Our Green and Over Developed Land

It’s very rare I promote good causes on here, so please allow me just one. It is a good cause, a very good cause.



“In 1975, when matters like heritage, environment, traffic and affordable homes were just not on anyone’s radar, our Local Council granted permission for a development on a 10-acre greenfield just outside the village settlement boundaries. For complex reasons, the development, utterly unsustainable by today’s standards, was never built.

For the next 28 years, the Local Council resolutely refused any application to develop the site on the grounds that ‘By virtue of its prominent location, any development would totally undermine the character, social fabric and form of this Outstanding Heritage Settlement’.

Fast forward to 2007.

A developer applied for and was granted a Certificate of ‘Lazarus’ – well, really a Certificate of Lawfulness, but it might as well be ‘Lazarus’ because it effectively raises the old planning permission from the dead.

With such a Certificate, the developer can build the original 1979 scheme if he chooses. More to the point, however, it makes it hard for the Local Council to refuse any new planning application which the developer brings forward. And a new application is exactly what this developer has in mind for the site – a scheme for 70 executive houses when Milverton badly needs affordable and starter homes.

Our Council Planning Committee [bless them!] did, in fact, refuse the developer’s new planning application and the refusal was upheld on appeal. VICTORY!!! Well, not quite, because the developer still has the Certificate of ‘Lazarus’ – sorry, Lawfulness. Until the Certificate is finally struck down, our battle won’t be won.”


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