A370 junction plans condemned by villagers

PUBLISHED: 10:00 31 July 2015

Congresbury High Street.

Congresbury High Street.

Archant

A PARISH council has issued a call for villagers to help fight an appeal against a large-scale housing development outside the settlement boundary.

Congresbury Parish Council said it needs people to come forward and give evidence concerning the traffic ‘danger’ building an 85-home development would pose to pedestrians – particularly schoolchildren – especially at the busy High Street junction.

The application, which relates to a site off Brinsea Road, was refused by North Somerset Council’s planning committee earlier this year, with traffic concerns cited as one reason for the refusal.

However, developer Barratt Homes appealed the decision and the application will now be decided at a hearing on October 6.

Barratt has proposed to mitigate the development by removing part of the memorial at the junction of the A370 and the High Street, alongside placing traffic islands at the top of the High Street to allow pedestrians to cross the busy road.

Members of the parish council met with North Somerset Council’s barrister, Tim Leader, last week to discuss how best to fight the appeal – and Mr Leader is said to have emphasised the importance of using witnesses to argue against Barratt’s traffic proposals.

At an extraordinary meeting of the parish council on Monday night, parish council chairman Di Hassan said: “I think the strongest thing we can do is to get as much evidence as possible from people who live in the village and know what is going on at that crossing.

“From what I can gather, a lot of these ‘experts’ run models and say certain things will work – but we know from living here that models do not work.

“We could perhaps get someone using the crossing for school, or even a fairly competent child to describe what the road is like.

“It would also be very important to get evidence from people like (Yatton business) Stowells, as although in theory the lanes are big enough to cope with a lorry, this is assuming their drivers know exactly what to do.”

Villagers at the meeting slammed Barratt’s plans.

Robin Lea, of Brinsea Road, said: “It makes complete and utter nonsense of what we all know is a busy and dangerous junction.”

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