The controversial planning application which would lead to the loss of the riverside path was deferred last night by Mendip Planning Board until the applicants, Family Sutton Solutions, obtain retrospective planning permission for the unauthorized demolition of a barn. This demolition infringes an earlier planning condition. The have also damaged a neighbor’s property and bulldozed the fragile wetland area, but these issues were not part of the decision.
During the two-hour discussion many members of the Planning Board expressed concerns about the potential loss of the path and the fact that FSS had obstructed it. Several Councillors suggested imposing additional planning conditions to require the path , but in the event these were not necessary since the application was deferred.
This does not resolve the issue of the path, but it sends a powerful signal to FSS of the strength of local opposition to their attempt to privatise the riverbank. They must now realise that their existing plans are unlikely to receive approval without conceding that the access to the river is a crucial planning issue in this case.