The Planning Inspector calls the meeting order and explains how he intends to proceed, with every speaker reading out their prepared submission, of which he has a copy. The table on his right - left of the stage - has representatives of the Wrington Village Alliance, whose efforts had made the meeting possible. The smaller table to his left has 3 representatives of the developers, Redcliffe Homes, Bristol.
There were no spare chairs even before the starting time of 5.30pm for this meeting, which gave members of the public a welcome opportunity to voice their concerns direct to the Planning Inspector about the proposed development of 59 houses in the field on the south side of Cox’s Green. Whilst there was inevitably somewhat of an overlap of topics by the many speakers, their detailed, personal illustrations of the kinds of problem envisaged, must have struck the Inspector over and above the impact of written submissions - the difference between formal regulations and real-life experience.The topics ranged over FloodingMany personal accounts of flooding on Cox's Green, Havyatt, Road, Mill Lane or Nates Lane - becoming stuck and helpless in flash floods, not only in this part of the village, but elsewhere as well - a perfect illustration of how all parts of an area like this are interlocked because of a network of underground streams.SchoolWrington School is well short of places already, and set to get worse, never mind the impact of an additional 59 house.LandscapeSpeakers gave vivid descriptions of how the character of the Wrington would not merely be spoiled by development on the edge of the village - the whole suburban nature of the proposal is reminiscent of the urban sprawl of the 1930s which defaced so manyother parts of the country, and led to the creation of the green belt, which the present proposal seeks to override.Public TransportExisting public transport has deteriorated catastrophically in recent years, and the likely nature of employment of purchasers of the property planned is rightly foreseen as fit only for car drivers. ParkingOver more than 50 years, development in the village has ignored the growing need for car parking, with resulting frequent and dangerous blockages by increasingly large commercial vehicles totally unsuited - and drivers unskilled in tackling - narrow country lanes. Problems walking to and about the villageInstances were given of how intolerable a problem already exists, and how much worse this would become with the creation of an almost separate ‘suburban’ community unable to co-exist with those already living here.Proposed footway on Cox's GreenVivid accounts were given by residents who daily use the lanes of the area. It was argued forcefully that a ‘pie-in-the-sky’ scheme for this stretch of road as proposed by the developers, serves only to show how little they understand the problems on the ground for pedestrians with prams and wheelchairs, never mind the increasingly fraught problems of access for the businesses on the Burnett's Industrial Estate.One speaker made a detailed and extremely telling reference to the report of the Planning Inspector in 2001 who turned down a previous proposal by developers for a similar scheme. Not only have the problems not gone away in the intervening 16 years, they remain as objectionable as ever today - see the account on this village website at the time - <https://wringtonsomerset.org.uk/webarchive/taywood.htm>