'Unneeded' housing project would 'make life intolerable'
PUBLISHED: 12:10 03 January 2019
'Cramped' plans for dozens of homes, which have drawn an unprecedented level of criticism from villagers and will 'make life intolerable', have been slated by councillors.
Banwell Parish Council has voted to oppose Strongvox Homes proposal for 63 homes off Wolvershill Road after a long list of concerns were raised at the authority’s December 17 meeting.
The site – sandwiched between Wolvershill Park and Whitecross Lane – is close to where Bellway Homes has builders working on a 40-home development, and villagers fear dozens more homes would worsen traffic on Banwell’s ‘overwhelmed’ roads.
Cllr Paul Blatchford believes the plans have ‘generated probably the most objections’ from villagers he has ever seen, and fellow councillors agreed with him the project amounts to an ‘unneeded development outside the settlement boundary which would exacerbate traffic problems’.
Strongvox believes the project would deliver a ‘sustainable’ development and cause ‘negligible harm and considerable benefits’.
Cllr Blatchford said: “This application has generated a high number of objections from parishioners, probably the most I have ever seen.
“Their concerns are the transport infrastructure of Banwell is already overwhelmed and this and other developments in the village and beyond are making life intolerable.
“The site is cramped and offers too few parking spaces.
“We are also concerned about the sustainability of the village, with the school and doctors working at capacity, and we have lost bus services and our post office recently.”
North Somerset councillor Ann Harley intends to call the application to the planning and regulatory committee for further scrutiny, if officers are set to approve.
The site is close to land earmarked for a ‘garden village’ of almost 2,000 homes which could be built over the next two decades as part of the Joint Spatial Plan, and Cllr Blatchford believes Strongvox’s project is unnecessary.
He added: “In the light of a potential garden village being built near this site, and the erosion of green space between the historic centre of the village and the one planned, this is an unneeded development outside the settlement boundary.”