Plan for 85 homes in village rejected again by councillors

A plan of the proposed development.

A plan of the proposed development. - Credit: Archant

Councillors went against officers’ recommendations and turned down an unpopular housing plan in a North Somerset village.

An application to build 85 homes in Sandford was rejected by North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee on September 12.

Developer Aurora wants to build houses off Greenhill Lane, close to the Strongvox development where 118 homes are already being built.

Winscombe and Sandford Parish Council objected to the plan as they considered it to be ‘totally unsustainable’ because the two proposals will increase the population of Sandford by 90 per cent with no new facilities to support them.

The application is subject to an appeal, and as councillors have gone against officer’s recommendations, it will be heard at a public enquiry.

MORE: Councillors turn down controversial housing application.

Banwell and Winscombe councillor Ann Harley said: “These proposals are urban sprawl which will cause harm to our communities.

“This application is setting another precedent which is taking us down a dangerous road and I fear for my community and what they have to live with.

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“It is important we value our rural areas as allowing developments like this will have a detrimental impact on the village.

“We should not be dancing to the tune of developers who probably do not know where Sandford is, they could not care less as they do not have to live here and endure it.”

In a report to the committee, the planning officer said no other ‘significant’ impacts have been demonstrated which would outweigh the benefits of new housing.

MORE: Housing plan in village recommended for approval.

Ian Dewson, speaking on behalf of Aurora, said Sandford is a ‘capable site’ and delaying the proposal ‘will place greater pressure on other areas in North Somerset’.

Council leader Nigel Ashton said: “We probably have 10 years worth of houses out there already.

“I have never known such a big development needed in an infill village.

“Sandford does not come with adequate infrastructure and we should refuse this and other applications like this on every occasion.”

Cllr Harley added: “Having good public transport links is absolutely vital, most of the people living in this development will be commuting to and from Bristol, which takes two hours each way on a bus.”

Cllr Terry Porter stated the plans would ‘considerably change the character of the village’ and insisted the committee should ‘support its core strategies’.