Plans for homes at former Weston Trade Centre site would be ‘harmful’ to area

PUBLISHED: 11:58 13 December 2018

Knightcott Road, Banwell. Picture: Mark Atherton

Knightcott Road, Banwell. Picture: Mark Atherton

Archant

A decision on whether almost 50 homes will be built on an industrial estate will be made soon.

Bourton Ltd has applied to North Somerset Council for 47 homes to be built at the Western Trade Centre, in Banwell, which was home to agricultural machinery trader Boulters of Banwell until it ceased trading in 2009 after more than 50 years.

The site has since been used to store agricultural machinery vehicles and double-decker buses.

Plans were submitted to the council in June this year – despite their having been rejected twice over the past five years.

The council refused the application in January because of its ‘scale, height, density and location’, resulting in a ‘conspicuous urban development in the countryside which would cause significant harm to the rural landscape character of the local area’.

Knightcott Road, Banwell. Picture: Mark AthertonKnightcott Road, Banwell. Picture: Mark Atherton

At a housing appeal on Tuesday, issues were raised on the loss of ‘attractive views of Banwell Hill’ and public access to it, as the height of the homes would have a ‘significant adverse effect’.

Kevin Carlton, the council’s section 106 officer, said the proposal ‘would be harmful to the character and appearance of the area’.

He added: “Knightcott has a historic core, and this proposal falls in its settlement. The landscape character of the site has not changed, as it has a long history of storage.”

MORE: Developer resurrects plans which would ‘harm’ village.

Banwell is defined in the council’s core strategy as a service village, which includes Knightcott and means it is suitable for proposals of small-scale development within settlement boundaries that ‘respect the character of the village’.

A separate application for 20 homes on the same site was also submitted by Bourton Ltd and refused by the planning committee on November 26.

Representing Bourton Ltd, Kit Stokes said: “We feel there is no value attached to the view – we only saw one dog walker using the public right of way.

“People have a small interest in the views. They do not go there specifically for them.

“This proposal would also be in keeping with the council’s requirements for affordable housing in North Somerset, as Banwell is a service village.”

A site inspection has taken place, and a decision will be made in the coming weeks.

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