Industrial estate housing plans resurrected

PUBLISHED: 13:05 19 June 2018

Knightcott Road, Banwell.

Knightcott Road, Banwell.

Archant

Housing plans for a village industrial estate have been revived, despite twice being rejected in the past five years.

Bourton Ltd hopes to build at the Western Trade Centre, in Banwell, but has scaled back its plans after its latest application was rejected by North Somerset Council.

The developer has applied for outline planning permission to build 20 homes, five months after its plans for 47 houses were turned down by the council.

The Knightcott Road site was occupied by agricultural machinery dealer Boulters for more than half a century until it closed in 2009.

It is the fourth planning application submitted for the site in five years, with 10 houses approved for a portion of the site in 2015 after a 33-home plan was rejected two years previously.

The application for 47 homes followed last year, but it failed to win approval from the local authority due to feared ‘harm to the rural character’ of Banwell, plus drainage and highway safety concerns.

But Bourton Ltd believes it has rectified those concerns in its latest blueprints.

The developer’s planning statement said: “The site and its historic use for open sales detracts from the character and appearance of the area.

“The proposal represents an opportunity to substantially improve the character and appearance of this previously developed site.

“It is adjacent to bus stops on a key bus route, and is reasonably well connected to Banwell, within an acceptable walking and cycling distance via a direct and appealing route.”

The 47-home plan was criticised by Banwell’s parish councillors in October.

Cllr Paul Blatchford described the proposed development as a ‘burden on the village without providing any benefits’, adding it would exacerbate Banwell’s much-maligned traffic issues.

Vice chairman Paul Harding added: “My biggest concern is traffic impact.

“If there’s going to be a housing development there needs to be a pedestrian crossing.

“Cars go at 70-80mph along there even though the limit is 40mph, and with all the kids that will go to school and have to cross that busy road, a little island in the middle is not good enough.”

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