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Industrial estate set for 50-home development?

PUBLISHED: 12:08 20 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:08 20 September 2017

Developers want to build 47 homes on the former Western Trade Centre site. Picture: Google

Developers want to build 47 homes on the former Western Trade Centre site. Picture: Google

Archant

A village industrial estate could make way for almost 50 houses if development plans are materialised.

Developers are eyeing up a housing conversion of the Western Trade Centre site off Knightcott Road in Banwell.

Bourton Ltd has applied to North Somerset Council for outline planning permission to build up to 47 homes on the site, which was home to agricultural machinery trader Boulters of Banwell until it ceased trading in 2009 after more than 50 years.

Car dealer Western Trade Centre then occupied the estate until early 2016.

Bourton Ltd believes the scheme offers ‘multiple benefits’.

Its planning statement said: “The site and its historic use for open sales detract from the character and appearance of the area.

“The proposal represents an opportunity to substantially improve the character and appearance of this previously developed site, and its contribution to the visual amenity of the area.

“The site is adjacent to bus stops on a key bus route, and is reasonably well connected to Banwell, within an acceptable walking and cycling distance via a direct and appealing route.”

In 2013, plans were submitted for up to 33 homes to be built on the site, but this was rejected by the planning inspectorate after appeal.

A subsequent smaller application for 10 homes on a portion of the site was approved last year by the council.

However, the applicant has now cited a changing planning landscape which has prompted another attempt to develop the entire industrial estate for housing.

At a policy review earlier this year, the Government deemed the council does not have enough approved housing projects in the pipeline to meet five-year targets outlined in its Site Allocations Plan.

Bourton Ltd said this should mean ‘there is a presumption in favour of development’, if there are no adverse effects to outweigh the benefits.

The applicant added the proposals offer ‘delivery of homes suitable for families, including affordable housing, on a previously developed site in an accessible location, close to a service village, at a time when the district cannot demonstrate a five-year housing supply’.

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