Plans for 650 homes to start next year at Jurston Farm to the east of Wellington, were discussed at a recent executive meeting of Wellington Businesses Association.
The WBA’s main consensus from discussions at the meeting was that Wellington needs improvements in its transport infrastructure in order to be able to cope with additional growth.
The increasing traffic congestion in the town is a major concern and this needs to be tackled urgently. It was felt that new developments, such as Jurston Farm, should foster an ethos of green travel, such as cycle and pedestrian paths and a range of accessible and reliable bus services, via public transport and/or dedicated express commuter buses to Exeter and Taunton, to enable people to leave their cars at home.
Andy Sully, WBA spokesperson for Planning and Economic Development says “The future needs of this community need to be considered and implemented through good quality planning, before the development is built. The developer’s agent intends to organise a pre-application public exhibition, before they submit their planning application. The agents acting on behalf of the developer are keen to involve the public in the decision making process”.
Andy Sully went on to say “It’s important that local residents, especially those whose properties are next to the proposed development – Beech Hill, Blackmoor Road and Laburnum Road – attend the meeting to find out exactly what the plans are for the project. Also, it’s a chance for the public to have their say about how the 15 year development will progress.”
The public exhibition is due to take place at The King’s Church, Sylvan Road, Wellington from 3 pm to 8 pm on Tuesday 20th May.
The WBA felt that the Jurston Development could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve Wellington’s congestion problems. The town’s continued growth adds weight to the need for a new train station and it would make sense to look at a feasibility study now. Wellington is the largest town on the London to Penzance line without a station. Jurston’s development value is estimated to be over £100 million and Section 106 money from the developer could be used to pay for a feasibility study. If the business case stacks up, the developer could also contribute towards the cost of the station, together with the Department for Transport and the Department for Communities and Local Government, who have paid towards other new stations in the past.
Andy Sully explained to the meeting that no formal planning application had, as yet, been received by Taunton Deane for the Jurston Farm development. However, the site is part of Taunton Deane’s site allocation within the core strategy, to accommodate a significant proportion of the Borough’s future housing growth and they will shortly be consulting on a Design Brief, expected to be completed before the summer.