Key documents for new council

Work is progressing rapidly to establish the new Somerset Council from 1 April 2023, which merges the county council and four district authorities.

The vision, constitution and budget were agreed at a full meeting of the county council on 22 February, with votes on 1,140 pages of reports. These key documents developed as they progressed through committees and consultation over recent months. There were just a few final tweaks, along with questions and comments, at the meeting on the day.

Although they are not perfect and times are difficult, these key documents should help to give the new council a good start in the circumstances. I voted in favour of all three. The result of the named vote on the budget was 64 for (all the Liberal Democrat, Green and Labour councillors), 1 against and 33 abstentions (most of the Conservatives and Independents).

Two small savings were removed from the budget following adverse scrutiny and consultation comments, as well as subsequent requests from Cllr Gwil Wren and me.

A saving of £22,000 by not filling grit bins each year was removed by the Executive, after I had questioned at Scrutiny Committee, it was criticised during public consultation and Gwil then requested as Place Scrutiny chair.

A saving of £25,000 by not sending neighbour notifications for planning applications was eventually revised. As it remained in the budget papers to full council, I proposed an amendment (seconded by Gwil) to remove the saving. After receiving assurance the notifications would in fact continue, I withdrew the amendment, while ensuring the position was clarified at the council meeting and the wording on stopping neighbour notifications was deleted from the budget papers. Instead, the saving is to be achieved by taking a consistent approach to notifications across the districts, which was suggested by officers. This may reduce the extent of neighbour notifications in some districts, but should ensure adjacent neighbours are still notified. Notifications to parish councils and site notices are also to continue.

Council Plan sets vision and priorities

The vision in the Council Plan for the next four years is to “build a fairer, greener, resilient, more flourishing Somerset that cares for the most vulnerable and listens to you”. Matching the vision, the plan has four priorities for Somerset to be:

  • Greener, more sustainable
  • Healthy and caring
  • Fairer, ambitious
  • Flourishing and resilient

Strategic direction is given for each priority and further principles to guide the council include being responsible, having integrity, listening, empowering, evidence-based, open, collaborative and enterprising.

Many of my suggestions and requests were included in the final version of the Council Plan, including a commitment to carbon neutrality.

A business plan will now follow that covers what the council will provide and do in more detail.

Constitution aims to allow involvement by all

The constitution sets out how the council will operate, including committees, public participation and officer delegations.

Decisions will be taken by the full council, executive and other committees, including for planning which will have four area-based committees.

I contributed to a working group that proposed arrangements for five scrutiny and overview committees, which will cover:

  • Climate (environment) and place
  • Communities
  • Corporate and resources
  • Children and families
  • Adults and health

Common arrangements proposed for planning applications were among the most contentious. These were amended so that final provisions give more power to the area committees and allow the public more speaking rights than had been originally proposed. However, concerns remain and it has been agreed the new constitution will be reviewed, starting with planning in September.

I requested small improvements that were agreed to arrangements for 18 Local Community Networks (LCNs), which are intended to be a focus for community development, engagement and partnership working, as well as a local voice into the new county-wide council. LCNs will start to meet from June/July and involve division councillors and representatives from parish councils and local organisations, including the police, NHS, and voluntary and business groups. The LCN for our area covers Wellington and Wiveliscombe, including parishes between and alongside both towns.

Budget for service protection

Challenges for the new council include rising prices and staff recruitment, as well as all that is required to merge the county and four district councils from April.

The local government financial settlement for 2023/24 from government was not as bad as feared, but the maximum increase of 5% in Council Tax is being taken by the council to maintain important services.

The net revenue budgets for each services area (click here for lists of what each cover) in 2023/24 will be:

  • Adult services: £186.6 million
  • Children’s services: £123.1
  • Community services: £35.2 million
  • Climate, environment and place services: £87.1 million
  • Strategy, workforce and localities: £20.2 million
  • Resources and corporate services: £20.5 million
  • Public health: £1.2 million
  • Local government reorganisation: £0.1 million
  • Corporate areas and contingency: £72.1 million
  • Accountable bodies: £3.7 million
  • Special grants to the council (income): (£56.4 million)
  • TOTAL: £493.4 million

All the budget papers can be viewed here.

