Mayor’s Column 14 March 2019

I read with surprise that the go ahead had been given to ‘build 450 new homes’ including a primary school and nursery.  Facebook and Twitter were buzzing. “When did that happen?” I asked my fellow members of the Planning Advisory Group.  Myself and other councillors received several requests for more information.  Confused, I took some time to discover the facts.

Whenever someone wishes to build they must first apply for planning permission, which can be ‘outline’ or ‘detailed’ in nature.  If outline permission is granted, the finer details are submitted later under ‘reserved matters’.

Mendip District Council is the Local Planning Authority – they have final say about whether or not an application gets approval.

People often ask town councillors for their view and we try to give a local voice on issues arising from proposed developments.  We hold a monthly Planning Advisory Group (PAG) to scrutinize the latest planning submissions and to offer free advice.

If you have any questions about planning, please come and talk to us.  We will try to help and point you in the right direction.  The next PAG is on Thursday 14th March, 7pm at the Town Hall and members of the public are always very welcome.

So what are the facts about the 450 new homes? Turns out they have almost all been built already – many are occupied.  Outline permission was granted about four years ago and the latest application was for the last part of  ‘reserved matters’.

You’ll know the development as Edmund Park.  It’s located up the hill behind Asda on the old Southfield farm estate.  Not exactly fake news then, but certainly old news.  I trust that clears up any misunderstanding.

We all make mistakes, but here’s hoping that the headlines this week have at least been fact checked!