The most significant event during May was approval for the Planning Application to develop houses on Wiley Road. The proposal was passed unanimously by SWTC Planning Committee. The key consideration in reaching this conclusion was the demonstration that there was a need for social and low cost housing from within the village. On this basis, the recommendation by SWTC was changed from rejection to approval. The approved application includes all of the amendments that had been proposed following the public consultation, such as footpaths on Wiley road and an extended buffer zone behind Church Close. The developer has indicated that work on the infrastructure, services roads etc. will start towards the end of the year. There are many implications for the village, not least of which is the school. Every effort is being made to to ensure that the capacity of the school can be increased not only to cater for this development, but also the anticipated contribution that will potentially come from a similar development in Burrowbridge. As a post script it is worth reflecting that this development represents the first significant increase in the village housing stock since 1982!
Two other planning applications were considered. A request to replace animal shelters with the erection of a timber barn at Dark Lane Farm,.and prior approval for a change of use of an agricultural building to two dwelling houses at The Barn, The Willows, Curload, Both were supported by the PC.
One last planning comment; the planning application for the new pavilion will go before the planning committe in June supported by a recemmendation for approval. If approved work will start on the new facilities in September.
The Annual Audit of PC accounts was conducted by Liz Hembrow. I am pleased to report that Liz commented favourably on the completeness and accuracy of the accounts as presented. As the PC edges towards on-line banking some minor changes will become necessary in our Financial Regulations.
The state of footpaths continues to exercise discussion at the PC meetings. While clearing of the summer growth to make footpaths more accessble has been completed on many routes the state of maintenance at many stilles and gateways remains a concern. This discussion will be contined at the next meeting.
The PC continues to encourage residents of the village to apply for co-option to the Parish Council. The decison to appoint was deferred until the next meeting when it is hope that sufficient candidates showing an interest can result in an appointment being made. Once again I would encourage anybody thinking of applying to request the forms from the Parish Clerk.