Housing debate at House of Commons

PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 December 2014

Archant

THE continuing saga surrounding the number of new homes needed in North Somerset will be taken to the House of Commons tonight (Monday).

An adjournment debate has been organised by North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox and will be held in the presence of MP 
Brandon Lewis, the Government’s Housing and Planning Minister.

It is expected to take place at 10pm and will be broadcast live online at www.parliamentlive.tv

The debate has been prompted by the continuing uncertainty surrounding North Somerset Council’s core strategy document, which sets out how development should take place in the district until 2026.

Council leaders have suggested 17,130 new homes should be built in that time. However, a Government planning inspector deemed this ‘inadequate’ and argued more than 25,000 should actually be built. The council has suggested a compromise figure of 20,985, though this yet to be agreed.

The possibility of more than 20,000 homes needing to be built in North Somerset has seen developers putting proposals forward for sites that otherwise would be considered unsuitable. Examples include proposals for 100 properties in Claverham, 320 homes in Yatton and 185 in Winscombe.

The applications have attracted fierce opposition from residents who feel the villages simply do not have the facilities and infrastructure to support the proposed developments.

Dr Fox said: “My aim is to get clarity from the Government about what North Somerset is going to be asked to do.

“Until we know what is expected of us it is impossible for us to decide on planning applications.

“We agreed on what North Somerset needed to do as part of its wider region. This was then thrown out by an inspector who doesn’t know a thing about the area.

“It seems they have just plucked a number out of thin air.

“I will be pointing out the fact that we suggested the number because we believe we know where to put these houses without causing problems for our infrastructure.”

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