Villagers upset at developer’s tactics to build pricey larger homes instead of bungalows

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 August 2018

Cobthorn Way in Congresbury.

Cobthorn Way in Congresbury.

Archant

A developer’s plan to alter a housing application has ‘angered’ villagers, who feel it fails to recognise an ‘urgent need’ for smaller homes in Congresbury.

Strongvox Homes has acquired the Cobthorn Way housing site, which has outline permission for 38 homes – but the firm hopes to change the mix of properties available to buyers to offer only larger, more expensive homes.

Original developer Sunley Homes, which secured permission earlier this year before selling the site, indicated there would be a selection of one, two and three-bedroom properties for sale, plus four bungalows.

But Stongvox’s revised scheme will see no bungalows hit the open market, with only three and four-bedroom houses, which are likely to fetch sizable sums, available.

Smaller homes and bungalows will be available through housing association schemes, if Strongvox’s reserved matters application is approved by North Somerset Council, but villagers believe the developer’s plans are not in line with Congresbury’s requirements.

Marion Johnson, of nearby Wrington Lane, told the Times villagers are ‘angry and have raised strong objections to the tactics adopted by Strongvox’.

She said: “Strong views have been expressed by residents on the need for smaller properties in the village, as recent developments have catered wholly for large houses, and the smaller units are desperately required for first-time buyers and older folk wanting to downsize.

“There is an urgent need in the community for bungalows, which are always snapped up when they come on the market.”

Congresbury Parish Council discussed the plans on August 13, and agreed to submit an objection to North Somerset.

Mrs Johnson feels Strongvox’s designs for larger homes with garages and more parking will increase the risk of flooding and traffic.

She added: “Access to and from the site down Wrington Lane, with no footpath on either side of part of the road, was always going to prove a problem, and with additional four-bedroom properties, traffic would increase.”

The Times approached Strongvox to comment, but did not receive a reply at the time of going to press.

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