Somerdale plans published and still only one access

Afry-impressions we reported in Issue 269, the Taylor Wimpey planning application to redevelop the Cadbury site at Somerdale has now been validated by B&NES Council and is open to public consultation.  As expected, it is a ‘hybrid’ application comprising of full planning permission for Phase One and outline consent for the rest of the project.

Phase One consists of 157 new houses, change of use for the existing factory Block A for conversion to 113 apartments, the new Fry Sports Club and controversially, highways work at the Somerdale Road/Station Road Junction. The remainder of the project for which outline planning permission is being sought comprises of up to 430 houses, a 60 bed care home, primary school, local centre for a creche and medical practice, riverside cafe and wetlands wildlife area.

The proposed access to the development continues to be the main area of concern. The single entrance and exit proposed in Taylor Wimpey’s pre-application exhibition in Keynsham last February has been retained unaltered despite the negative feedback.  The company has submitted traffic modelling reports with the application to back up its assertion that the remodelled junction with Station Road will be adequate.  Anyone who remembers the recent water mains work which required temporary traffic lights might beg to differ. Local Councillor Charles Gerrish voiced concerns over the single access issue at the recent B&NES Council Cabinet Meeting. He was told by Tim Ball, the Councillor responsible for Housing and Planning that the Council had advised Taylor Wimpey that a single access would not be acceptable and that the developer was undertaking a review of its transport proposals. Afterwards, Cllr Gerrish said: “The need for a second access road to the site is clear and Taylor Wimpey must listen to the concerns of local residents, who are best placed to understand the traffic issues in the area. We have ensured that the Council’s recently agreed Core Strategy development blueprint includes a second access as a requirement of the Somerdale development. I’m therefore pleased to see that B&NES is continuing discussions with Taylor Wimpey to resolve this issue.”

Not surprisingly, the application itself is something of a tome and requires considerable study. The period for comments from the general public has now opened and the deadline is 10th June.  The application can be viewed on the B&NES Planning Application section of the website (www.bathnes.gov.uk) and the application reference is: 13/01780/EOUT