Home Somerset rules LETTER: ‘How many times must we fight to save our fields?’

LETTER: ‘How many times must we fight to save our fields?’


WE in the villages of Trull and Staplehay are not alone in wanting to preserve the green spaces around us. As we have seen in recent media stories, people are drawn from afar by the mental and physical well-being benefits of living in beautiful countryside.

Unfortunately, we are faced with another application to build 145 homes outside the boundaries of Taunton Settlement on a site that has already been rejected by planners.

We have a government that has created planning policies that support such development proposals. The difficulty for local authorities is that they have to find arguments to explain why such a development cannot occur. We need a government that listens to the people they represent. There has to be housing, but it has to be in the right places. Developments of this scale should not be located on the outskirts of villages in unsustainable locations. If the government does not protect these green spaces, who will? Farmers affected by Brexit and changing demand are looking for other ways to make money. Communities are at increasing risk of losing the beautiful countryside that so many value and wish to preserve.

How many times do we have to fight to save our fields? We have already lost a scenic rural landscape at 2,000 houses in Comeytrowe. The capacity of our roads and waterways is being seriously tested by these developments with dangerous consequences.

People are fighting to save everything they value in village life across much of Somerset. When will our government listen? So far, one hundred and twenty-eight residents have written objections to this latest Broadlands development application. Unless this government changes its policy of forcing councils to approve thousands of new homes, speculative developments by greedy developers will continue to occur against the will of the people.

I wonder if the same rules would apply if developers were looking to build on our Prime Minister’s green space?

Dawn Johnson, Somerset County Councilor for Comeytrowe and Trull

Simon Nicholls, SWT Ward Councilor for Comeytrowe and Bishops Hull