Council's refusal to approve Castle Cary homes overturned

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Castle Cary Railway StationImage source, Google
Image caption,
The site lies to the south of the railway station.

Plans for 200 new homes in a Somerset village have been approved despite being turned down by the local council.

In 2020 South Somerset District Council refused the plans for the development at Station Road in Castle Cary.

They argue that the homes would create "a highly conspicuous scar upon our countryside", which prompted the developers to lodge a formal appeal.

The Planning Inspectorate has now overturned the refusal, ruling the new homes would benefit the wider district.

The site lies to the south of the railway station, opposite the former milk and cheese factory where a new café and tourism hub is being created.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Castle Cary station is on two lines from the West to London

Castle Cary railway station lies on two major rail routes through the West Country, the mainline between London Paddington and Taunton, and the slower stopping service between Bristol Temple Meads and Weymouth.

The station welcomed around 278,000 passengers per year before the coronavirus pandemic, and is a popular means of travel to the Glastonbury Festival.

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The decision to overturn the refusal has been greeted by dismay by the Somerset branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

"Now this rural landscape next to Castle Cary station will be lost under a sea of 200 houses - despite strong opposition by local community and the council. Yes, we need more houses but this was not the right place," they tweeted.

A reserved matters application, concerning the design and layout of the homes, is expected to be submitted later in the year.

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