Council Tax and reduction scheme

The average Council Tax in Somerset for a Band D property in 2023/24 will be £2,116, with a range from £1,411 for Band A to £4,232 for Band H. The amount will also vary to reflect the amount of the local town or parish council precept. There is a Council Tax Reduction scheme to help those on low incomes.

Overall, average Council Tax is increasing by £116 (to £2,116) in 2023/24, which is made up from the following precepts:

  • Somerset Council: £1,646 (up £78 + 4.99%)
  • Police Commissioner: £266 (up £15 + 5.97%)
  • Fire Authority: £97 (up £5 + 5.45%)
  • Town and Parish Councils and special expenses: £107 (up £18 + 19.77%)

Growth and savings

Growth items in the budget for 2023/24 total £84.9 million, which is mostly to cover forecasts for increases in service use, inflation and new IT costs. Other growth items include:

  • Work on the new Local Plan (£790,000)
  • Local Nature Recovery Strategy (£95,000)
  • Reduction in housing income (£223,000)
  • Increase in adult services care costs (£18.7m)
  • School funding changes (£173,000)
  • Member and scrutiny support (£56,000)

Savings in the budget for 2023/24 total £40.8m, which include increases in fees and charges and the following:

  • Reduction in pension costs (£7.1 million)
  • Reduction in senior management costs (£2.9 million)
  • Reduction in other staff costs (£1 million)
  • Reduction in facilities management costs (£294,000)
  • Recycle More and recycling savings (£3.5 million)
  • Adult services savings (£10.5 million)
  • Children’s services savings, including Homes to Inspire partnership (£4.6 million)
  • Reduction in Member costs (£564,000)


It is planned to use £19.9 million of earmarked reserves in 2023/24, including £10 million for budget smoothing, which will need to be found as a saving the year after.

The Council expects to maintain general reserves of £30-50 million and estimates these will be £47.5 million in March 2025. Earmarked reserves are estimated to be £65 million, which is thought to be relatively low for a council the size of Somerset and so “very careful management” of these will be required.

Capital spending

The budget has £76 million of new capital schemes over the next three years, with 39% to be funded by borrowing and 61% from government and other grants. The new schemes include: highways maintenance, Glastonbury leisure hub, North Hill (Minehead) stabilisation, traffic signals refurbishment, urgent council building repairs, school building maintenance and replacement, IT replacement and social care homes for children.

Property investments

District Councils have passed on investments of £289 million in property to generate annual income, which has been mostly funded by borrowing (mix of short and long term). 75% of the property is outside Somerset and mostly consists of retail, industrial and office buildings, as well as a healthcare centre, gym, an NCP car park in Bournemouth and two battery energy storage systems in Taunton and Hampshire.

The new council is retaining current properties, but not making new ‘debt for yield’ investments, which is now strongly discouraged by government. A net return of 0.8% is forecast for 2023/24, which includes 12 out of 48 investments giving a negative return (currently losing money). Regular review is proposed after April, when selling some of the investment properties may be considered.

I did not support the yield investments made by Somerset West and Taunton Council. I regularly questioned these plans and challenged investment decisions being made in confidential closed meetings, which eventually stopped with information on investments then published.

More budget difficulties for future years

Setting a budget next year for 2024/25 is expected to be difficult again and require further savings of £41.5 million or 8%. The situation is expected to be a little easier by 2025/26, but further savings of £4 million are expected to be needed then too.

REVIEW: 2021/22 into 2023

A very late annual review this year. Elections in May kept me busy. After success then, I now serve on both the county and district councils. Both are being reorganised to form a single new Somerset Council from April 2023, when Gwil Wren and I will continue as the unitary councillors for Upper Tone.

Below is my look back at council work over the last 12 months or so, and a look forward, with business increasingly dominated by local government reorganisation (again).

Despite the on-going challenges of Covid recovery, Brexit disruption, war in Ukraine with accompanying reductions in energy and food supplies, the ensuing cost of living crisis, and a badly misstepping government, some progress has been made by our councils; while some challenges faced have become worse, not least on budget restrictions and the need for effective action to halt global heating.

Continue reading “REVIEW: 2021/22 into 2023”

Buses update

After the exciting promise of last year’s Bus Service Improvement Plan, the follow-up in 2022 has been disappointing, but there are still grounds for some hope.

