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Plans for retail unit refused

A PLANNINGapplication for a convenience store to be built at the site of The Weaver pub has been refused.

Box Property Group submitted plans to build a new retail unit with parking and delivery access on the derelict site on The Butts back in May and despite amending the plans several times, they  were met with strong objections.

Local resident Stephen Davis said, “I am writing to object to the plans for The Weaver site. Firstly I do not believe there is a need for a convenience store. There are similar stores within one mile in each direction, there have also been several stores in the Keyford area that have closed within the last few years.

“The site itself is too small to support the project – not least the delivery lorries having to cross four lanes of traffic on an extremely busy and dangerous junction. How long would it have to wait before the lanes were clear enough to carry out its planned manoeuvre and the backlog this would cause.

“There is also the planned exit route for the vehicle – there is nowhere for it to turn around and therefore it could only exit onto to Somerset Road – a single track road where there are parked cars outside properties which is most of its length and from there I would assume Weymouth Road which is double parked. This I believe is unworkable.

“There is also the fact that according to the Mendip District Council’s air pollution reports, The Butts has one of the highest rates of nitrogen dioxide concentrations in the area caused in essence by the already high volume of traffic which at times is at gridlock – attracting more vehicles to this road would exacerbate the situation, possibly taking it above the air quality standard limit set by the European Commission.”

Richard Swann from the Frome Civic Society said, “No objection in principle to retail use of this site but we do have significant concerns on the design and access; Highways: The arrangement for delivery lorries reversing diagonally across Somerset Road is dangerous.

“The lack of turning on plot requiring delivery vehicles to continue along Somerset Road, a narrow residential street heavily used by children for 4 nearby schools and the park. It is not clear where these delivery lorries will go as the road only leads to further heavily parked residential streets.”

Councilors agreed that the plans were unsatisfactory and therefore the application was refused.