Sites for thousands of homes agreed by North Somerset Council

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 April 2018

Elfan Ap Rees has welcomed the introduction of the action area.

Elfan Ap Rees has welcomed the introduction of the action area.

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A plan which will see more than 20,000 homes built across North Somerset has been adopted.

North Somerset Council’s Site Allocations Plan (SAP) has now completed the necessary examination process with the Government’s inspector.

It was designed to meet the housing shortfall in the area between 2006-2026, with the Government demanding 20,985 homes are built across the 20-year period.

The main aim of the plan, as well as to create more housing, is to support and encourage more economic growth in the area.

The adoption of the plan will mean it is an official part of future development in the district.

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, whose executive portfolio includes housing, told the council: “It is important it locks in the criteria within North Somerset and it is important we accept it as it will stop people from just simply developing where they like within the authority.

“It will give us, at long last, control about where development takes place.

“The advantage of this is we can plan the infrastructure which is needed.”

The council had to find room for 20,985 homes but, due to concerns over the speed of delivery, were asked to find additional sites.

After the inspector’s review, an additional 22 sites made up of 821 houses and flats were added and approved by the council’s executive last year.

According to the inspector, through this process, the new area is capable of accommodating 23,080 houses – an additional 2,095 than was originally suggested.

The SAP has previously come under fire from North Somerset councillors and community action groups who raised concerns for how the large scale development would impact their wards.

Banwell councillor Ann Harley said she was ‘very anxious’ about one element of the plans but said she would ‘still support it’.

She added: “I am concerned about it because we have to make sure we have the proper infrastructure in place before developments are debated.

“It is clear the SAP has been adopted but at the end of the day it does not mean it is a springboard for places to be developed.

“I think we are going to have full control and what I will do is defend it rigorously.”

Cllr David Shopland, from Clevedon, said: “We have reached the stage we have to reach and I have reservations on the proposed.

“I am worried and sad that The Vale [near Long Ashton] has been excluded from this as to me that was the most obvious place to develop.”

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