A GROUP has launched a petition asking councillors to stand by their Local Plan.

The campaign comes as developers submit applications for the Chard Eastern Development Area (CEDA).

Residents 4 A Better Chard (R4ABC) have published a professional assessment of the 252 homes plans put forward by Persimmon Homes between Forton and Tatworth roads.

The report states the application will not satisfactorily deliver a section of the Chard Relief Road, the new schools or GP surgeries or the Holbear neighbourhood centre. The report explains this was all promised in the SSDC Local Plan and the Chard Regeneration Plan.

Chard & Ilminster News: GROUP: Residents 4 A Better Chard with centre L-R Petition Organisers Debbie Henry, Lisa Bagg & David Bell

The group says they are not opposed to the development between Forton and Tatworth roads, but they are opposing the "non-compliance" with SSDC's Local Plan.

David Bell, of LGPS Resources is the author of the report.

“The report highlights a flawed, piecemeal planning and delivery approach, that provides the housing but not the community and highway infrastructure at the site – it’s all promises of ‘jam tomorrow’,” he said.

“This appears to be the last chance for this area of Chard.

"If approved, this development may doom the Local Plan to failure and ridicule.”

Chard & Ilminster News: PLANS: Petition Organisers Debbie Henry and Lisa Bagg review plans for the proposed development.

In the petition, R4ABC are calling upon South Somerset District Council (SSDC) to stand by the Local Plan for Chard and to make sure there will be sufficient infrastructure to accompany the 2,700 homes planned as part of the CEDA.

They are also asking SSDC to conduct an independent traffic study to assess the impact of further developments, before the applications are approved.

“We are seeing that Chard residents and businesses have woken up to the dangers posed by approval of housing-estate after housing-estate, with infrastructure promised on ‘the never never’,” said Debbie Henry, one of the petition’s organisers.

“Just more housing alone is going to cause traffic misery for Chard residents and businesses alike for years to come – that’s why we are launching the petition.”

SSDC declined to comment, but did want to remind residents that funding for the infrastructure required will be "sought through developer contributions linked to planning permission".

The 252 home proposal was originally submitted in July 2016 and has undergone numerous revisions over the last few years.

SSDC were due to make a decision on the application in April, but delayed the decision after concerns about traffic levels and providing new primary schools.

Chard & Ilminster News: PETITION: David Bell (fluorescent jacket) author of the report, reviews the site plan with Residents 4 A Better Chard supporters.

Barry Burton, who spoke recently about the plans on BBC Radio Somerset Drive Time, added: “It’s been five years since plans were first submitted.

"It is stressful for the residents and businesses, and it is time for South Somerset councillors to stand up for their own Local Plan.

“It took years to develop the Local Plan, it has been subject to investigation by an Inspector.

"Developers should not be able to ‘cherry pick’ the most profitable parts, and disregard the rest.”

To sign the petition visit change.org/p/south-somerset-district-council-residents-4-a-better-chard

The 252 homes application is set to be discussed at a meeting of SSDC's regulation commitee meeting on June 1.