Bad news is that bus use is still only 70% of pre-Covid levels, which has reduced revenue and led to timetable cuts by local bus companies in June. There may be further service reductions if current funding support from government ends next March, although timetable changes in June should have allowed for this to some extent and support could be further extended.

Some good news is that the County Council’s bid for government funding was one of only 31 bids to be successful (out of over 70); but instead of the £163m requested, just £12m was awarded.

Problems on route 25

On the 25 service from Dulverton, through Wiveliscombe to Taunton, a double-decker bus was introduced from June, which replaced the two single-deckers previously running for college students in the morning from Wiveliscombe. Initially, the new timetable from June was too late to get Richard Huish College students in on time. Many complaints were made and officers at the county council were helpful. We were successful in requesting that buses left 10 minutes earlier and for a stop at Taunton railway station to be reinstated. I also asked for the new timetables to be displayed at bus stops and for a flag to better mark the new stop outside the railway station.

Unfortunately, service timing was unreliable over the summer, which led to more complaints. When college terms restarted in September, First Bus apologised, after finding that they had scheduled the first bus of the day to leave too late from the depot. Time-keeping has been better since, but the 25 has still run late on some days.

Bus timetables and service complaints

Local and regional bus timetables are available from First Bus, Think Travel (Somerset County Council), and Traveline South West.

First Bus operates a commercial service between Wiveliscombe and Taunton. Problems with their services should be reported online at: If problems persist, complain at: If they persist, let me know and I’ll try to take further. It can help if a record of problems with dates and times is available.

Bus it campaign

To encourage greater bus use, the County Council launched a Bus it! campaign in August. This highlighted savings from buying multi-ticket bundles and making full use of bus passes.

Bus service improvements

Plans to use the government funding for bus service improvements had to be revised and agreed with the Department of Transport. The aim is now to demonstrate bus use can be increased in targeted areas and to then seek more government funding to achieve the same results in other areas.

Most improvements will be in Taunton, which started with new £1 fares for park and rides services and has now extended to other bus services within Taunton. There will also be trials for new weekend and evening services between several large towns and Taunton, but this is not yet proposed for Wiveliscombe.

Most of the funding has to be spent on capital projects, which will include new bus priority lanes and re-establishing the bus station with a mobility hub in Taunton. Work should start next summer and be completed by the end of 2024.

Bridgwater will also benefit from a new bus priority lane and bus priority detection at traffic lights.

There will be a trial to improve rural services in Somerton, with a mobility hub and a digital demand responsive feeder trial involving the Slinky service, which should be in place by Spring 2023.

New Bus and Transport Plans

There was an annual review of Somerset’s Bus Service Improvement Plan by the Places Scrutiny Committee on 11 October (item 9). I supported keeping the same improvement plan in place for now, with changes considered alongside the preparation of a new Local Transport Plan (item 8) over the next 18-24 months.

I also said basics needed to be got right, such as making new bus timetables available, and the County Council needed to look at providing more funding for bus services, which might come from new workplace parking levies (on larger employers) and reconsidering the developer funding used for travel plans, which currently seem to achieve very little.

UPDATED: 5 Dec 2022

Upper Tone voted for Dave & Gwil

The result for Upper Tone in the election on 5 May 2022 to Somerset County Council (one year) and to the new Somerset Council (from 2023) was:

Dave Mansell – Green (1,687 – 50%) – ELECTED

Gwil Wren – Independent (1,487 – 44%) – ELECTED

Roger Habgood – Conservative (1,158 – 34%)

James Hunt – Conservative (1,082 – 32%)

John Hassell – Liberal Democrat (641 – 19%)

Mike McGuffie – Labour (267 – 8%)

Philip Thorne – Independent (137 – 4%)

The total electorate was 7,625, who could vote to support two candidates, although a few only cast one of their two votes. The turnout for Upper Tone was 44.6%, which was above the overall turnout in Somerset of 37%.

Thanks for all the help and support given. Gwil and I will do our best as representatives for Upper Tone on the new council. I also look forward to working with four other Greens elected in Frome and with other councillors from around the county.

Along with Mark Blaker, I will continue for to be a district councillor for the Wiveliscombe and District ward on Somerset West and Taunton Council until April 2023. Then Gwil and I will continue as the unitary councillors for Upper Tone on the new Somerset Council that replaces the districts and county council.

The overall result for the new county council is:

Liberal Democrat – 61

Conservative – 36

Green Party – 5

Labour – 5

Independent – 3

Full results at Somerset County Council website.

