“Secret development” claims dismissed 8 July 2017

There are no “secret plans” – and never have been –for large-scale development south of the potential new M5 motorway junction towards Corfe.

Taunton Deane Borough Council would like to make it absolutely clear that its development proposals are detailed in the authority’s adopted Core Strategy – its development blueprint.

“Claims that there are some secret proposals for development are absolutely untrue,” said Leader of the Council, John Williams. “We as a Council have set out our long-term development proposals – this site is not included.

“Sadly, the Council, as the local planning authority has not been afforded the opportunity to set out the hard facts in response to the story currently being circulated so I would like to assure residents that we have no plans for large-scale housing in this area.”

The reference to a large-scale development appears to be an assumption made by Highways England’s consultants on the potential growth capacity that could be unlocked should the new Junction 25a be built at this location.

Proposals for the new junction are just that – proposals.  There have been no decisions and Taunton Deane Borough Council has made its views on those proposals clear, as has Somerset County Council.

As the planning authority, Taunton Deane Borough Council is responsible for considering – and planning for – future development.  The proposals for new urban extensions are detailed in the Core Strategy; there are no proposals now – or in the past - for development south of the motorway towards Corfe.

The Council would like to take this opportunity to make is position clear and to assure residents that proposals for development are open and transparent - the urban extensions, for example, have been subject to extensive consultations over a number of years.