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Parish Council Update - February

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

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The A358 DCO has yet to be submitted, it was expected in December but the project was paused while a "review of the appropriateness of environmental mitigations" takes place. We have no idea how long this review is expected to take, nor any detail of what the mysterious phrase means. Earlier in January we attended a County Council scrutiny meeting with A358 on the agenda, and nobody there had any information either. I submitted a freedom of information request to get more detail, and the questions have not been answered: National Highways does not 'hold the information'

At the meeting the chair of West Hatch and I asked some questions aiming to get the council to understand parish concerns and shape their representations to National Highways when the time comes - but the outcome was not positive. A few councillors did contribute helpfully and we may be able to participate at a further round table meeting - if we can convince the committee it is worthwhile.

The application for planning permission for 8 dwellings and a shop premises at the bottom end of Station Rd was refused by Somerset West and Taunton council by majority vote a couple of weeks ago.

The next step in the Neighbourhood Plan is to determine the Aims and Objectives in the format advised by our town planner consultant. This is evidence-based and draws from the Neighbourhood Survey conducted last year and a number of specially commissioned reports. We aim to do that by the end of March and consult further with the community later in spring/summer.

Kevin Comer

Chair, Hatch Beauchamp Parish Council

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