Whose land is it anyway?

In America they call it “real estate”. In Taunton, where “record housebuilding” is very popular with the town’s MP, it seems to be another golden opportunity to make piles of money. Highways England have held regular talks with Taunton Deane Council and concluded that if you want to push Cllr John Williams buttons you simply have to spell out how many houses can be fitted onto a particular parcel of land – see the advice from their official consultants contained in this Memorandum

But even though Mr Williams protested that this story was just “fake news” the fact remains that land around Junction 25 is changing hands fast – much of it into the eager fingers of house builders. Summerfields have at least one substantial slice.

And the council leader himself is not averse to investment. He owns several plots outside Taunton Deane. A long time ago he also bought a 30-acre field within the sound of the bells of St Mary’s at Stoke St Mary. Happily that land remains undeveloped to this day. But, in theory, there could be room to fit 300 new houses on a section of such a size. Readers might care to take a look at the unspoilt area in which this land is situated: Find the church and move to the right just past the trees…….

Now see the official Land Registry entry:

And here is the land super-imposed on the satellite image.