Another 35 houses on planning list
By Somerset Standard | Thursday, October 10, 2013, 05:00
PROPOSALS to build a further 27 homes in Frome and eight in Beckington were submitted to planners this week.
Somerset County Council wants to build 13 two-storey homes at Whitewell House in Whitewell Road, the former Mendip Children's Centre in Frome. And proposals are under way to build a further 14 houses on the former Mendip Lodge Hotel in Bath Road.
A third is an outline application for eight houses at 10 Warminster Road, Beckington. Already villagers there and in Rode, Norton St Philip and Chilcompton have raised concerns over the number of applications for new homes.
Families fear that continued uncertainty over the Mendip District Local Plan means applications that in normal circumstances would flounder will be allowed.
The local plan outlines where new homes, employment and shops will be encouraged across the district up to 2028. However, at a planning enquiry in March, Mendip acknowledged that it had overestimated the expected number of homes that will be built in the next five years against government policy.
As a result the council has had to rethink the draft plan which in the meantime has left communities vulnerable to planning applications.
Last month a decision on 88 homes in Beckington was delayed to discover what impact more houses would have on infrastructure.
A further application to build houses in Chilcompton was also delayed to investigate whether roads, the school, doctors' surgeries, play areas and shops could cope with more families moving in.
In the past six months planning permission has been granted for 83 homes in Frome, not including the 150 that form part of the proposed Butler,Tanner and Dennis development. This has been approved but will not receive outline permission until a Section 106 agreement is signed.
Between April to September 719 homes have been given permission across the district. The planning board has agreed in principle to 44 at Church Lane, Rode, and a dozen at Tower Hill Farm, Beckington.
Mendip is aiming to re-submit the local plan to the Secretary of State this autumn.