Plan for development of field in Cotford St Luke.
Cotford St Luke

Council buys part of Cotford’s field to stop development

Part of the field at the bottom of Cotford St Luke was going to be auctioned off to developers. The NHS own that field and I can understand them wanting to raise money for essential services, assuming the money would be used for that and not for kitting out some manager’s office.

Thankfully Somerset West & Taunton Council bought the land to keep it in public ownership.

Cotford St Luke has been developed to within an inch of its life now, and development is still ongoing at the top of the village. There is an optimal size for new villages like Cotford: they need enough people to support services like shops and pubs, but lazy planning committees often go beyond that when they prioritise building targets over the welfare of local residents.

I won’t pretend it’s easy to make planning decisions when there are pressures from all sides, but the targets of central government win out too often. I’m not saying we shouldn’t develop at all. If we need more houses then we should build them, but it’s far nicer for residents if they build smaller, self-contained rural villages rather than continually adding more house to existing villages and creating urban sprawls. There’s room to do this – only a tiny percentage of the UK’s land is developed, even if seems otherwise during a drive through the UK.

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