District in ‘state of flux’ over housing

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 June 2015 | UPDATED: 10:31 22 June 2015

Housing plans were debated.

Housing plans were debated.

Archant

A GOVERNMENT decision on the number of houses which must be built in North Somerset has been delayed, according to one district councillor.

Councillor Jill Iles, who represents Yatton, told members of Yatton and Claverham’s Parish Council planning committee on Monday the decision will not be made until July.

North Somerset Council had outlined in its core strategy – a legal document which outlines its long-term planning regulations – it wanted 14,000 homes to be built between 2006-2026.

However, following a challenge from the University of Bristol over housing numbers, independent planning inspector Roland Punshon ruled that 14,000 homes was insufficient and raised the target to 20,895.

Mr Punshon also declared the housing backlog must be cleared within five years.

But in March, MPs for Weston and North Somerset, John Penrose and Dr Liam Fox, referred the case to the former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, because they felt the higher figure was ‘unacceptable’ and would put North Somerset’s greenbelt at risk.

Current Secretary of State Greg Clark’s ruling, which could have a significant impact on the future of the district, was expected at the end of this month.

Cllr Iles said: “I really hoped the Secretary of State would make the statement at the end of June, but it now looks like it will be July.

“We are in a state of flux with not knowing the agreed numbers. I do not really understand why they have said they need another month and I am slightly concerned.

“But I know the council’s planning officers are in contact with the Secretary of State’s office and are trying to make sure they have a decision as soon as possible. They will not let it roll on.”

When asked to comment by the Mercury, a spokesman for North Somerset Council said the authority was not aware of any delay in the decision.

He said: “We haven’t been given a date of when we may get the decision from the Secretary of State, but nor have we had any indication that it has been delayed.

“From our perspective we would like a decision as soon as possible to be able to move forward in getting the core strategy adopted.”

The Secretary of State’s decision is likely to seriously affect villages like Yatton, which could see more than 800 homes being built.

A spokesman from Yatton housing pressure group No Moor Development (NMD) said: “The current hiatus is leaving our communities vulnerable.

“We need to see more evidence that North Somerset authorities are not following an acquiescent policy.

“The developers are calling the tune and have been lobbying the powers-that-be for years.”

More from Weston Mercury

Yesterday, 18:56

Hard-working sailing volunteers from Clevedon and Yatton will have a royal appointment this week to recognise decades of service.

Read more
Clevedon Yatton
Yesterday, 17:58

One of the world’s best mountain climbers inspired hundreds of students with his heroic feats and stories.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

Volunteers hoping to make a busy road which connects Weston to Bristol safer for motorists and pedestrians have called on villagers to get involved.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:38

More than 90 competitors wowed audiences with ballroom, Latin and classic dance performances in Weston-super-Mare.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:29

Wu Shu Ky Freestyle Kickboxing Club under the guidance of 6th Dan Master Silvio Camilleri, has returned to Weston.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

A support group for people struggling with depression and anxiety has launched, and the woman behind it hopes to ‘fill a gap’ in North Somerset’s mental health services.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:57

Worlebury Golf Club held its annual presentation evening, with members turning out in force.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:57

Mendip Spring seniors’ captain Andy Ashfold led 43 members into the new winter programme of competitions.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:57

Items including children’s toys, a window frame and a shopping trolley have been fly-tipped in Worle.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:27

Thirty-seven Weston Athletic Club members took part in this year’s Sodbury Slog race.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists