PLANS for 45 new homes opposite a Somerset primary school have been narrowly approved despite concerns about flooding and over-development.

West Huntspill LVA LLP applied to build the homes at the corner of the A38 Main Road and New Road, opposite West Huntspill Primary School.

Sedgemoor District Council’s development committee narrowly voted to approve the plans when it convened in Bridgwater last Tuesday morning (October 12).

Access to the new homes would be via the A38, with crossings being provided on both the principle roads and a car park for parents and school staff being built at the site’s northern edge.

Vivian Evans, of West Huntspill, told the committee the development was “totally out of keeping with the surroundings”.

“We are afraid of flooding, since climate change will increase the risk of flooding and we are in an area with a high probability of river and sea flooding," she said.

“We are concerned about the increase in traffic (and) the safety of our children, who have to experience more pollution from traffic as they walk to and from school.”

Parish council chairman John Wakefield said: “The last building on this sort of scale was in the 1940s, which was the Ringstone estate.

“Since then there has been a steady increase in infill building, with over 70 new builds going on during that period – but they’ve all been within the confines of the village, in the loop of Church Road and Alstone Lane.

“This is totally different – it will create an enclave which is separate to the village, and it will be very difficult for the people living there to become part of the village.”

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: PLAN: How the new development could look. PICTURE: Walsingham Architects
PLAN: How the new development could look. PICTURE: Walsingham Architects

But Cllr Alistair Hendry said the plans would largely benefit the village and boost existing services.

He said: “Securing 18 affordable homes is a good thing – there’s a dire need for them all over the place.

“The A38 access is acceptable, the street view for these new houses will be really good – it adds to the ambience of West Huntspill itself."

After more than an hour’s debate, the committee narrowly voted to approve the plans, with committee chairman Bob Filmer giving the casting vote.

Reserved matters plans for the site – concerning the design and layout of the new homes – will be submitted to the council within the next 18 months.