Council supports housing plan despite headteacher's fears over safety of children

PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 November 2018

Strongvox Homes will build 35 houses to the east of Wedmore First School. Picture: Google

Strongvox Homes will build 35 houses to the east of Wedmore First School. Picture: Google

Archant

Plans to build 35 homes in Wedmore have been supported by the parish council, despite outcry from villagers and a school headteacher.

Strongvox Homes’ application to build the homes to the east of Wedmore First School in Blackford Road has been called ‘ludicrous’ and ‘unnecessary’ by residents concerned about the strain placed on infrastructure.

Denise Mawdsley, headteacher of Wedmore First School, is concerned about the development increasing traffic and reckless driving in the area, describing it as a ‘hugely important issue’.

She said: “The high speed of traffic on Blackford Road and the reluctance of drivers to halt was the reason for the construction of a zebra crossing.

“The removal of the crossing to make way for the development will reintroduce the risk to parents and children crossing the busy road to school.”

The scheme comes in the wake of a previous application to build 60 homes opposite Wedmore First and 18 homes opposite Westholme Farm, also in Blackford Road.

The plan was initially opposed by parish councillors, who called for a reduction in the number of houses.

Strongvox Homes agreed to cut the number of houses by half but maintained a provision for 16 homes to be built opposite Westholme Farm, which the council did not support.

Rodney Pring, Wedmore Parish Council clerk, said: “Members voted to support the proposal to build 35 homes, as it fell in line with the neighbourhood plan.

“They believe it will provide an element of affordable housing, which is much-needed in the village.

“However, members feel the Westholme proposal was over-development of the site, which would increase the risk of flooding on the Blackford Road.”

While the parish council has given its approval to the Wedmore First School plan, reactions 
from villagers have been less positive.

One said: “How on earth will the village infrastructure cope if the application for 35 homes is approved?

“More traffic equals more congestion and a hightened chance of accidents.

“Who will be held accountable?”

Sedgemoor District Council’s planning authority will make a final decision in the coming weeks.

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