Protest demands 'horrendous' 2,800-home plan be scrapped
PUBLISHED: 12:03 13 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:03 13 February 2018
Protesters were out in force to slam 'horrendous' plans for thousands of homes which could 'desecrate' North Somerset's villages.
More than 300 Churchill and Langford residents gathered to air their concerns over the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP), which plots a 2,800-home development on the north-west outskirts of the parish.
The JSP, which has been created by local authorities in the West Country, hopes to plug the region’s housing shortfall.
But residents fear for the parish’s future if the plans materialise, and many took to the fields earmarked for development to make their opinions known to authorities.
Protest organiser Zena Simmons believes the parish ‘cannot cope’ with thousands more homes, given planning consent has been granted for more than 200 houses at various sites.
She said: “God help us if the JSP goes ahead. We’ve had our quota and enough is enough.
“This is a great village and it would be so sad to desecrate it with bad planning.”
Churchill and Langford Residents’ Action Group (CALRAG) backed the protest.
Spokesman Jan Murray said: “The JSP would turn the village into a town – 2,800 homes is a town the size of Nailsea, and we’ve already got planning applications in for more than our fair share.
“It will be horrendous, with at least 2,800 more cars, if not double that. These roads were built for horses and carts, not thousands of cars.
“And where are the jobs? Where is the public transport? There is a very good alternative site for this garden village at The Vale near Bristol. More than 300 people tuned up to protest at four days notice which shows the strength of feeling against the JSP.”
Congresbury Residents Action Group, which believes it will also feel the ill affects of the JSP, attended the protest.
Its spokesman said: “The JSP would have a devastating impact on Congresbury’s services, roads and quality of life, as well as destroying more countryside and the wildlife habitat.”
Protesters also made clear their concerns over Oakwood New Homes’ plans to build nine houses in Churchill’s Ladymead Lane.
Ms Simmons said: “There is danger on the road, and there are flooding issues.
“The traffic is horrendous, kids are jumping out of the way of cars and when we have an influx of rain the lane becomes a river.”