Support for mini-village plan on former factory site where ‘traffic will not be problem’

The factory site bought by Newland Homes looks set to be converted into housing.

The factory site bought by Newland Homes looks set to be converted into housing. - Credit: n/a

A plan to demolish a former factory and build dozens of homes should be approved, according to villagers.

UTC Aerospace in Claverham.

UTC Aerospace in Claverham. - Credit: Archant

Yatton Parish Council has voted to support Newland Homes’ proposals to flatten Claverham Works, in Bishops Road, and build 77 homes.

The factory, which was run by UTC Aerospace Systems, has been vacant for several years and the developer hopes to win approval from North Somerset Council to bring it back into use.

And parish councillors called on the local authority to approve the development, which is included in Claverham’s neighbourhood development plan, at a planning committee meeting on September 3.

Villagers had feared the north and May fields adjoining the site would also be developed as part of the project, but the houses will be contained within the footprint of the factory.

No affordable housing will be provided as part of the project due to Government policies on brownfield sites.

Ahead of the meeting some villagers had raised concerns over the development’s potential traffic impact, but these were quashed by Cllr Roger Wood.

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He said: “The factory had 200 people working there, and I’ve never seen a queue of cars going in or coming out.

“If there are only 77 houses, that’s only 140 cars. It isn’t a problem when it’s compared to the North End, where 800 houses are planned on a roundabout.

“It is in Claverham’s neighbourhood plan, there is a mixture of houses and most people won’t see the houses because it is completely surrounded by trees.

“It’s almost a little mini-village.”

A poll of 130 readers on the Mercury website found 69 per cent supported the plans.

Cllr Robert Jenner offered his support to the application, but argued the house designs were not attractive and there should be greater variety.

He said: “My only disappointment is it’s so bland with the same houses.

“I would have liked to have seen something a little more individual to the site, rather than the standard buildings we see everywhere.”

The parish council has submitted its comments to North Somerset, which will deliver a verdict on planning permission in the coming weeks.