Planners have been asked to approve proposals for a new housing development near Wellington.

Permission is being sought from Somerset Council to construct 12 new houses in a field to the south east of Silver Street in West Buckland.

Plans submitted to the local authority call for the creation of a new junction opposite Pollards Lane to provide access to the site, as well as the removal of some hedgerows - with replacements planted as compensation.

The site is within the vicinity of the Grade I listed Church of St Mary, but Collier Planning, who are acting for the applicants, said the houses would be set in a "less conspicuous part of the wider setting of the church."

In a statement Collier Planning cited a need for more homes across the former Taunton Deane borough area, pointing out West Buckland has not had any new homes built since the 1990s. They said: "West Buckland has not seen any new housing of any note since the construction of the Lee Park development of 45 houses in the mid-nineties, now nearly 30 years ago.

"Since then a former village shop has closed and the bus service which stopped in the village has ceased, even though the bus stops remain. It is extremely likely that this has been, at least in part, due to the lack of new housing and investment.

"There are no realistic options for providing new housing for the village within the development boundary and so any new housing for the village would need to be provided outside of that boundary."

They added: "The very limited harm does not significantly and demonstrably, nor in any way, outweigh the very clear and substantial benefits of delivering urgently needed housing in a sustainable location. Within this context, the harm is substantially outweighed by the benefits of the proposals."

A public consultation over the plans was held over September and October, with respondents raising concerns over traffic flow, and foot path access from the development.

In comments submitted to Somerset Council, one Wellington resident warned of the development being permitted in the 'very busy Silver Street area'. Writing to the planners, Richard Thurstan said: "I oppose this application on several issues, not least the already very busy Silver Street and the incredible danger of turning on to it from a residential area, especially during a period of, now not infrequent, motorway close when the street becomes a high­ speed rat-run.

"Assuming residents would expect school places, the lack of local footpaths and inherent danger on Silver Street would exacerbate the traffic density as parent drove all of 2 minutes to school. West Buckland sits in a natural area of beauty surrounded by open farm land and grazing for herds."

It was a view seconded by Christopher Heeley, who also brought his views to the council. He told them: "The roads around west Buckland are narrow and dangerous the local school is very popular and during term time there is very restricted access and a huge amount of traffic.

"There are no parking places and both crown hill and silver street have very narrow roads with very limited passing places for cars let alone heavy vehicles. There is a village hall but no other amenities any further dwellings would only have a negative impact on the recourses that are available now.

"The access out of the village at the worlds end public house is extremely dangerous and if anything needs either a roundabout or traffic lights now and is not suitable for the existing traffic. Any further traffic both from heavy construction vehicles and eventually more cars would only make a bad situation worse."