PLANS for 130 new homes in North Petherton have been give the go-ahead by Sedgemoor District Council despite ongoing worries about traffic problems.
Barratt Homes were given outline planning permission for the development – which will sit off the A38 Taunton Road between the existing Portman Drive homes and the rugby club – in January 2020.
And today at a ‘virtual’ meeting the council’s development committee approved the detailed designs and layout of the houses, with the developer looking to start building later in the year.
Cllr Linda Hyde said Barratt had addressed some of their initial concerns, but questions about traffic remained.
She said: “Our main concern is the road layout and the increase in traffic through the bottleneck of the town centre.
“We are disappointed with the lack of joined-up thinking by the developers of these sites, resulting in two access roads onto the A38 Taunton Road.
“During the summer, when the M5 is often closed, the A38 between the rugby club and Junction 24 regularly grinds to a halt.
“We are, however, reassured that previous concerns about drainage, flood risk and overlooking have been resolved.”
Cllr Bill Revans was also disappointed that the plans did not go further when it comes to transport.
He said: “I’m really pleased that we have managed to secure the road link between the Barratt and Persimmon sites – but my overall comment is that this is a missed opportunity.
“We hoped this may provide some traffic relief, but we’ve got two junctions onto the A38 and no news about the link road to Newton Road.”
The committee voted 12-0 to approve the plans with one councillor being absent due to technical issues.
The development site is one of three parcels of land between Taunton Road and Newton Road which are allocated for new housing within the council’s Local Plan.
Persimmon Homes Severn Valley was granted permission to build 72 homes on the east side of the A38 in October 2018, with a separate access from the main road.
The Barratt development, which wraps around the Persimmon site, will join its estate roads up to these homes, and will leave a future connection open to land at the north-eastern end.
The council is currently negotiating with the owners of this third parcel of land, with a view that homes built here could connect the Barratt and Persimmon estates to Newton Road.