Decision drives local councillors up the wall

PUBLISHED: 07:30 03 July 2007 | UPDATED: 11:14 24 May 2010

AXBRIDGE residents have hit out at a decision to knock down part of a historic wall in the town. Sedgemoor District Council's Development Control

AXBRIDGE residents have hit out at a decision to knock down part of a historic wall in the town.Sedgemoor District Council's Development Control Committee approved the controversial planning application to knock down part of the wall, on land south of the Old Manor House in High Street.The application was submitted by owner Annabelle Chard, who claims much of the wall is only 20 years old.But local historian John Page says the wall appears on 19th century maps and believes it was built around 600 years ago.He said: "This has come as a surprise to me because the wall is shown on 19th century maps as a boundary. The wall is about 1m thick which suggests it could be a medieval wall. What I'm not sure about is whether part of it has been rebuilt. I want to have a proper archaeological investigation to check it out." Mrs Chard initially submitted the application last year, but was turned down. Axbridge Town Council objected to the first application as well as the new submission, because it is a conservation area and part of the town's history.Town councillor Barry Hamblin said: "We are very disappointed by the decision. This isn't what we wanted for the town and we can't appeal against it."The applicant has suddenly turned around and said the wall is not historic."The town council is also upset about a second decision by the Development Control Committee which it believes will prove hazardous to pedestrians.Permission was granted to Chelvey Homes to provide a 1.3m wide footpath, instead of a 1.8m wide footway, in Moorland Street, outside new properties being built by the developer.Cllr Hamblin said: "We measured the pavement and felt 1.3m was too narrow but 1.5m would be adequate and in keeping with other pavements. But Sedgemoor District Council has approved 1.3m. If a lamppost is put up, there won't be any room for people to walk on the path."We're very displeased with Sedgemoor. We make comments and they ignore them.

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