Village residents fight plans to build primary school and 250 houses

PUBLISHED: 12:30 03 November 2017

The original plans for Sanders Fields in Bleadon. Picture: Sutherland Development

The original plans for Sanders Fields in Bleadon. Picture: Sutherland Development

Archant

A planning proposal to build hundreds of new houses and a primary school in Bleadon has been met with a petition from residents.

Sutherland Developments laid out its proposals at an open event last month, when it invited people from the area to view the plans and ask questions.

If approved, the £15million development would be built on Sanders Field, with an entrance on to the A370, and include up to 250 houses, 30 per cent of which would be affordable, and a school.

Residents joined forces with the Bleadon Action Group (BAG) to sign a petition asking the landowners and developers to rethink the idea.

BAG chair Jim Baines told the Mercury: “Bleadon is a pretty rural village, attracting tourists and walkers and taking advantage of the West Mendip Way and the wide variety of wildlife the area supports.

“This proposal would blight the outline of the village viewed from both Bleadon Hill and approaches on the A370, effectively increasing the size of the village by 50 per cent, forever changing its nature and fabric for the worse.”

More than 90 per cent of the households in the village have signed the petition demanding the proposal to be halted.

BAG has a network of people who visit the village house by house to canvass opinion and ensure it is representing the community.

Group member Michelle Harper said: “The landowners also live in the village, we know they must love it as much as we do and share a history with the village through generations of their families.

“It seemed appropriate to ask them first if they would change their minds and stop their planning application.

“If they love it as much as we do we think they will stop 
seeing the pound signs and start seeing the uniqueness of this place.”

Weston MP John Penrose has written in support of to the group.

In his letter he said: “I am lobbying ministers and working with other local village and community groups with concerns about some of these speculative plans so we can fight back where possible.”

Mr Penrose has been heading a campaign to build up, not out, in order to reduce pressure on green field sites at the edge of rural villages.

The letters and petition will be handed to the developer and landowners this week.

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