PLANS for 42 new homes in Crewkerne have been rejected due to road safety concerns.

Developers Stonewater applied to build 42 new homes on land off of North Street in Crewkerne, but the proposals have been turned down by South Somerset District Council planning committee.

The development would consist of 15 two-bedroom homes, 10 three-bedroom homes, one four-bedroom house, nine one-bedroom flats and a further seven two-bedroom flats.

A third of these homes, which would be based on the former North Street Trading Estate near Ashlands School, would be affordable homes.

An application for 24 homes on the site had previously been approved in 2012.

However councillors with the recommendations of the Highways officer that 'service vehicles in and out of the site will require the full width of the shared access road'.

"This is similarly compromised by the poor visibility from left turning vehicles into the site. This may lead to an increase in rear end shunts due to sudden braking," the Highways officer states.

The Highways authority was also concerned that if a large vehicle such as a lorry or emergency services vehicle meets another car on the access road, this would result in one of the vehicles having to carry out a potentially dangerous reversing manoeuvre.

There have been 11 objections to the development overall, citing a number of concerns with access, the effect on wildlife give the development is bordered by Millwater, a site of special scientific interest and a county wildlife site, and there were also issues with potential flooding.

However Ashlands School, who would benefit from a new 20 space car park as part of the development, have written in support of the application.

Nicola Ball, head teacher commented that the access route is safe for pedestrians, and said refusal of the application 'will not stop the approved scheme' for 24 homes on the site from progressing but would result in a detrimental outcome for the school.

The previous application for 24 homes on the site which had been approved included a footpath through part of the school site, which Mrs Ball said 'would be devastating to the school, culminating in the loss of an outside learning classroom and play area'.