Westover Councillors Object to Housing Plans for Hope Inn

Artist's impression of the proposed 'Hope Inn' development
Artist’s impression of the proposed ‘Hope Inn’ development

Westover Ward Councillors Kathy Pearce and Brian Smedley, have formally objected to plans for a housing development on the site of the troubled Hope Inn on Bridgwater’s Taunton road.

Grounds for objection are as follows;-

  • Traffic generation and road safety: The proposed development is on a road which is already heavily congested at certain times of the day.  It is the main route into Bridgwater from the south and the Morrison’s junction is already a bottleneck.   There is no scope to widen the road and we remain unconvinced that the changes to the sequencing of the lights will provide enough benefit to alleviate the impact of the heavy traffic using this route.  Therefore a development of this size will only exacerbate an already difficult problem.  It should be noted that South Bridgwater has endured a disproportionate increase in development over the past few years, bringing with it huge increases in traffic – the Stockmoor and Willstock estates, the Gateway and the Hinkley C traffic. The Paragon laundry site just across the road has also been granted planning for a similar number of houses. This combined with heavy traffic and footfall from the nearby schools, especially Robert Blake, which is close by raises the potential for accidents to occur, especially if cars are manoeuvring in and out of tight parking spaces, across the pavement on to an extremely busy road.
  • Proposed ground plan for the 22 appartments along the busy Taunton road
    Proposed ground plan for the 22 appartments along the busy Taunton road
  • Impact on neighbours:  We believe that the size and scale of this development is overbearing relative to the size of the site and its close proximity to neighbouring properties.
  • Effect on landscape: This proposal would replace a well loved, attractive, building.  Therefore, there is an expectation that the design would be one which enhanced the area and added interest on one of the busiest routes into the town.  Instead, as stated above – it is of over-bearing design which resembles army barracks.  We therefore believe that it will have a detrimental effect on the landscape.
  • Impact upon the character of the area: The documentation claims that the design is in keeping with the local landscape, but the adjacent houses are two storey and parts of the proposed application are three storey and, in our opinion, the design is not in any way fitting with the adjacent properties.  There appears to be little thought to the appropriateness of design or landscaping.  Instead, the developers appear to be cramming as many units into one space as they legally can.

Westover Town Councillor Pat Morley who sits on the Town Planning Panel adds “The Town Council Planning panel also objected to these plans. If this goes ahead it will be an opportunity lost to replace a landmark building of attractive appearance with something of equal significance and of architectural merit on this “gateway” site.

26th May, was the deadline for objections and the application can be viewed here.