Two years ago, a proposal was put forward to create a new housing estate of 150 homes on land adjacent to the Liddymore estate at Watchet. Nothing has been heard of this subsequently.
However, there now emerges a proposal for a new development of 250 homes (Free Press May 19), an increase of a hundred, on farmland to the west of the original proposal and on a site said to have been identified by the various local authorities as suitable for development.
250 homes would add anything from 250 to 1,000 people to the present population, which has already increased due to other recent development in Watchet.
All the usual potential difficulties then arise, such as how are the local schools to absorb the influx? How is the local surgery going to cope when it is already stretched? Not to mention the nightmare for the residents of Liddymore Road when all the extra traffic arrives using the only access road to the new development.
Since the local authorities apparently identified this land as suitable for development some years ago, the paper mill has closed and will presumably be demolished in due course.
As it is unlikely that the land will be returned to agriculture, why don’t the councils revisit this scheme and, if there has to be further development at Watchet, give serious consideration to placing any large new development of 250 houses on the site of the paper mill?
There is almost unlimited space there and access would be far better than that at Liddymore Road.
No doubt the developers will complain that the ground has to be decontaminated with all the attendant expense, but that is all part of the business of being a developer.
The whole proposal needs to be looked at again with a view to putting such a large estate on a more suitable site, that is, the former paper mill.
Allan Stanistreet, Normandy Avenue, Watchet.