'Unsound' housing targets should be thrown out, argue JSP campaigners

PUBLISHED: 12:14 20 June 2019

Churchill And Langford Residents Action Group.

Churchill And Langford Residents Action Group.

Archant

Plans for 105,000 homes to be built in the West of England are unlikely to dramatically change according to North Somerset Council, despite criticism over them being 'flawed'.

The Joint Spatial Plan will outline how many houses would need to be built per council area - including North Somerset - by 2036 and could rise to 115,000 across the region.

Among the proposals are two 'garden villages' close to Banwell and Churchill, with a bypass for the former likely to be funded by developers.

Churchill And Langford Residents Action Group (CALRAG) though believes the strategy is 'unsound' and will not pass a public examination next month before it can be adopted.

Speaking at a briefing for new councillors on June 12, CALRAG co-chairman Jan Murray said: "There are very few jobs here with no plans to create them. There is no prospect of affordable housing.

"Major new roads are planned. 
There will be a huge loss of prime agricultural land, massive scale decimation of the landscape and the wholesale destruction of village life.

"It will turn our village into a soulless dormitory commuter town, just under the size of Wells.

"There are far more suitable, sustainable locations closer to Bristol."

She branded North Somerset's contribution to the JSP 'fundamentally flawed'.

The other authorities which form part of the JSP are Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset councils. North Somerset's share will be 25,000 homes, more than a fifth of which will be in two new garden villages - one near Churchill, called Mendip Spring, and one outside Banwell, which if approved will feature 2,675 homes and 1,900 homes respectively.

Mrs Murray said: "We have approximately 300 houses in the pipeline (in Churchill). That's quite a fair amount of houses."

A council spokesman said: "The JSP was submitted to the Secretary of State for examination last year by the four West of England councils following extensive public consultation.

"The public examination hearings will begin next month when independent planning inspectors acting on behalf of the Secretary of State will assess all the evidence before them from all parties regarding the soundness of the plan."

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