The main issue raised on the doorstep in past years has been traffic congestion and road safety. As well as regular jams at ASDA – which frustrate motorists, there have also been concerns about crossing to get to school and other facilities and about speeding.
Your local Liberal Democrat team has been working hard to try to improve the situation. You may already be aware that after a long campaign we secured a mix of government and developer funding to increase the capacity at junctions and to provide safe crossings. There was a well-attended public consultation and, after some delay, the County Council has decided to start the land purchases required and we expect the scheme to take about 2 years to deliver. Because the key problem is ASDA’s entrance, Cllr Seib initiated discussions between SSDC, SCC, ASDA and Palmers to see if access off the Palmer’s roundabout can be achieved. These are still on-going a key issue seems to be that ASDA are already trading at maximum and would not see any more profit from improvements.
You may also be aware that the County Council has now run out of primary school places (despite our warnings)! The good news is that this means an earlier delivery of the Primary School at Lufton Key Site (open 2016) and the associated infrastructure. This part of Yeovil will finally get its long-planned community facilities which will include; local shops, a meeting room and a shared hall; as well as a MUGA and facilities for the for the older kids.
During the last Council, we were very pleased to have been able to get a Conservation Area created in the original Alvington hamlet because it meant that Alvington Fields and Highmere would be to a much higher standard, indeed the houses fronting into the hamlet are actually faced with stone recovered from the original derelict barn – recycled and a perfect match!
Another good piece of news is that we were able to get an Airfield Protection Zone designated in the South Somerset Local Plan which will permanently prevent the land south of the A3088 from becoming housing on air safety gounds. We were also able to show how wrong it would be to grow Yeovil to the North-West again (despite a strong, politically-motivated campaign by a certain East Coker resident!). The Local Plan should be adopted in the New Year.