Appeal backs builder to demolish history

PUBLISHED: 06:23 13 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:35 24 May 2010

THE fight to save one Weston's oldest buildings from being demolished and turned into flats has been lost. A Government inspector has given Ashwood Homes permission to turn Overcombe in Shrubbery Road into 14 apartments. The 1840s Hans Price house is thou

THE fight to save one Weston's oldest buildings from being demolished and turned into flats has been lost.A Government inspector has given Ashwood Homes permission to turn Overcombe in Shrubbery Road into 14 apartments. The 1840s Hans Price house is thought to be the oldest standing unaltered building in the area.Residents fear the new development could ruin the appearance of one of the most historic areas of Weston.Ashwood Homes had a planning application turned down by North Somerset Council last year but appealed against the decision. An inspector was called in and has now decided to allow the proposals to go ahead.The run-down building was last used as four flats, one of which is still lived in.Residents turned out in force at a public inquiry earlier this year in an attempt to preserve Overcombe. They said it was an important part of Weston's heritage and the plans would overdevelop the site and crowd the streets with parked cars.Cycle parking, 16 car parking spaces and rubbish storage will also be created in the development.In his report, the inspector says: "I consider the proposed development would not be unacceptably bulky or massive in this particular location."I consider the proposed development would preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area."I also note concerns about loss of wildlife habitat. However, the proposed building would not take up a significantly different site area from that currently occupied by Overcombe."North Somerset Councillor John Crockford-Hawley said: "If you allow important landmark buildings to be destroyed it can do nothing but harm the conservation area."I am sorely disappointed with the decision to rule in favour of an external developer.

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