Countryside housing alliance pledges to ‘monitor’ North Somerset Council’s actions

PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 October 2016

The Congresbury Residents' Action Group (CRAG) is part of the North Somerset Villages Alliance (NSVA). Photo by Jeremy Long.

The Congresbury Residents' Action Group (CRAG) is part of the North Somerset Villages Alliance (NSVA). Photo by Jeremy Long.

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A group fighting to protect nine North Somerset villages from unsustainable housing development is calling on North Somerset Council to explain how the district’s roads will cope with traffic generated by new homes.

The North Somerset Villages Alliance (NSVA) was formed in response to dozens of housing developments – equating to thousands of new homes – being given outline planning permission across the area’s countryside.

The NSVA is formed of representatives from housing action groups in Banwell, Churchill, Claverham, Congresbury, Langford, Sandford, Winscombe, Wrington and Yatton.

Its members are now calling on North Somerset to reveal what plans it has for managing the increase in traffic these new homes will generate.

Although the council has now said it will consider the cumulative effect of new developments, rather than assessing each application by itself, the NSVA says it needs to ensure proper traffic management schemes are also devised.

The group’s Congresbury representative, Mary Short, said: “Now, at last, each application should involve consideration of the effect on the surrounding area.

“But we also want to know what traffic management schemes the council is proposing.”

The council has also promised to ensure communities are kept informed of plans for new homes and will be given a say in deciding how financial contributions from developers, known as section 106 agreements, are spent.

Steve Bridger is the NSVA representative for Yatton, where some 700 homes are set to be built by 2026.

Mr Bridger urged the council to be more open and transparent with the public about how it intends to gain support from communities affected by new developments.

He told the Mercury: “We intend to monitor the consistency of planning decisions affecting villages in North Somerset.

“We will mobilise as many people as possible if we think the council is failing to deliver the infrastructure needed to keep in step with new housing, and therefore acting against the wishes of our communities.”

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