Call for planners to listen more

PUBLISHED: 06:07 13 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:35 24 May 2010

A DISTRICT councillor says he wishes planning inspectors had considered the feelings of local residents when they said a controversial housing development could go ahead. Sedgemoor's development control committee said on Tuesday that plans for 12 houses t

A DISTRICT councillor says he wishes planning inspectors had considered the feelings of local residents when they said a controversial housing development could go ahead.Sedgemoor's development control committee said on Tuesday that plans for 12 houses to be built on land behind Hawkins Close in Burnham could go ahead. An outline planning application had already been approved after it went to appeal.But Councillor Neville Jones, who sits on the development control committee, voted against the proposals and says he has sympathy with the concern of people living close to the site.Cllr Jones said: "I support the point of view of residents living close to the site. I helped them fight fiercely against the proposals but we lost on the day so we can't cry over spilt milk."The residents' points were all put forward to the planning inspectors and I think they should have listened more carefully to their points of view."Sedgemoor District Council received three letters of concern and one of objection from local residents. Concerns included loss of wildlife and trees, traffic congestion, road safety due to an increase in traffic and fear of loss of privacy.In 2004 an outline planning application for 12 houses was submitted to Sedgemoor District Council but following a site visit permission was refused. In 2005 after an appeal, outline consent was granted.Councillor Bob Filmer, who was deputy chairman at the meeting on Tuesday, voted in favour of the plans. He said: "Because the inspector had already granted outline permission for the site at the appeal while we felt we may not have wanted the development in the first place our hands were tied."We just tried to make the details of the application as good as we could.

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