Pow urged to ask questions

Stoke St Mary Parish Council have urged local resident and MP for Taunton, Rebecca Pow to start asking questions about a land deal. The chair of the Parish Council has written to the MP asking her to get involved.

This follows the sale of land to Taylor Wimpey last year at agricultural land prices. This was despite the proximity of the land to the Nexus 25 business park and the new route of the A358 as it links to the M5. Agricultural land prices are around 2% of development land value.

There will be a full article explaining the land deal, the loss to the tax payer and some of the more opaque aspects to it in the next edition of The Leveller®. We understand that there are already plans for others to ask questions in the House when it reconvenes in the Autumn. It would be disappointing for residents if their own MP was not foremost among those with questions.

The Taunton MP who is now Minister of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, lives in the village. So this land deal should be well and truly within her brief.


  • Teresa Sienkiewicz

    Please name the councillors involved!

    • None to mention. The Parish Council is raising a valid concern. No planning permission has (yet) been granted. But there ARE questions to ask….

  • You must be joking
    ‘Gravy Train Becci’ ask a critical question?
    She is more like Sir Joseph Porter

    • Well give Boris credit, to date he has not given her a KCB and she is not yet mooted as a ruler of the Queen’s Naveee

  • I walk regularly on footpaths on the land in question.
    Since last year, the people who work that land and contractors have torn up all Crown agreements/procedures/environmental concerns … blocked many of the previously ‘permitted’ footpaths, ploughed over legal footpaths and blocked them with crops, blocked stiles, ploughed the fields to within inches of the boundaries, cut the hedgerows during nesting season, used more chemicals than ever, made the roads dirty and impassable, harvested from the outside in rather than middle outwards to protect wildlife… …
    It’s a free for all.
    Deliberately degrading the area.

  • How about Somerset West and Taunton Council making a compulsory purchase of this land and restoring it to public ownership?

    The rents will make it cost neutral and better than Councils buying shopping centres and commercial property!

    Taylor Wimpey can have their £12.5m purchase money back and the land can revert to long-term farming tenancies.

    Maybe some smaller farms to allow young and budding farmers to get start up tenancies – a concept that was called “County Farms”! Maybe “Unitary Farms” in the future?

    Some areas could be granted to the stewardship of the Somerset County Conservancy, RSPB or similar to recreate wild meadows and wildlife friendly areas as public parks.

    These nature parks could be opened up to the public with wildlife trails and cycle paths (with discrete landscaped parking).

    That would be a vison driven by public good rather than by a quick profit.

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