‘Idyllic gateway faces destruction’ warn critics of Persimmon’s plan

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 March 2019

The proposed site off Moor Road is a gateway which should be protected, according to campaigners in Yatton. Picture: Steve Bridger

The proposed site off Moor Road is a gateway which should be protected, according to campaigners in Yatton. Picture: Steve Bridger

Steve Bridger

Persimmon Homes’ plan to develop village fields has been delayed, with one councillor saying it is ‘illogical to rush’ the idea through.

Its 66-home scheme for Yatton’s Moor Road is unpopular largely because it would involve building a road through the orchard.

Persimmon wanted to build 70 homes, with 65 on the northern field and five ‘executive’ houses overlooking the orchard.

It has ditched the latter – and slightly increased the number of homes on the other field – following advice from planners.

The scheme’s critics say the best way for householders to reach the northern field would be through Yatton Rugby Club, assuming it is also turned into housing.

Cllr Tom Leimdorfer said with the rugby club’s move more than likely, it was ‘illogical to rush’ Persimmon’s plan.

North Somerset Council’s planning committee was due to vote on the idea on March 13, but delayed its decision to allow members to look at the site in April.

Steve Bridger, of No Moor Development campaign group, said: “The setting of the orchard is a valued gateway into the village that must be protected.

“The proposed scheme would significantly compromise the character of the gateway approach to the village

“This is a very sensitive site. Two years of construction traffic through the orchard would cause in my view irreparable harm.”

His comments were echoed by Cllr Jill Iles.

The councillor for Yatton said: “This is an extremely sensitive site on the edge of Yatton.

“This is a gateway into Yatton from the moors and any development will have a huge impact which could cause permanent damage.”

Cllr David Pasley added he ‘would not blame the people of Yatton for feeling they are being over-run by development’.

Josh Ashwin, a planning manager for Persimmon, urged councillors to back the plan.

He said the land was bequeathed to Children’s Hospice South West who would sell it to Persimmon upon planning permission being granted, boosting care provision at Charlton Farm in Wraxall.

An unimpressed Cllr Leimdorfer though questioned whether the motivation of Persimmon to make money might also explain its wish to win planning permission.

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