Council support for 41-home development

PUBLISHED: 12:53 24 October 2011 | UPDATED: 17:07 24 October 2011

Residents campaigning in 2006

Residents campaigning in 2006

Archant

RESIDENTS have questioned North Somerset Council's decision to allow more time for a 41-home development in Weston to be built when jobs are at a premium.

Planning permission was given to the Wellsea Grove site more than four years ago but applicant Michael Charalambous has successfully asked the council this week to give him more time to start the work.

In September campaigners against the development were boosted when the council ordered a site inspection to be carried out. But having carried it out officers of the council recommended a time extension to be granted.

Many residents fear that the nine one-bed flats, 12 two-bed flats, 13 two-bed houses and seven three-bed homes would create problems to traffic, drainage and safety.

Wellsea Grove resident Nida Barraclough, addressing the south area committee, questioned the council’s decision to allow more homes to be built at a time of record unemployment.

She said it was ‘unsuitable’ for the area and asked: “Where are the jobs for the people in homes already being built in Weston?”

One of the councillors who oppose the new homes, Dawn Payne, said that the land would be better used for allotments given the rise in applicants forced to wait.

She said: “This has been ongoing for a long time. When it was decided four or five years ago that allotments weren’t needed but now there’s 400 waiting so there’s definitely a need for them.”

But Cllr John Crockford-Hawley said regardless of his own personal views, North Somerset Council would not have a leg to stand on it if they did not allow the development to go ahead.

He said: “I can’t find a single planning reason to refuse it. On an appeal we wouldn’t have a hope in hell.”

Network Rail and the Environment Agency had no objections to the proposals when consulted earlier this year.

Councillors backed the decision to allow more time by a vote of 13 to nine.

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