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NORTH SOMERSET: 280 objections to plans for 70 homes

Plans for 71 homes on the edge of Wrington have sparked more than 280 objections amid claims the village is “at capacity”.

Strongvox Homes said North Somerset has a growing housing shortfall and the council is reliant on unallocated developments coming forward.

The developer wants to build 71 homes, 21 of them affordable, on a 4.5-hectare greenfield site outside the village settlement boundary at Butt’s Batch.

Its plans were met with a 13,000-word response from Wrington Parish Council objecting “in the strongest possible terms”. It said the village had grown by 46 per cent since the 1980s and was set to swell further. Some 59 homes are being built at Cox’s Green.

The parish council said there was “no evidence” the proposals go “any way to meet local village needs for housing”.

Strongvox said only half the 1,365 homes the government says are needed in North Somerset each year are being built.

It said in its application: “A step change in delivery is required to address the identified need, which has serious consequences for the objectives of sustainable development.

“Without a new Local Plan in place to identify further allocations to achieve this the council are reliant on unallocated developments to come forward.”

It said Wrington had undergone “very little growth” in recent years and there were few other available options for expansion.

Strongvox added: “Significant weight should be attached to the benefits of the scheme in terms of its contributions to the provision of much needed affordable housing and open market housing. The harm would be negligible and the benefits considerable.

“The scheme offers an exciting new development for Wrington that is sustainable, well integrated and a natural organic extension to the village and its surrounding environment.”

The application has been met with some 285 objections, and the number continues to rise.

Richard Storrar, the son of a pensioner who lives in the village and the chair of Keep Wrington as Wrington, has even been coaching elderly residents on how to comment on the plans.

One resident said: “This is yet another speculative planning application that does not address the desperate need for social housing close to jobs, public transport and social amenities.

“It is totally nonsensical to build houses in rural areas for these reasons and destroying rural life for those that have chosen to live here for the peace and quiet.”

Another questioned why the developer would build on “one of the worst flood lands in the village”, claiming the site floods every year without fail.

A third said: “The village is at capacity and cannot support the impact of additional housing.”

The Churchill And Langford Residents Action Group said the estate was “totally inappropriate” and would “further destroy our villages and the culture of village life”.

North Somerset Council will decide the fate of the application.

The deadline for comments is January 26. The reference number is 20/P/2990/OUT.

Words: Stephen Sumner, Local Democracy Reporter


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