By Harry Mottram: A controversial planning application for a proposed detached two storey house will be part of the discussions on Monday by Axbridge Town Council – controversial as it is on a green field site, and could be worth a million pounds when completed according to locals.

The Town Council’s planning committee will scrutinize the application number 02/23/00011/AGE when it meets on Monday, 17th April, 2023 along with other business for the Planning and Licensing committee.

The planning application in question is for a two-storey house built on the moor and current green field site used for grazing farm animals with garage and associated works to landscaping. It is essentially opposite Moorland Farm by Axbridge Moor Drove and has a small stone building existing on the corner where the Old Axe River (a small brook) runs by.

Interestingly since April 1st, the plans are part of Somerset County Council’s planning department having taken over Sedgemoor’s work now the county is a single unitary authority. Whether Somerset will continue to follow Sedgemoor’s planning policies is open to question as it is only days old.

It is expected there will be a number of objections since the plans are outside of the town’s immediate area and on a green field of a low-lying field just a few feet above sea level and considered a flood plain – although there are a number of other properties off the drove and Portmead Drove already.

Another development on a larger scale got waved through by councillors in Sedgemoor who don’t live in or near Axbridge at the outline planning committee stage off Houlgate Way. That was pushed through just before the end of Sedgemoor and has seen a ‘Save Our trees’ poster appear on mature trees earmarked for felling by the road. Whether this new application will be given the green light is yet to be decided.

Nationally changes to planning rules are contradictory as there has been a change of heart in Government over some aspects of the planned reforms. For some time the Government has pushed for 300,000 new homes to be built a year due to the chronic shortage of homes – that plan is now advisory while new rules as part of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill currently going through parliament include what some have seen as a NIMBY’s charter as it allows more powers to local communities to block unwanted development – for that read virtually all new developments except for fill-ins and brown field sites – according to commentators. In Bristol for instance there are some 16,000 people on the housing list while those who drive through Hutton Moor or Highbridge will have seen the huge numbers of homes being constructed – while Cheddar is rapidly expanding westwards towards Axbridge with new estates under construction. Universally everyone agrees there needs to be new homes, but the question is where – which brings us back to Axbridge and the planning meeting on Monday.

To register a comment for or against the plans visit

To see Monday’s agenda in the town hall visit

Axbridge News is edited by Harry Mottram and is published for the interest of himself and fellow residents

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