Somerset Council want to sell Land at Stockhill
You have probably heard that Somerset Council has severe financial problems and is trying to sell off assets to raise cash. They have identified the sale of the two patches of land either side of the bungalows at number 11 and 12 Stockhill as possible sources of funds. These plots, with their attractive mature silver birch trees, were owned by Mendip so passed to the new Somerset Council this year.
They plan to sell these without planning permission and without what is called an uplift clause so that if their value increases through the grant of planning permission the Council, who are the planning authority, would not get a share of the benefit.
Coleford Parish Council succeeded in getting this area designated as a Green Space by Mendip so there is a level of protection to make the grant of planning permission more difficult. But, and this is a big But, with no valid Local Plan in place anywhere is open to a developer’s speculative application and the onus is then on objectors to prove that the development would cause Significant and Demonstrable Harm. This is very difficult to prove as we found with our objections to the Gladman site on Anchor Road.
Coleford Parish Council has negotiated with Somerset Council a stay of execution of the sale so we have until 31st January 2024 to register our objection and if the village thinks it the right thing to do to put on the table an offer to buy the plots. This would of course require funding through the Parish Council and possibly a fundraising campaign in the village.
The next Parish Council meeting is Wednesday 13th December so we need your thoughts urgently so we can decide the best way to protect our valued green spaces. Please email the Clerk with your thoughts. firstname.lastname@example.org
7th December 2023