MARK PARISH COUNCIL
The members of the Parish Council hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and a great start to the New Year.
The Parish Council meeting on 20th December last was attended by over 20 Parishoners and others who braved the elements to listen to deliberations amongst other things about planning applications for two major changes of use at two properties off The Causeway.
An application for Outline Planning Approval to build 40 New Homes, including 16 ‘affordable’ on land at the rear of 1 The Croft had only recently been made and it became clear at the meeting that local residents, particularly from the Croft and adjacent properties, had not received any form of information from the Applicant before He submitted the application. It was highlighted that the proposals do not appear to meet the stringent conditions laid down by Sedgemoor Council for such applications for developments in what is termed a Tier 3 Area such as Mark. The problems with access to the site, significant changes to the Road layout, claimed sustainability for Walking and Cycling particularly the 1 hour round trip to The Village Store on unpaved roads and the major loss of amenity for existing Residents who would lose their parking spaces outside their homes and other restrictions was raised.
The application included an offer to provide 30 parking spaces in an area of the Land adjacent to Mark First School to allow Parents a drop off/pick up facility for their children. It was recognised that there are inherent dangers in the current system where parents park on The Causeway, however, major concerns were raised at the meeting about the operation of the suggested new car park and of the congestion caused when too many parents were vying for limited spaces. As there are currently 130 Pupils at the School and that the vast majority would arrive or depart in vehicles it was felt that there was insufficient information in the application to give it any form of approval.
Also highlighted was the current problems with the drains and sewage problems on The Causeway with Wessex Water having attended over 42 ‘call outs’ to problems in 2022 to the date of the meeting. It was claimed that the system is already operating to its limits and would not be able to cope with the massive development envisaged.
The Parish Council voted to Object to the Proposal. Sedgemoor Council extended the consultation period for comments until 8th January. The matter is now under their consideration.
Another planning application considered by the Parish Council was one for 13 permanent new spaces and other changes of use at The Caravan Park on The Causeway. Objections were raised at the meeting about the application and apparent lack of enforcement on previous ‘breaches’ of planning laws. The Parish Council objected to the Proposal.
The New Year will see Councillor Geoff Francis receive an award from the Chair of Somerset County Council in recognition of his excellent work over many years. As well as being a valued Parish Councillor over 30 years, he also been a co-ordinator, treasurer and diligent member of various village groups. Geoff has managed Highway and footpath improvement schemes, help keeps our neighbourhood safe and assists in running a Scout group. We are so proud that A Villager who carries out so many tasks for the good of the Mark Community will receive this recognition at a Ceremony on Friday 17th February at Taunton Rugby Club.
The next meeting of the Parish Council will take place on Tuesday 7th March. All are welcome to attend.