PLANS have been put forward to develop as many as 300 houses in fields on the eastern edge of Wellington.

A firm which specialises in winning planning permission has already approached the local authority with the proposal to build on 12.1 hectares of land to the north of Taunton Road, opposite the new Lidl supermarket.

The site is behind Cadeside Caravan Park and close to Nynehead, but actually falls within West Buckland parish

The Carden Group, which is working with the landowners, also control a further 5.7 hectares bordering the River Tone, to the north of the railway line, which they have earmarked for use in mitigating phosphates from the development.

If approved, the plans would see the construction of between 257 and 293 new homes within a 15 to 20 minute walk of Wellington town centre.

The Carden Group said the development would represent "A new neighbourhood with active travel as a feasible and attractive alternative to private car journeys" and that the houses would take 'design cues' from Wellington's heritage buildings."

The company added the development would deliver: "Good access to existing and planned community facilities and services across Wellington and within the town centre which is a 15-20 minute walk."

Some town councillors had previously expressed their concern that the approval of a Lidl supermarket next to the Cades roundabout could pave the way for further unwanted housing development around the town.

Wellington Town Council will now be represented in a meeting to discuss the plans later this month when they go before a number of local officials.

Many local residents reacted with concern to news of the proposals. In a Facebook group for Wellington, one resident said: "I have no problems with housing but we need doctors and schools.

"I'm not sure Court Fields can cope with more and the doctors and surgeries are way overstretched. If these are made part of the plans then fine but if not please go elsewhere."

Another resident said: "Need more infrastructure not more homes. Where are the NHS dentists and doctor's surgeries, they are drowning under the pressure of what's here already, and that's not to mention schools!"

The reaction mirrors the response to proposals by Gladman Developments, which moved to progress plans to construct 315 houses to the north of Exeter Road in May, and which previously controversially won planning permission for the homes currently being built in Rockwell Green.

One resident said: "We need another secondary school! Court Fields is over subscribed, at this rate a lot of the little ones at primary school won't get a space in Welly! Yes we need more affordable housing, but we need the infrastructure to go with it."

Another added: "I work in the surgery and we're so heavily oversubscribed, but the Government won't let us say no to registrations. It's downright dangerous, we just don't have the facilities to cope with all these new homes."