Major development may have to change

PUBLISHED: 13:00 17 August 2012




PLANS to create a massive development on the outskirts of Weston do not fit with council guidelines and are likely to have to change, the Mercury has been told.

Developers have submitted an initial application for 1,600 homes, an animal hospital, 60-bed care home, shops, offices, restaurants, a school and takeaways for land off Wolvershill Road in West Wick.

North Somerset Council came under fire in a Mercury story last week after the proposals were revealed.

But this week planning chief Cllr Elfan Ap Rees defended the authority, saying officers are likely to seek a number of changes as the plans ‘conflict’ with the council’s vision for the area.

Manor Farm Consortium of landowners and developer Mead Realisations are behind the proposals.

Andrew McLauchlin of Harvest Lane, West Wick, is among those objecting to the plans.

He said last week: “To be honest I am stunned at the total destruction and level of depravity shown by North Somerset Council.

“First two so-called home building companies build vile-looking prison houses on lovely open fields and caravan parks, tearing down some of the most beautiful trees while going along.”

The development would provide much-needed extra primary school spaces for the Weston area, as well as a 5,500sqm supermarket and petrol station.

The main access points for the site would be off Wolvershill Road and Churchland Way and these could be approved without developers having to come back with a further application, as they will have to with the other parts of the proposal.

Cllr Ap Rees told the Mercury this week: “I understand the criticism levelled by Mr McLaughlin last week but this development proposal is not in accordance with the recently approved council planning guidance for the Weston Villages development area.

“We are trying hard to learn from the mistakes made in the past, and want no more wall-to-wall housing, complex narrow roads and insufficient parking.

“Our vision therefore envisages a green corridor along Somerset Avenue and Churchlands Way, with new high-quality development across the whole development area, placing shops, schools and other facilities in the middle of the development rather than at the edges.

“Unfortunately this proposal seems to conflict with our vision as, among other things, it encroaches onto the green corridor.

“I anticipate that officers and members will have to seek a number of substantial changes to achieve a better quality result before approval could be considered.”

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