Country lane traffic chaos?

A COUNTRY lane in Barrow Gurney could become totally gridlocked after plans were revealed to build 27,700 square metres of offices, homes

A COUNTRY lane in Barrow Gurney could become totally gridlocked after plans were revealed to build 27,700 square metres of offices, homes and leisure facilities on the village's former hospital site.Concerned residents say that if North Somerset Council gives the green light to the plan by developers Del Piero to create nearly 30,000 square metres of accommodation on the site, it would cause traffic chaos on village roads.The former Barrow Hospital, which was built in 1937, was sold last June and plans to turn the 200-acre site into a mixed development of offices, leisure facilities and houses announced.Initially, outline planning permission to build on the existing footprint of the site was given, but now developers have applied for permission to create 27,700 square metres of accommodation.Access to the new development would be via the narrow Wild Country Lane, which links Barrow Gurney to Long Ashton.Local residents say the lane, which is single file in places, would become totally gridlocked with traffic if the increase in floor space is approved by planners. The Barrow Hospital Residents Group (BHRG) has already objected to the move and written to North Somerset Council with their concerns.BHRG spokesman Stephen King said: "We are very concerned that the road network cannot support the amount of traffic generated by this scale of development at this location."The concerns have been backed by Barrow Gurney Parish Council chairman Geoff Coombes.He said: "Wild Country Lane is very narrow and will not be able to cope with the estimated 4,000 traffic movements a day." Cllr Coombes added that the application comes at the same time as Bristol International Airport's plans to expandHe added: "We understand the airport is expecting to use Wild Country Lane as an overflow route in its access strategy. With the airport traffic and the proposed increased development at the hospital, we are very concerned the whole area will come to a standstill."A spokesman for Del Piero said the application was not to increase the amount of floor space, but to establish what was acceptable.The spokesman said: "We just want to establish what floor space can be incorporated in the existing footprint. We have had detailed discussions with North Somerset Council which has confirmed the local road infrastructure can accommodate 33,000sqm of office development and there would not be any objections on highway grounds to a development of 27,700 square metres.

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