Plans for 200 homes will 'destroy' village if approved at appeal

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 October 2018

The proposed development off Bleadon Road. Picture: Sutherland Property and Legal Services

The proposed development off Bleadon Road. Picture: Sutherland Property and Legal Services

Sutherland Property and Legal Services

Plans for 200 houses and a medical centre would 'destroy' a village's 'character' after the landowner's agents announced its plans to appeal the decision.

Sutherland Property and Legal Services has said it will appeal North Somerset Council’s decision to refuse the application, but Bleadon councillor Elfan Ap Rees has said the authority’s reasons for showing the development the red card were ‘firm’.

The plans featured 200 homes, a doctors’ surgery, shops and offices on the fields at the front of Bleadon, off the A370.

The agent, who is acting on behalf of the landowners, had previously submitted outline planning permission for 250 homes and a primary school but altered the development after a public meeting was held in the village last year.

Cllr Ap Rees said: “There are a number of firm policy reasons why it was refused but the fundamental reason is it is outside the village boundary so it is not designated for development and Bleadon does not have the facilities which are needed for such a large development.

“It would completely destroy the village character without a doubt, it is a relatively small settlement with a very firm character and that number of houses being built would clearly have an affect and be very visible in Bleadon, both from the adjacent main road and the village itself.”

The landowners hoped the development would be approved as a way to help with the council’s Joint Spatial Plan, which has earmarked North Somerset for 25,000 homes.

Cllr Ap Rees added: “I know North Somerset has to find more space for residential developments but we have searched for suitable land to do that development and the fields in Bleadon have not been included in the list.

“Bleadon has no school and very few facilities, there is quite a poor bus service so public transport is an issue and, although the develop is offering incentives, it is not going to have to find the money to run them afterwards.”

The landowners said they are ‘determined’ to help met the housing need in North Somerset and bring ‘long-needed’ road improvements to the Bleadon.

The appeal is likely to take six to eight months before an inquiry can take place into whether permission is granted.

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