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Fight to save heritage site from plans for 100 homes in Westfield

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

Richard Wallace and Eddie Newman, chairman of Westfield Parish Council, are concerned over plans for 120 homes on a site of conservation interest Picture: Staff photographer Lloyd Ellington BALE20130128E-092_C

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Families in Westfield battling against housing plans say they are fighting to protect a heritage site of national importance.

The Fosseway, the Roman road which runs from Exeter to Lincoln, crosses land at Five Arches Greenway, where Radstock Land LP wants to build more than 100 houses.

Richard Wallace, who lives on the neighbouring Highfields estate, said he and his neighbours are objecting to the plans on a number of grounds.

He said the land around the Fosseway was declared a conservation area in 1999 and it was vital that it was protected.

The site is on a slope and they are worried about potential drainage problems for residents of Wheelers Drive.

There are fears that a nearby coal batch could be affected by any work on the site and Mr Wallace said that a bid some years ago to build on that land was turned down because it was unstable.

A formal planning application has yet to be submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council but as part of a public consultation exercise consultants Kim Stokes and Jim Phillips gave a presentation about the scheme to Westfield Parish Council.

The proposed development is the latest application trying to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding Bath and North East Somerset Council's core strategy planning blueprint after an independent inspector told the authority it was underplaying the need for new homes.

The land falls outside the permitted development boundary but developers hope that previous restrictions will soon be discarded.

The scheme is expected to have between 106 and 120 three, four and five-bedroom homes, 35 per cent of which will be social housing.

Mr Stokes, from planning consultants Aspect 360, said they hoped to submit the application in a fortnight.

Although there are difficulties with the site because it is on the side of a hill he believes it is a good place for new homes as it is in the centre of the community and not green belt land on the edge of the town.

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