New homes plan dealt a blow

PUBLISHED: 06:44 06 November 2014

Archant

BUILDING homes in Yatton will make existing issues worse, a prospective developer has admitted.

Nick Duckworth, director of Hallam Land Management (HLM), wants to build 170 homes off Arnolds Way and faced a barrage of questions from villagers at Yatton Parish Council’s meeting last week.

Concerns over a lack of school places, adding traffic to tight roads, and not enough doctors were among the common complaints raised.

Fears are growing that the proposed estate will bring chaos to Yatton, as it lies just yards from a 150-home project drawn up by Bloor Homes which has been given a provisional green light by North Somerset Council.

Parish councillors raised concerns a ‘piecemeal’ approach would cause long-term problems amid rumours of 100 homes planned for Chestnut Drive in Claverham, a second phase to Bloor’s development and houses replacing Oxford Instruments site in North End.

HLM promised to provide money to improve health, education and traffic provisions, with Mr Duckworth adding: “I’m absolutely confident Yatton is a bottleneck and lock-jammed at times. But Government asks will a development make a severe impact? I would say no.

“It is true (our development will add to problems). But we don’t build houses unless someone will buy them. I want Yatton to thrive. I don’t want Yatton to die because that wouldn’t be any good for my 160-170 homes.”

The parish council voted unanimously to recommend North Somerset refuses HLM’s plans, saying the village will not benefit. It made a similar stance against Bloor’s initial proposal, but North Somerset approved plans despite objections from ward councillors.

Mr Duckworth said: “I’m not saying I won’t make money, but if North Somerset, Bath or South Gloucestershire councils aren’t going to release greenbelt (near Bristol), developments will arrive here.”

Cllr Tony Moulin accused Mr Duckworth of being ‘disingenuous’ with his assessment of the council but admitted it is in a ‘very weak position’ having been told to raise new housing plans from 14,000 by 2026, up to a potential 26,000.

He said changes mean the advantage lies with ‘speculative’ but ‘lawful’ developers like HLM.

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