Evercreech village's delight after parish council reject homes plan
EVERCREECH villagers gave a passionate plea to their parish council on Thursday night to turn down an application to build 80 new homes.
Developer Bovis Homes submitted the application on October 1 for the erection of 80 dwellings and associated infrastructure on land at Prestleigh Road.
Ninety homes have already been approved at Horsehill Farm and 30 are under consideration off Maesdown Close.
The additional 80 would bring the total number of new houses in Evercreech to 200.
Evercreech residents took part in an opinion poll about the proposal on Sunday, set up by the council.
The results were reported by Andrew Doble, chairman of the parish council, and 97 per cent were against. He urged people at the packed meeting to now send their views to Mendip District Council as their planning board will decide on the outcome.
Carole Preece, a member of a group formed by residents called Protecting Evercreech Together, said: "The cumulative impact of 200 more properties on a rural village community will have devastating consequences, social, economic and environmentally. We will become a dormitory village for commuters that do not respect rural life and rarely have a desire to integrate. Our services will be stretched beyond capacity and we will suffer loss of identity."
Others from the village gave their views, including farmer Pat Wiltshire, who runs a pig unit next to the proposed development site. He was cheered and applauded when he described the development as "absolutely preposterous".
He said: "I wouldn't be able to build within 200 yards of houses so why can they build so close to my pig unit?"
Concerns over increased traffic, demand for jobs and medical services were also raised.
District councillor Peter Bradshaw had prepared a lengthy report for the evening.
He highlighted the dangers the extra traffic would bring for people walking on Prestleigh Road.
He had also analysed numbers of houses being built and those needed in Mendip.
In his report, Mr Bradshaw concluded: "Consequently, the application may be refused on the cumulative impact to the village, the flawed travel/transport plan, and the failure to maintain or enhance the existing environment, contrary to saved policy section one Mendip District Local Plan 2002, as evidenced by the Horsehill appeal decision."
Mr Bradshaw's full report can be viewed on our website: www.shep tonmalletjournal.co.uk
The planning proposal was unanimously rejected by parish councillors, to cheers from the crowd.