Parishes in the Upper Tone division are shown below.

Council achievements

Over my four years as a district councillor, I have done my best to represent Wiveliscombe and neighbouring parishes in my ward, to work with others and to be a positive Green voice on the Council.

Since 2018, I have helped with hundreds of local issues. I have spoken up at council meetings, read many reports and voted on their recommendations, sometimes proposing amendments. I have also sat on a number of working groups and delivery panels, and had monthly briefings on local climate change and ecological projects as the shadow portfolio holder.

The following are some highlights that have resulted from contributions I have made, often working with others.


  • Provided information on Covid support in the ward.
  • Installed the first public charging point for electric vehicles in Wiveliscombe, working with the Community Centre, Town Council and Brendon Energy. More council points have followed throughout the district, including in North Street car park.
  • Given support for funding to Wiveliscombe Community Centre, Town Hall Trust, Wiveliscombe Area Partnership, Wivey Pool, a new skate park at the Recreation Ground and to village halls.
  • Sought better progress on the local roll-out of full-fibre broadband and reported on new plans. I have met with Gigaclear, Connecting Devon and Somerset, and Airband, and organised a joint meeting for parish councils with Technological.
  • Sought improvements to town centre weeding and street cleaning, as well as to open spaces in car parks, which has included over-growth being cut back and more growing of wild flowers.
  • With a local steering group, supported town recovery projects with funding from Somerset West and Taunton Council. In particular, I helped arrange the painting of street furniture in The Square, updating of direction signs in Croft Way car park, and the cleaning of signs and removal of graffiti along the road into Wiveliscombe.
  • Proposed and chaired the place-making project group, which has organised consultation and is finalising a plan to improve The Square and traffic management in Wiveliscombe town centre – see update.


  • Proposed motions to declare climate and ecological emergencies, which have led to many new council policies and projects.
  • Proposed a budget amendment which led to more funding for climate and ecological projects.
  • Contributed to working groups on the Somerset climate emergency strategy and district action plans, which have been rated the best in the UK.
  • Challenged the council’s commercial investment strategy being debated in confidential sessions, which led to public debates and investment details being published on the council website.
  • Proposed and chaired a working group on retrofitting the council’s housing stock with insulation and zero carbon heating systems. Our report was passed by Scrutiny Committee and is currently proceeding on the democratic pathway to the Executive.
  • As a member of Somerset Waste Board, supported the successful roll-out of Recycle More and called for more re-use projects, which are to launched in the coming year.
  • Selected as vice-chair of Community Scrutiny Committee and so involved in scrutiny agenda setting and chairing some meetings.
  • At full council and committee meetings, I have voted to support many new projects and council initiatives, including: new development plans for the Firepool site in Taunton; the building of new council housing to a zero carbon design; accommodation and support for rough sleepers; pedestrianisation of East Street in Taunton; planning for new safe cycle routes; and many more.

Help Ukraine

The war in Ukraine is heart-breaking. The brave resistance has to be admired. All the people affected need help and support.

The following are some links for information and how to assist:

UPDATED: 1 July 2022, 9 August 2022

Incinerator proposed at Greenham

Wasteology are applying for a low-level clinical waste incinerator at Greenham Quarry, near the A38, where they have existing waste operations. At this stage, the application is only on what to cover in an environmental assessment for the facility. This would be required for a future application for the plant itself, which has not yet been submitted, although there are details of what is proposed in the current application. Continue reading “Incinerator proposed at Greenham”

Broadband progress and plans

Full fibre broadband services and plans for towns and parishes in Upper Tone are continuing to develop. In some areas, ultrafast fibre networks are already provided by Airband, Gigaclear, Openreach or Technological. Full fibre broadband gives the fastest connections of up to 1 Gigabit per second (1,000 Mbps). Details for current networks in our area are given below, along with guidance on requesting a connection or registering your interest to be included as these networks expand.  Continue reading “Broadband progress and plans”

REVIEW: 2020 and into 2021

The last year has been unprecedented in modern times. Extraordinary for us all due to Covid and at the council for many reasons. The future for Somerset promises more changes and disruption on the way. As ever, I try to keep focused on doing the best for Wivey and our area and on encouraging steps towards a safer and fairer green future.

