The demolition of many old hospital buildings started in 1995 after Taunton Deane Borough Council approved an ambitious plan for the development of Cotford St Luke. The first residents moved in just prior to the millennium. Although after a while it became apparent that the plans were not being implemented as intended – due to changes made by Taunton Deane Borough Council and others prompted by the developers.
In 2000 the residents got together to establish an organisation (Cotford St Luke Community Association) to put pressure on Taunton Deane Borough Council and Somerset County Council to ensure progress was made on the primary school, play areas, community hall and shops.
Planning consents already granted could not be undone but pressure was applied to ensure everything else was delivered. This culminated in a large and rowdy Taunton Deane Borough Council meeting in Deane House dedicated to the problems at Cotford St Luke. It was attended by over 100 people from the 300 houses already occupied. This brought the realities of the situation to the Councillors’ attention – such as the unfinished and un-adopted roads and paths, the missing or inadequate infrastructure, and made possible a joint campaign to get the necessary land and funds needed to build the community centre, play areas and footpaths etc. Without the determination of these residents the issues might never have been resolved. Fortunately, although there remain some issues that continue to demand the attention of the Cotford St Luke Parish Council, the residents are largely unaffected by them.
Today we enjoy a well looked-after environment largely thanks to both the Cotford St Luke Community Association and the present Cotford St Luke Parish Council – with three play areas for the under 5’s and others for older children, a primary school, a community centre, two football pitches, tennis courts, a popular co-op shop, and a public house.
In addition the Church of England has recently purchased a plot of land and is well advanced in sourcing funding for a new community church building. For more information on this please see their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StLukesCentre.