Hotel and housing plan near Weston sparks uproar at planning inquiry
PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 May 2018
Plans to build a café, gym and 115 houses would ‘compromise’ space between Weston-super-Mare and villages, according to North Somerset Council.
A large development on Moor Park Business Estate, off Laneys Drove, came under fire during a five-day planning enquiry, hosted by an independent inspector.
Moor Park Ltd asked the council for outline planning permission to build the homes along with offices, a 60-bed hotel and a crèche back in 2015.
The developer believes the site, between Locking and Weston near the Helicopter Museum, which is on part of the former Weston Airfield, will help North Somerset meet its housing needs as well as support the economy.
But, the council feels it will only erase the strategic gap between the two places.
A council spokesman added: “Although we have not yet reached a formal conclusion on the planning application for Moor Park, we do not believe the proposed development is satisfactory.
“As well as being contrary to our settlement policies regarding new developments, the land identified forms a strategic gap which ensures Weston and the communities of Locking and Hutton remain separate, which would be compromised should the development go ahead.”
Following the inquiry, the application has now garnered more than 200 objections.
Michael Miles, who lives close by, has ‘great concern’ for the wildlife which resides on the site.
He added: “The traffic from these extra 115 homes would also stretch the local infrastructure past breaking point – the road capacity is nonexistent.”
The proposed development would also sit near Oaktree Park, a residential site for many elderly people which one resident, Hugh Gudge, said he chose for its ‘peaceful location’ where he and his wife could ‘enjoy their retirement’, but said it would ‘no longer be possible’ if the plans went ahead.
Kenneth Cheetham called the nearby A371 a ‘dangerous stretch of road’ and said it was ‘not fit for purpose’ and would not be capable of supporting a new development.
Concerns were also raised on access to medical centres, flooding – which the land is prone to – and anti-social behaviour.
The planning inspector is reviewing the application.