Plans to build 100 homes putting wildlife conservation work 'at serious risk' opposed by town council

PUBLISHED: 18:30 31 January 2019 | UPDATED: 18:32 14 February 2019

Yeo Valley Farms is looking to build 100 homes between Cheddar and Axbridge.	Picture: Hammonds Yates

Yeo Valley Farms is looking to build 100 homes between Cheddar and Axbridge. Picture: Hammonds Yates

Hammonds Yates

Outline planning permission to build 100 homes has been opposed by Axbridge Town Council.

Plans to build 100 homes up to three storeys high at Yeo Valley Farms, in Axbridge Road on the A371, have been opposed since being amended in December last year.

They were submitted to Sedgemoor District Council (SDC) in August as Yeo Valley wants to move to and expand its business in Highbridge’s Isleport Business Park.

The firm wants to demolish the buildings and replace them with a retirement and extra care facility. Plans for a retail, nursery and business unit have also been included, plus space for parking and a children’s play area.

Cheddar council also opposes the scheme, due to the proposed height of the buildings impacting the landscape, the village’s Neighbourhood Plan not having the area designated for residential use and there being ‘no overwhelming public interest’ in favour of the development.

People living in Cheddar and Axbridge have voiced concerns about it, stating it will create additional noise, light and sound pollution, as well as destroy a wildlife haven.

Axbridge resident, Joy Trusler, said: “This area is totally unsuitable for residential development and some of the land is protected through being in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), an Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty and it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

“It is the only site in England where the plant Starved Wood-Sedge can be found, as well as numerous other vulnerable species.”

“There are other more appropriate areas ripe for development in the village.”

Natural England says it needs additional time to make an informed decision, and the landscape officer at SDC has mentioned ‘reducing the density of the housing’ would help.

The deadline for commenting on Sedgemoor’s website is today (Thursday) and views can be left by searching for application 17/18/00073.

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