Rockwell Green residents are going to have wait months for a decision on the controversial scheme to build 250-plus homes at Bagley Road, after a crucial planning appeal was adjourned for a second time earlier this week. A key witness for Taunton Deane council was unable to attend because of illness and the inspector Philip Ware adjourned the hearing until July 17.
The planning inquiry could have a huge impact on new housing developments in Wellington and across Taunton Deane. Cheshire-based housebuilder Gladman Developments is appealing against last year’s refusal of planning permissionto build flats and houses on farmland to the west of Bagley Road..
Taunton planners opposed the original application because the fields in question fall outside the Core Strategy drawn up several years ago to allocate land for housing. The new housing at Cades Farm, Longforth Farm and soon coming at Jurston Farm are all on sites falling inside the Core Strategy.
Taunton council have appointed planning experts and lawyers to oppose Gladman at the inquiry. As one local councillor said; “If we lose this one then it’s open season on every field for miles around, not just in Wellington.”
Planning inspector Phillip Ware said at the beginning of the hearing that the witness in question – who was not named – “would not be available for the foreseeable future”, and spent most of the following two hours in private discussion with the two sides’ barristers. He subsequently added that it was “out of the question” that someone else could speak in the witness’ place.