Developer accused of ‘intimidation’ over 60-home plan
PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 August 2017
Campaigners are calling on North Somerset Council not to be ‘intimidated’ by a developer’s ploy to build dozens of homes on the edge of Yatton.
Taylor Wimpey wants to build 60 houses off Stowey Road and has applied for planning permission – despite having an exact same scheme rejected 12 months ago.
Last August North Somerset refused the identical scheme saying it would ‘harm’ the village but the firm appealed so an independent hearing will be held in October. However, that has not stopped it from resubmitting an identical application in the hope North Somerset Council changes its mind to save ‘time and expenditure’.
Steve Bridger, speaking on behalf of No Moor Development, is angry Taylor Wimpey has not made any effort to improve its plan in the face of criticism from councillors and villagers last year.
He said: “This duplicate application is nothing short of a ploy to intimidate the council into changing its mind before an appeal hearing in the autumn.
“Earlier this year, (project developer) Gareth Hawke admitted to me the developer is ‘not massively choosy’ about the locations in which it builds houses and dropped a clear hint that it would take a more aggressive approach.
“Taylor Wimpey even has the gall to declare it does not need to pay the usual planning fee.
“Speculative developers will not grind us down to accept housing the community neither needs nor wants at Stowey Park.
“The council needs to hold its nerve and defend its original decision 12 months ago to refuse planning permission.”
The company has resubmitted its application in light of a recent review into the council’s plan for new homes until 2026.
An independent inspector raised concerns the council’s sites allocation plan fails to adequately show enough land to ensure Government targets are met.
A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: “We still feel our proposals are suitable and appropriate for the local area.
“This duplicate application gives North Somerset Council an opportunity to determine how the scheme can provide some much-needed housing to address the significant shortfall in a sustainable location within the district, without the time and expenditure it will face by going through an appeal later this year.”