Developer again loses battle with council over path linking homes to village

Members of Congresbury Residents' Action Group. Picture: Mark Atherton

Members of Congresbury Residents' Action Group. Picture: Mark Atherton - Credit: Archant

Plans to build 50 homes in a village have again been refused.

Gladman Homes was granted planning permission to build houses in Congresbury's Wrington Lane three years ago, but the project stalled over a planning dispute to amend the planned road width and footpath.

Despite a vigorous campaign from Congresbury Residents Action Group (CRAG), North Somerset Council agreed the proposal on the condition that a footway was provided before building commenced.

A report by council officers stated the installation of a guardrail in the carriageway 'is a collision risk for vehicles' and 'poses a risk to pedestrians which would result in unacceptable levels of conflict between pedestrians and vehicles'.

More than 50 letters objecting to the plans were submitted to the council.

CRAG's chairman Mary Short said: "Gladman is becoming increasingly desperate by trying to ignore the condition imposed.

"It has been argued from the start that traffic generated by occupants of an extra 50 houses would make Wrington Lane even more hazardous for pedestrians and other road users than it already is.

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"That is why the council imposed the condition that the footpath must be constructed before building starts."

Homeowners in Wrington Lane were confident the scheme would not succeed as the carriageway was so narrow in parts.

Gladman later submitted a string of proposals including a traffic island, using land from residents' gardens and installing a set of railings, which have all been rejected by the council.

Having failed with its plans, the firm has since written to the authority claiming the footpath condition was imposed after planning consent.

Matthew Bartram, technical director of Gladman, said: "We are frustrated that we have been unable to agree matters despite the inordinate lengths we have gone to in order to resolve the issue."

Mary added: "CRAG and the local residents are furious that a firm can continually lodge hopeless schemes because they have the time and money to do so.

"It is a waste of time for the officers and a waste of taxpayers money.

"There should be a limit to the number of appeals such firms can make."