North Somerset Council’s ‘extraordinary’ U-turn over Congresbury housing plan

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 January 2017

Archant

North Somerset Council planners have been accused of ‘ignoring’ the authority’s newly-adopted planning policy, after an objection to 50 new homes being built in Congresbury was seemingly dropped at the last minute.

The application put forward by Gladman Developments could see the homes built off Wrington Lane.

The application will be decided by a planning inspector in March as Gladman lodged an appeal after the council took too long to make a decision, but North Somerset’s planning committee was still given the chance to specify whether it would have approved or refused the plans at its meeting on January 11.

Officers had recommended the application be refused, but they then submitted a surprise proposal to withdraw their refusal – on the basis that highway concerns had now been fixed – to the committee just two hours before the meeting got underway. Councillors still voted to refuse the application in principle, although the final say will rest with the planning inspector.

Congresbury councillor Tom Leimdorfer told the village’s parish council on Monday he felt officers were encouraging councillors to ignore the area’s core strategy, which was adopted the day before the planning meeting. He said he felt the application contravened the core strategy as the homes would be built outside Congresbury’s settlement boundary.

Cllr Leimdorfer said: “I think those of us who were there (at the planning committee meeting) were a little bit surprised by certain aspects of the process, particularly the way the recommendation was changed just a couple of hours before the meeting.

“It certainly seemed as if senior officers were directing members to ignore the core strategy, which we adopted just the night before and which does have considerable weight.

“I think it is extraordinary officers were recommending the council should withdraw its objection.”

Parish councillor Janet Dickson said the development would be unfair on people living in Wrington Lane and nearby Cobthorn Way if it is approved.

Cllr Dickson said: “I think people living in Cobthorn Way are getting a bum deal here.

“Now it (North Somerset) has agreed to the core strategy, I cannot see why they are just ignoring it.

“What’s the point of having a core strategy policy and then ignoring it straight away?”

Other News Stories

Weston-super-Mare’s seafront was packed yesterday (Saturday) as locals and residents turned their eyes to the skies to admire pilots’ skills in aeroplanes and helicopters.

Read more
60 minutes ago

The bus service which connects Weston-super-Mare to Bristol Airport has celebrated its first year anniversary.

Read more
07:00

Weston Air show returns today (Sunday) with another spectacular display on the seafront scheduled, including the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The Royal Air Force (RAF) marked its 100th anniversary this year – and former serviceman Ken Delve has explored Weston-super-Mare’s links with the RAF.

Read more

Weston-super-Mare Pride has opened a shop and box office in preparation for the event next month.

Read more

A man was rescued from waist-deep water in the early hours of this morning (Sunday).

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

A bridge, which was unusable for some people, was not likely to be finished for seven years, it was reported 50 years ago. Here is the news from the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald in 1968.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:09

Aeroplanes of all shapes and sizes will soar over Weston-super-Mare this weekend for the return of the air festival, while you can also watch displays on the Beach Lawns for the Armed Forces Weekend. Here is the full schedule for everything you can enjoy and experience on Saturday and Sunday.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Catch our weekly round-up of photos shared with the Mercury by our readers.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Two students from the Kings Of Wessex Academy got up close and personal with some hedgehogs.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

Dozens of waste collections have been missed in Weston-super-Mare with bin men claiming their rounds are too big, to the frustration of homeowners who face growing piles of rubbish.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

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

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 14°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

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder