Hospital plan back to council

MOVES to carry out a detailed traffic audit of roads in Barrow Gurney ahead of plans to develop the former hospital will have to be discussed by councillors again - because the survey will cost £5,000. North Somerset councillors deferred making a decision

MOVES to carry out a detailed traffic audit of roads in Barrow Gurney ahead of plans to develop the former hospital will have to be discussed by councillors again - because the survey will cost £5,000.North Somerset councillors deferred making a decision on whether to allow developers Del Piero to build 24,000sq metres of offices, homes and leisure facilities on the site after raising concerns about the level of traffic it could generate on the village's roads. Councillors agreed to ask for the independent audit to be carried out before deciding whether to allow the development to go ahead.But now, it looks as if the independent survey may not happen after planning committee chairman Councillor Bob Cook discovered it will cost £5,000. The matter will now go before councillors again this week (Thursday) to decide whether to spend thousands on the audit at a time when they are shaving budgets because of a £17 million hole in the authority's coffers. Barrow Gurney Parish Council chairman Geoff Coombes said he was keen the survey go ahead despite the cost to the authority.Councillor Coombes said: "The parish council still has a number of concerns about the traffic issues in relation to the site. It is really important that these issues are fully investigated before the site is developed."North Somerset ward councillor for Barrow Gurney, Councillor Tom Collinson said that the £5,000 would be money well spent.Councillor Collinson said: "This development could house up to 2,000 office workers and that could result in an awful lot of cars going in and out of the site."I am flabbergasted that this matter has been brought back to committee when a course of action had been resolved for the sake of £5,000. The developers are trying to pack too much onto this site and we need the traffic study to assess what the real impact could be."The former Barrow Hospital, which was built in 1937, was sold last June and plans to turn it into a mixed development of offices, leisure facilities and houses was announced. Outline permission for a mixed use scheme was granted in 2005.The outline permission stated the development could not exceed a total footprint of 11,000sq metres but no limit was put on the total floor space of the development.


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