The ‘Save Wellington’ action group’s protest march this weekend raised further awareness of the depth of feeling against the proposed housing development at Jurston Farm.
Protesters carrying placards gathered at Longforth coach park and marched through the town distributing leaflets amongst Saturday shoppers that set out the consequences of 650 more houses in Wellington, in addition to the 1200 either already built or being constructed at Cades and Longforth Farms. Primary concerns are the stresses on the town’s infrastructure – on roads, schools and access to medical practices – of a further increase in the town’s population, particularly on the south east side of the town.
The protest march was joined by Councillor Ross Henley who represents Wellington East on Taunton Deane Borough Council.
Save Wellington member Russell Loarridge addressed the marchers at the end of the protest and asked for further support on Tuesday 9th December when a petition signed by more than 1000 local residents will be handed in at Deane House. A planned meeting of Taunton Deane Borough Council will then allow the protesters’ concerns to be presented. A full debate and vote on the issue by the planning department is due to take place in the New Year.
Asked about the level of support for the protest march, Russell Loarridge said, “We’re pleased with the response. We had over 100 people attend a protest meeting at Wellesley Park School last month and more than 300 signatures added to our petition as a result of a day of action in the High Street 2 weeks ago. Today is about spreading more awareness of the issue around the town.”
One of the group’s objections – apart from the effects on a town already struggling with congestion – is that Jurston Farm was only planned as a ‘reserve’ development, in case problems arose during the building of Longforth Farm.