications
Since the planning committee on 20 September the residents' action groups plus and KSM and Staplegrove parish councils have challenged the planners' interpretation of what took place at that meeting and sought informal legal and professional advice. This is ongoing. A tape of the meeting has now been obtained.
Tim Burton, the assistant planning director, has indicated that at the resumed meeting councillors will
only be asked to consider the above four points because they have approved the remainder of the application. This is not true - in our opinion.
In fact, when asked to approve the (east) application. A majority voted against the proposal. After some confusion, they were then asked to defer a decision but were told they had to state what issues needed to be investigated in order to avoid the risk of an appeal against a refusal to make a decision.
Infuriatingly, the minutes will not be published in advance of the meeting - and we will not see the promoters' response to the four points until two or three days beforehand.
The residents' action groups see this as a determined attempt by TDBC to bulldoze this through come what may. But the opponents will continue the fight.
KSM has always opposed this development but have said that if it is approved the spine road must be built in its entirety before any buildings are constructed. The developers say they cannot afford to do this.
TDBC have made a bid for £7.5 million from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to forward-fund the spine road. A result of that bid is expected next spring. They have also applied for Government cash from the Marginal Viability Scheme.
On behalf of the council I have written to the MP urging her to use her influence to back this bid.
I have also put my name to letters to the council leader, planners and members of the planning committee asking them to defer a decision until the result of the bid is known (possibly next spring).
Ray Stokes (Chairman)
Kingston St Mary Parish Council
"Common sense about Staplegrove"
Charles Becher's letter ('Core Strategy') to the Somerset County Gazette of Thursday 22nd September made four points that deserve to be supported and extended. They point the way to a common sense solution to the proposal to build 1,600 houses at Staplegrove. Because of the new people in those houses, the extra traffic of their journeys and their extra demand on our public services, the Staplegrove development affects everyone in Taunton.
Charles Becher asked four questions:
is there a proven case for more housing development in Taunton Deane?
will the Core Strategy help?
does the infrastructure to match local development need to be addressed first?
why do we not predict transport problems and why do we just try to take remedial action?
Good turnout at Public Meeting North Taunton Development
June 2016 A public meeting was held in the KSM Village Hall on 7 June to discuss the proposed development between Staplegrove and Kingston St Mary.
Outline applications have been submitted to Taunton Deane Borough Council for permission to build a total of more than 1,600 homes, a new school and community facilities.
The latest plans were presented and illustrated by the Kingston St Mary Parish Council and they can be downloaded (PowerPoint).
A development of this size is bound to have a massive impact on the lives of everyone in the Kingston St Mary parish.
The outline application has been submitted in two parts. The Parish Council has already lodged an objection to plans to build 713 homes on the west side on the site - between Staplegrove Road and Whitmore Lane - because of the extra traffic that will be generated on the already inadequate road system across north Taunton, and the impact on education, water, drainage and sewerage systems, and health services.
Developers have applied to build a further 915 houses on the east side - bordering Kingston Road.
A spine road will run through the estate from a roundabout on Kingston Road - between King's Hall and Hope Corner Lane - and Staplegrove Road, close to the present Silk Mills junction.
If residents wish to object it is important they should write to Taunton Deane planners. Individual letters carry far more weight than petitions. The more letters the better.