Battle of the Wellow Brook river bank as residents oppose homes
A group of Midsomer Norton residents have pledged to fight plans to build five homes along the bank of the Wellow Brook.
A planning application seeks to site the detached houses behind Viven Avenue, off Hayes Park Road, but residents say flooding, highway and environmental concerns should prevent the development from going ahead.
Resident Tracey Mallon said many residents feared the application would set a precedent for more new homes along the river bank.
She said: "The development is outside the housing boundary on a beautiful green field site. The houses would be clearly visible from the cycle path and would be a scar on the landscape. We also believe this application could lead the way for more development along this green corridor that follows the brook in the part of Midsomer Norton."
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She said she feared the new homes would reduce the number of people using the Greenway cycle path.
She added: "The cycle path has been subject to investment in recent years and it seems pointless to create this local resource only to allow it to be spoilt by allowing developments of this kind. The land is a wildlife site and is populated by many mature and beautiful trees."
Resident Robert Gilleland said the application sought to "ride roughshod" over the environment, with the area home to otters and woodpeckers, while Sylvia White, who has lived on the estate since 1960, was concerned that the two- storey houses would dwarf nearby bungalows.
Architect Barrie Christian, who is working on behalf of the applicant, said: "Some of the concerns raised are not accurate, such as the flooding. We have looked at the site and the houses will be positioned well above flood levels."
He added: "Small-scale developments, such as this one, while not having the advantages of providing large numbers of houses, have none of the drawbacks. They can be more easily accommodated in the existing infrastructure and services provision, and the impact on the community and environment is negligible."