A “CRAZY” scheme to cope with extra traffic from proposed housing developments north of Chard has come under fire.

Developers Mactaggart & Mickel are in talks with a planning inspector to build 350 homes and sporting facilities east of Mount Hindrance Farm.

As part of their plans to manage traffic in Chard town centre as a result of the extra homes they propose changes to the Convent Link traffic lights junction linking the A358 and A30.

In their traffic regulation order plans to Somerset County Council they include:

  • No left turn from Convent Link/ Millfield into Fore Street.
  • No left turn from Furnham Road into East Street.
  • No right turn from Fore Street into the Convent Link/ Millfield.

There is currently no right turn from East Street into Furnham Road, but Cllr Tony Prior, who chairs the planning committee on Chard Town Council, said the plans will cause traffic chaos throughout the town.

Chard & Ilminster News: MEMBERS of Chard Town Council have responded to Cllr Tony Prior's claims.

Cllr Tony Prior

He said: “Bluntly, it’s madness – you’ll have large lorries from Numatic driving around narrow streets in Chard by St Mary’s Church.

“We want people in Chard – councillors, residents and businesses – to oppose these proposed changes.”

Town councillors are due to discuss the plans on Monday, June 16, in the Guildhall during their planning and highways committee meeting.

Cllr Dave Bulmer, one councillor representing Chard on South Somerset District Coun-cil, said the crossroads are key to traffic movement in Chard.

He said: “The proposal being put forward will do nothing to improve the flow of traffic, and without doubt will add additional pressure on many other roads and junctions.

Chard & Ilminster News: Cllr Dave Bulmer.

Cllr Dave Bulmer

“I can see motorists being forced down East Street and around Victoria Roundabout just to get access to Fore Street or the Convent Link.

“There will also be pressure on people living in Jocelyn ward to find an alternative route via Old Town/Church Street junction into Holyrood Street.”

The Avishayes ward is also likely to bear the brunt of any changes to traffic movement.

Town councillor Cathie Morrison said: “This idea will have a major impact on the lower part of the town.

Chard & Ilminster News: MAYOR of Chard Cllr Cathie Morrison.

Cllr Cathie Morrison

“Victoria Avenue has huge problems already with large vehicles coming through and parked cars being damaged – a bigger volume of traffic will have a major impact.”

The News asked Mactaggart & Mickel for a comment on Friday and Monday, but the company was yet to respond as the paper went to press.

What do you think of the plans? Do you think it would make traffic better or worse in Chard?