Action group against housing plan

PUBLISHED: 11:15 11 June 2015 | UPDATED: 11:15 11 June 2015

3d illustration of  Blueprints

3d illustration of Blueprints

Archant

AN ‘OPPORTUNISTIC’ planning application to build 60 homes on the outskirts of Weston has sparked vehement opposition from the town council and residents.

Johnstone Land Company wants outline permission to build the development off Wentwood Drive on the border of Weston and Bleadon – but the plans have provoked strong objections from neighbours.

At Weston Town Council’s most recent planning meeting, the authority offered its support to people opposing the scheme.

Bleadon Hill resident Michael Roe said: “I know why developers are trying this on – it is because of the void surrounding North Somerset’s core strategy.

“Developers are being opportunistic here in Wentwood Drive and on Bleadon Hill and numerous other sites in North Somerset.”

Mr Roe said residents have concerns over highway safety, as developers want to narrow Totterdown Road to 5m to access the site.

Mr Roe said: “If the road is narrowed and someone is parked on the highway, buses and refuse collection vehicles will not be able to travel down the road.

“The developers are suggesting the people in the 60 houses will walk and cycle to and from the shops – how many people will walk up and down that steep hill? Perhaps the developers think they will bring in the Olympic team to come and live there, but I think they will find most people will drive.”

Neighbours also shared concerns about the impact on wildlife, and Mr Roe said nine species of bat fly over the field, including two endangered species.

Other concerns raised at the meeting included the site’s archaeological value, the proximity to the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and its location outside the settlement boundary.

Mr Roe added: “I can categorically say everybody opposes this because of the safety of road users and the negative impact on the AONB.”

Town councillor Fred Parsons agreed with the concerns, and said: “We support all of the objections put before us. I think it is retrograde to have a narrowing of the road – the access will be bad.

“The hill is going to disappear as a hill. From many parts of Weston you can look up and see greenery and we are going to lose it with this application.”

The authority voted to recommend refusal of the plans to North Somerset Council, which will deliver a final ruling on the application in the coming weeks.

Residents have united to form an action group against the application, and are hosting a public meeting tomorrow (Monday) at 7pm at Weston Football Club in Winterstoke Road to discuss the scheme.

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