Sedgemoor District Council have today approved the disposal of land adjoining Lakeside, Isleport, Highbridge. In an hour-long debate, the members of the Executive listened to representations from members of the public who were passionately against the disposal of the land versus the need to provide additional housing to meet Government targets. There is a balance needed between the clear need for new homes in response to the national housing crisis and local need; as well as making sure that people have access to important green spaces. There are currently 2,452 households looking for homes across Sedgemoor an increase of 24% from this time a year ago.
The disposal of the undeveloped land will pave the way for the delivery of up to 121 new homes in the area in accordance with the Council’s adopted Local Plan (2019). In addition, to providing a range of new housing, the proposal will also provide large areas of equipped play space, further public open space and an attractive landscaped water course and improved walking and cycling links. More importantly, a dangerous surface-level crossing of the main railway line will be blocked off and replaced with a new cycle link from the A38 providing easy and safe access to the new play facilities from the nearby Springfield Road development. Network Rail had designated this crossing as ‘unsafe’.
There have been a number of objections including two petitions to this disposal and the Council fully understands and recognises these. The majority of these concerns have been discussed and debated through the planning process that has taken over four years, reflecting the level of concerns and complex issues that needed to be resolved.
This area offers the opportunity to deliver housing in a sustainable location close to local facilities and employment and will encourage walking and cycling. This is an important element of reducing CO2 emissions as part of Sedgemoor’s climate change strategy. It also provides high quality public open space that will include areas for children to play, something that is missing in this wider area and that will support wider health and wellbeing.