Council gears up to defend housing appeals


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North Somerset Council has admitted it is facing a ‘challenge’ in deciding planning applications quickly, due to the sheer number of developers hoping to build new homes within the area.

The authority is in the process of fending off appeals from developers hoping to build in Congresbury, Banwell, Bleadon, Oldmixon and Sandford. The firms lodged appeals on the grounds of non-determination, which means North Somerset took too long to determine their fate and the applications will now be decided by the Government’s planning inspectorate.

One of the appeals relates to developer Gladman Homes’ plan to build 50 homes off Wrington Lane, in Congresbury, which the council says was lodged ‘without any warning’.

A council spokesman said: “We were still waiting for information from Gladman in order to determine the application when, without any warning, they lodged an appeal against non-determination.

“Also without any advance notice, within a matter of days, they had submitted another identical application on the site in order presumably to continue negotiating.

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“Given the number of applications we have received and the complexity of the issues that have arisen in trying to meet our residential supply commitments, this has presented a challenge to the council within its existing resources and those of its key consultees to reach decisions within the original target dates.

“We will continue to press for the information that was originally needed for this application. We shall report the appeal to our planning and regulatory committee as soon as possible as we need to explain the background and, where appropriate, seek authority to defend appeals in such circumstances.”

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