Appeal decides fate of housing ‘sprawl’

PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 October 2015

Congresbury campaigners outside Weston Town Hall.

Congresbury campaigners outside Weston Town Hall.


A HOUSING developer’s plan to build an 80-home settlement off a busy village road was fiercely opposed by North Somerset Council and campaigners at an appeal hearing last week.

"The development would harm the character of Congresbury (and) the village will sprawl into open countryside."

Timothy Leader, North Somerset Council barrister.

Barratt Homes was refused planning permission by the council for the development, off Brinsea Road in Congresbury, earlier this year. However, the developer appealed the decision and this led to a public enquiry at Weston-super-Mare Town Hall.

The appeal was meant to finish on Friday but will now resume for a final day on October 23.

The development has been met with widespread opposition by the council, Congresbury Parish Council and campaigners, who feel it is unsustainable and would ‘harm’ the rural landscape.

The council’s barrister Timothy Leader said at the start of the inquiry: “The development would harm the character of Congresbury (and) the village will sprawl into open countryside.”

If approved, the development would see the junction of the A370 and Congresbury High Street widened – a move which is being opposed by the parish council.

Its barrister David Fletcher said: “Whatever mitigation to the already fairly congested junction (the development) produces would be achieved at the cost of pedestrian safety.”

However, Barratt Homes’ barrister Sasha White argued the development is needed in the face of a national house ‘crisis’.

He said: “The provision of 80 additional units is completely acceptable. This country is facing a massive housing crisis.”

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