Later than previously, this is my annual review of the last year as a district councillor and thoughts on what the next year may bring. Continue reading “REVIEW: 2020 and into 2021”

One Somerset is unitary answer

Yesterday, the Local Government Secretary announced a single new unitary council will be established in Somerset. This is the One Somerset model promoted by Somerset County Council.

Consultation has been underway since last autumn. The change comes during a pandemic and only two years after two district councils were merged to form Somerset West and Taunton Council. That change was disruptive and wasted millions. Now we are faced with another disruptive reorganisation.

Both changes have been proposed by the Conservatives. It’s unbelievable that they could make one major change to be followed so soon by another.

Continue reading “One Somerset is unitary answer”

Green action in Wivey

In recent months, there have been a number of local green projects, with a new electric vehicle charging point installed at the top of Croft Way car park and lots of tree planting.

Click on the following links for further information:

I led and worked on the new charging point throughout, which started as a Wivey Action on Climate project a few years ago. We had a number of obstacles to overcome and had to adjust our plans several times, so it is very pleasing that we eventually got it installed. The point has been well used from the start and use continues to grow. By the end of 2021, it was used most days and often several times a day.

I provided support for the wildlife-friendly planting in Croft Way car park, with backing gained from the Council’s open spaces section.

In the past I have been involved in organising local tree planting.

More green projects will follow, as £18,000 has been awarded from the County Council’s Climate Emergency Community Fund to install solar panels at Wivey Pool and on our public toilets and to provide loft insulation at the Town Hall.

UPDATE (14 Sept 2021): Wivey Pool now has a set of photovoltaic solar panels at the back. This is a particularly good installation as the pool uses high power pumps, which can now be solar powered when needed most during the summer. I advised on installers for this project and am pleased it has come together so well.

Wivey Pool solar panels wide

Rural broadband progress

Broadband options for parishes around Wiveliscombe have progressed a little since my previous posts.

It remains best to register your interest with a number of potential providers, with some looking more likely to offer a service in some parishes, as detailed below. There is also a new broadband universal service obligation, provided by BT, which may offer a connection opportunity for some.

Register and find out about services offered at:
• Technological –
• BT broadband universal service –
• Gigaclear – (start by entering postcode)
• Openreach –

The following outlines local progress made by these providers and by Connecting Devon and Somerset.   Continue reading “Rural broadband progress”

A Green Climate Strategy

Somerset Green Party Councillors have produced A Green Climate Strategy to show how we propose to address the climate and ecological emergencies in Somerset.

Our Green strategy shows how to improve a joint climate strategy prepared by Somerset councils, which is too weak and lacks urgency. The joint Somerset strategy (see full version and summary) fails to show what will be needed to work towards carbon neutrality or how to work effectively towards this by 2030. The joint councils strategy also passes too much responsibility for achieving change to communities and individuals.

Action should have started earlier, following council climate emergency declarations in 2019. More needs to follow once actions plans are adopted by Somerset councils in October and November 2020.

A Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience Action Plan for Somerset West and Taunton (SWT) could be improved, but is much better than the Somerset Strategy, and should allow a better start to effective climate action in our district.   Continue reading “A Green Climate Strategy”

Somerset West & Taunton declares an ecological emergency

Last night (29th September 2020), Somerset West and Taunton Council unanimously declared an ecological emergency, supporting a motion I proposed with Councillor Dixie Darch. See full motion and a webcast of the debate (starts after 1 hr 26 mins 20 secs).

The motion recognised that the human and natural worlds are intertwined. We rely on nature for air, water, food, medicines, raw materials and energy. But we are over-exploiting natural resources, leading to species extinction rates which are now tens to hundreds of times higher than historical averages. As David Attenborough has said: “We’ve overrun the planet”. Continue reading “Somerset West & Taunton declares an ecological emergency”

The unitary question

There are two proposals to reorganise local government in Somerset by combining county and district councils. The county council favours one single authority covering the whole of Somerset. All four district authorities have confirmed they favour two unitary authorites, one for the West (covering Sedgemoor and Somerset West and Taunton) and one for the East (covering Mendip and South Somerset).

This has been prompted by Somerset County Council calling for a new unitary authority and then the Government announcing that a white paper on devolution and local recovery will be published this autumn. Council meetings with a Minister have suggested Somerset will be in the first wave of new unitary authorities to be created, with public consultation this autumn and a decision early in the new year (see update on timing at end below).

