SERIOUS concerns have been raised about plans to build a care village on a piece of land off Kingsdown Road.

Members of the Stratton St Margaret Parish Council’s planning committee met on Tuesday night to discuss the proposal in more detail.

Developers Castlewood Commercial Properties Ltd want to build a 40-bedroom dementia care home; 120 close care apartments and a communal club house to include a shop, a library, a hydrotherapy pool, a gym, a residents lounge, a dining room and a hairdressing salon, together with associated access, landscaping and appropriate car parking facilities.

But councillors raised a number of serious concerns – namely, the possible risk of flooding, vehicle access to and from the site, pedestrian accessibility and the excessive speeds at which traffic routinely travels along Kingsdown Road.

One contentious issue is the absence of a footpath from the entrance in Kingsdown Road to the Highworth Road roundabout, which could have serious restrictions on the ability of residents to get about.

Councillor Stuart Leach, chairman of the planning committee, said: “From my point of view, the problem of connecting the footpaths is a serious one, and that attempt has been made to correct this in the plans is ridiculous.”

Local resident Robert Berry, 78, attended the meeting and made his concerns known to councillors.

He didn’t object to the car village per se, but worried about how residents would access the site in the absence of a suitable pavement.

He said: “I have no problem with the plans for the village. The issue I have is one of safety. There is only one access road, on which cars go in and out. This will lead to problems if you are coming in at the same time that somebody else is going out.

“Traffic often exceeds 60mph on the main road and that could be a very dangerous situation indeed.”

The proposed site is a two hectare patch of land near Fitzwarren House Care Home in Stratton.

It is currently an unmanaged field with dense undergrowth and some scrub growth that is bordered with native hedgerows and mature trees.

Robert said: “If these sorts of developments are going to be built, the correct provision must be made to make sure people are safe.”

Councillors sent the proposals to full council to be scrutinised more closely, but they reminded Robert that, as a parish council, they are only “an advisor body” and their scope of action is necessarily limited.