Residents celebrate after inspector refuses planning permission for 50 houses

PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 June 2017

CRAG at Weston town hall.

CRAG at Weston town hall.

Archant

Congresbury residents are celebrating victory after a developer planning to build 50 homes in the village was defeated in a housing inquiry.

Inspector Anne Jordan, who led the inquiry at Weston Town Hall in April, deemed this week the ‘harm’ of Gladman Developments’ proposed scheme for land off Wrington Lane would ‘significantly’ outweigh the benefits.

Gladman wanted outline planning permission for up to 50 homes, but concerns were raised over the potential impact on highways and the character of the village.

The inspector said: “When assessed without any assurances that affordable housing can be delivered on site, the harm arising from this scheme would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the identified benefits.

“The proposal must therefore be considered to fail to comply with the presumption in favour of sustainable development and the appeal is dismissed.”

Congresbury Residents’ Action Group (CRAG) believes it has dealt a ‘blow’ to Gladman.

CRAG’s John Mills said: “We’re delighted with the outcome, and I think we’re entitled to a small celebratory drink.

“Many people gave time, effort and financial contributions to the campaign – none more so than Peter Walton who did a magnificent job as CRAG’s representative at the five-day hearing.”

A CRAG statement added: “Although this isn’t the end of the matter, by turning down Gladman’s appeal the inspector has dealt the land agent a blow where it hurts – in their substantial pockets.”

But 50 homes could still be built, as permission was granted for a duplicate application earlier this year.

The appeal was held after North Somerset Council did not make a decision on the plans in the allotted timeframe.

The developer submitted the duplicate application in 2016 with different conditions, including for affordable housing, which was approved in March.

But Gladman continued with the appeal because it is believed the conditions of the original application were more favourable and would increase the value of the land.

The Mercury contacted Gladman Developments to comment its next step, but did not receive a reply at the time of going to press.

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