RESIDENTS of Ilminster can now have their say on the first phase of the Canal Way development.

Amended plans have been submitted which would see 135 homes proposed to be built at the eastern end of the site - reduced from an initial design of 144 homes.

Other changes have also been made since the first phase of the Canal Way development was submitted in January, including amendments to the house type and an increase in the amount of affordable homes.

However, despite changes being made to the plans, members of the Canal Way Action Group have raised concerns.

A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes South West said: : “The application has been submitted for an area identified for housing by the local authority. As a developer we are sensitive to the local area, and our wish is to bring much-needed housing to Ilminster in accordance with planning guidelines.”

A spokesman for the Canal Way Action Group said: “The site still only has one access road. This is shared with the existing health centre’s access road.

“Plans show construction traffic will use this and the health centre’s parking area, which is already full to capacity for existing patients visiting their doctor’s surgery.

“And, construction is planned for 10 years. This will be disruptive and potentially dangerous for patients and pedestrians.”

The group also raised fears that the site and nearby properties face excess water levels.

They added: “The site continues to flood. Some adjoining homes in Adams Meadows have sunken or continually wet gardens.

“Maintenance around this existing estate is poor with residents clearing ditches themselves, rather than Persimmon.

“Ilminster’s already stretched amenities will be further stretched. What about school places for children?

“It is already difficult to get doctor’s appointments and with more residents it will become ever more difficult.”

If approved, the 135 homes will be the first step of the plan to build up to 400 homes, for which outline planning permission was granted last year.

Henrietta Van den Bergh, an Ilminster resident and member of CWAG, said: “Not only do new homes need to be fit-for-purpose, built to the highest quality standards and be sustainable, we need the right number, in the right landscape, built with the right materials in keeping with Ilminster’s heritage.

“Buying a new home is most people’s biggest investment and the owner - private, local council or housing association - needs to know they are buying what they are being promised.”

Members of the public have until November 9 to voice their opinions on the latest application.

To do this, email

CWAg are holding two drop in sessions on November 3, from 10am to noon at Market House, Ilminster, and from 1.30pm to 3pm at The Archie Gooch Pavilion.