Old sports pitches face fresh homes plan

PUBLISHED: 09:17 28 January 2018

Yatton Rugby Club used to lease the land where homes are proposed from Children's Hospice South West.

Yatton Rugby Club used to lease the land where homes are proposed from Children's Hospice South West.

Archant

Plans to demolish part of an orchard to build homes, a pond and a road have been labelled ‘nonsensical’.

Yatton Parish Council on Monday night voted to support campaigners’ fight against Persimmon Homes’ proposal for Moor Road.

One of the fields Persimmon wants to build on was used by Yatton Rugby Club for its junior matches, but the land is owned by Children’s Hospice South West.

However, to access its proposed 69-home estate, drivers would have to use a lane which goes from Moor Road through the orchard – land the parish council and neighbourhood plan committee want to protect.

Cllr Wendy Griggs said: “We have got a big problem in Yatton on the roads... it beggars belief that anyone could think this (a road through the orchard) is the way forward.”

Persimmon in 2016 applied for permission to build 83 homes, but the revised proposal now on the table is still failing to win over people.

Cllr Christopher Jackson led the opposition on Monday.

He said: “This application is without merit. I think it has lots of integral problems, especially with the access road, which looks to be a nonsense to me and the number of affordable houses is below the number recommended (by North Somerset Council’s planning strategy).”

He went on to criticise the appearance of the ‘dull, pokey, identikit executive’ homes and said the countryside was being blighted by similar housing estates which are full of homes not suitable for first-time buyers.

Members of the public said bats and fungi would be threatened and the orchard risked ‘destruction’, if the access route was allowed.

Their views were echoed by councillors, with Cllr Jonathan Edwards saying it would make more sense to use Grange Farm Road as an entry point.

The land however is owned by a rival developer but Cllr Edwards said that was Persimmon’s problem ultimately, and the orchard should not be tarnished simply because it would be easier and cheaper for the housing firm.

Parish councillors unanimously voted to recommend North Somerset Council refuses to grant planning permission.

Persimmon however claims its homes would be in keeping with the landscape and would be a ‘natural extension’ to the village.

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