Planners lose fight against takeaway and shops

A CONTROVERSIAL retail development could soon be open for business in Wraxall, despite hundreds of campaigners' appeals to a planning inspector to stop it from being built. In 2004, Bickfield Associates, of Banwell, applied to North Somerset Council to

A CONTROVERSIAL retail development could soon be open for business in Wraxall, despite hundreds of campaigners' appeals to a planning inspector to stop it from being built. In 2004, Bickfield Associates, of Banwell, applied to North Somerset Council to put up a two-storey building on the site of a proposed £5million care centre in Lodge Lane.Hundreds of residents opposed the scheme, which was expected to result in a hot-food takeaway, a convenience store and another shop being built on the ground floor.Residents and business owners signed a 382-signature petition, and wrote 245 letters, in a bid to stop the development from going ahead for fear it would attract antisocial behaviour, litter and noise.In addition, Wraxall Parish Council and Nailsea Town Council were opposed to the scheme and district councillors refused to grant it planning permission.On February 7, a public inquiry was held at Scotch Horn Leisure Centre to hear the company's appeal against North Somerset Council's decision.News has just broken that the planning inspector who heard the case has found in favour of the company and ordered the local authority to pay the full costs of the hearing.A spokesman for Cronin Page, agents for Bickfield Associates, said: "When the planning application was made, it had an officer recommendation, but councillors took it upon themselves, in our view rather irrationally, to refuse it, contrary to the planning policy outlined in the district council's local plan."As a result, the appeal found in favour of our clients on every point and awarded costs against the local authority."On Monday, Wraxall councillor, and North Somerset Council's chairman, Bob Cook, said: "I'm disappointed by the planning inspector's decision, but I stand by the case we made at the time against the development.


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