Personally, I favour unitary authorities, as they have the potential to be more efficient and allow the joint planning and delivery of services currently split across the two tiers, such as highways and planning and car parks, on-street parking and transport.

However, I think the timing is terrible, given the on-going need to address the COVID pandemic and climate change, as well as due to Somerset West and Taunton having only just been reorganised.

I would also prefer unitary authorities on current district boundaries, with collaboration on services requiring management and delivery at a larger scale, possibly along the successful lines of Somerset Waste Partnership. The Government has indicated the size of four unitary councils for Somerset would be too small and so the maximum number possible would be two.

As a single Somerset authority, covering a large rural area from Simonsbath to Frome and Brean to Chard, would be too big and remote, I favour the Stronger Somerset case for two new unitary councils in Somerset (East and West).

Continue reading “The unitary question”

Shooting lodge approved but helipad removed

In late 2019 and early 2020, the peace of Wiveliscombe was disturbed by helicopters flying low over the Southern part of town to a new shooting lodge built off the the main road to Waterrow and close to Culverhay, Culverhead and the Recreation Ground.

Planning approval for Bulland Estate to convert a barn to a shooting facility had been given in February 2019, but the application had made no mention of the helipad or the luxury accommodation rumoured to have been included in the conversion.

During 2019, I received complaints and expressions of concern about the new development, which I raised with Somerset West and Taunton Council. Planning enforcement action soon followed.

The barn conversion built was found to include a whole additional floor of bedrooms as well as the helipad, which had not been included in the original planning application.   Continue reading “Shooting lodge approved but helipad removed”

Controversy over Kingsmead School new buildings

Earlier this year (January 2020), there was consultation, followed by a planning application for substantial new buildings at Kingsmead School. These will replace old buildings that are no longer fit for purpose, with funding from the Government’s Priority School Building Programme.

The new buildings are very welcome and much needed, but the proposal proved controversial as the design lacked sustainability features and was not carbon neutral. This prompted a local campaign, which was covered by The Guardian.    Continue reading “Controversy over Kingsmead School new buildings”

Sandys Moor – approved plans for 94 new homes

A planning application was submitted in March 2020 for the detailed design of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of 94 new homes at Sandys Moor, Wiveliscombe.

Outline planning permission had previously been controversially given in March 2019.

The detailed application (number 49/20/0016) can be viewed on the planning application search page of Somerset West and Taunton Council’s website. The main document to view is the Statement of Compliance with the planning layout images (as shown above) giving a quick indication of what is proposed.

UPDATE (5 August 2020): This application has been approved and planning permission given. See my comments on the plans.

UPDATE (16 Nov 2020): A number of trees have been felled on the Sandys Moor site, which appear to be in keeping with approved plans that I have checked with the Council’s Tree Officer. Trees to be retained and those to be removed are shown in extracts from the landscape strategy and arboricultural statement. In addition, all poplars on site are being felled, as they are not thought suitable alongside new buildings. They will be replaced with other species as part of the landscape scheme. Further details are shown in the Landscape Strategy Plan and Arboricultural Method Statement.

UPDATE (18 May 2021): A new planning application (49/21/0025) has been submitted for 19 dwellings on the Sandys Moor site. 13 of the new houses proposed are changes and 6 are additional. If approved and this proceeds, it will bring the total number of houses to 100.

UPDATE (December 2021) – The new houses at what is now called Elworthy Place are under construction and the first will soon be ready for occupation. The new residents are welcomed and it is hoped they will be happy in their new homes. I pressed for better pedestrian access to the town centre and schools, but only an improvement along Church Street to Kingsmead School was agreed. Unfortunately, this will lead to a loss of parking bays and only improve walking access to Kingsmead School. In my view, a pedestrian crossing for Church Street or Taunton Road is needed. Infrastructure funding will be available for play equipment, which may be used at the Recreation Ground to provide a new skate park and maybe an all-weather games area, both of which are still to be confirmed. There should also be some funding for more schools places and for other improvements in the town, which are also still to be confirmed and will involve the town council. It seems unlikely the additional houses proposed will be built (see update in May 2021 above), due to planning applications for new housing being delayed, as a result of phosphate pollution in the water catchment area feeding into protected sites on the Somerset levels and moors.