Agenda item

34/21/0017 Formation of 2 No. Intergrated constructed wetlands (ICW) including associated plant, infrastructure, landscaping and on-site redistribution of materials on land off Langford Lane, Longfield and land off Nailsbourne Road, Nailsbourne


Comments from members of the public included;



·       Kingston St Marys PC along with Staplegrove PC strongly oppose to this planning application.  The principle of wetlands is accepted but the implementation of the principle in this application does not command public support;

·       The two main concerns of local residents are, first, about the limited phosphate offset and possible further wetlands in the Staplegrove area, and second, that the Flood Risk Assessment has not considered key uncertainties and the possibility that it may be wrong;

·       The application does not spell out who will own the responsibility for long-term maintenance of the wetlands and who is to pay for it;

·       The Risk Assessment makes the most optimistic possible assumptions on two uncertainties - how well this generation tackles climate change and how well the wetlands are maintained.  These variables must affect the risk.  And if the Risk Assessment is wrong, and flooding happens, for whatever reason, can the wetlands be ‘undone’ once they have been constructed?;

·       The application is unsatisfactory because we need the hydrological modelling before an informed judgement can be made, and the application is too piecemeal – it ignores how the rest of the Staplegrove development will have its phosphate offset.  Despite the name of ‘Integrated Constructed Wetland’, neither the wetlands nor the planning have been well integrated so far;

·       These two wetlands will give almost no real environmental benefit; they are neutral at best, not positive, for the natural environment.  They will not benefit local people, either current residents living close to the wetlands or the future residents of the Staplegrove development.  On the other hand, the wetlands will benefit the developers and their profits;

·       This development represents a new initiative to find solutions to neutral neutrality to issues affecting the Somerset Levels and to unlock development which would contribute to the delivery of Taunton’s Garden Community;

·       The wetlands areas had been designed in collaboration with Natural England the Environment Agency the Lead Local Flood Authority, SWT and Local Communities;

·       The wetlands would lessen phosphates from local watercourses which would otherwise reach the Somerset Levels Ramsar site;

·       The wetlands would create a natural resource for Somerset which would not only provide a means for which phosphates could be removed from the watercourses but would also provide new wildlife habitats and increased biodiversity across the area;

·       Concerns regarding flooding had been addressed by the Environment Agency;

·       Concerns with the time taken for an opportunity for an ecological engineer that has designed the integrated wetlands to meet concerned residents;


Comments/statements from Members included;



·       Concerns that when the wetlands were full what would happen to the captured phosphates;

·       Concerns that this formation was purely for house building and not to protect the environment;

·       Concerns that the wetland would not meet the proposed house building at Staplegrove west;

·       Concerns with flood risk and the maintenance plan;

·       Concerns with the protection of trees on the site;

·       Concerns with the redistribution of the subsoil on the site;

·       Concerns with the implications for management of wetlands if they degrade;

·       There should be an opportunity for reversal should the impacts prove negative;

·       Were there any other benefits to the landowners in terms of income other than biodiversity payments;

·       Concerns with the silt and its distribution back on the land;

·       Concerns with the redundancy of the wetlands should new technology come forward in the future;

·       Concerns with ongoing transparency for residents. We need to make sure that we keep people up to speed with progress;


Councillor Lithgow proposed and Councillor Wheatley seconded a motion for planning permission to be GRANTED subject to conditions. With an amended as per update sheet, Condition 02 to read; The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the plans and documents as set out on the Origin3 Drawing Schedule ref 21-056 received 07 September 2022. Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning


The motion was carried.


At this point in the meeting a 10-minute break was proposed, and Councillor Wheatley left the meeting;

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