Developer to appeal against plans veto
THE applicant behind plans to build a controversial concrete batching plant near Castle Cary has revealed that he plans to appeal against the rejection of the scheme.
South Somerset District Council's Area East committee voted against the plans at its meeting on Wednesday, October 9.
The application for the concrete batching plant, storage of aggregates and formation of a new road at Camp Road, Dimmer Lane, was submitted to the district council by Andrew Hopkins in March.
It was discussed at length at the committee's July meeting, which was attended by 60 members of the public, during which the councillors voted to defer the application to seek further information from an independent highways consultant on the safety on the B3153.
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Speaking of the decision to reject the application at last week's meeting, a spokesman for the district council said: "The Area East committee resolved to refuse the application on the grounds that the B3153 – due to its alignment, width, lack of footpaths and proximity to homes – is not considered appropriate to accommodate the levels and nature of traffic likely to be generated without harm to residential amenity. It has not been demonstrated that this traffic could be safely accommodated between Ansford Bridge and Lydford Cross.
"As such the proposal is contrary to some of the policies within the South Somerset Local Plan and also policies contained within the National Planning Policy Framework."
The decision was welcomed by the chairman of local action group Care4Cary Helen Cleaveland, who hailed the meeting as "a great example of the planning process working well".
Prior to last week's decision the group feared that planning officers had not addressed many of the concerns raised by residents along the B3153 during the application process.
The district council spokesman explained that comments relating to traffic implications had been relayed to the county's Highways Authority.
He added: "The council takes every matter into consideration from all contributors when proposing to grant or deny planning permission and takes all matters very seriously."
Ms Cleaveland said: "Local councillors have walked these roads and know about the problems of single-width roads and lack of pavements. It was great that the efforts of Carymoor volunteers and the Boyer family were widely recognised. The nature reserves they have created at Dimmer are a much- valued local amenity.
"We recognise that modern day living requires concrete, but HGV traffic on this scale should be sited on the strategic road network. An intensification of activity on this site was going to cause problems and we are grateful that councillors agreed that this is the case and turned down the application."
Following the committee's decision to reject the application, Mr Hopkins revealed that he intended to appeal the decision. He said that he had been disappointed by the committee's decision and added: "We are providing jobs within the community. As much as people do not like the idea, the end product would be used by local people."