Councillors turn down controversial housing application
PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:08 09 August 2018
Councillors will fight against a controversial housing development despite it being recommended for approval.
An unpopular application to build 85 homes in Sandford was turned down by North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee yesterday (Wednesday).
Developer Aurora wants to build the houses off Greenhill Lane, close to the Strongvox development where 118 homes are being built.
The application is subject to an appeal against non-determination and as councillors have gone against officer’s recommendations, it will be heard at the next planning and regulatory meeting.
Villagers say the two developments will increase the population of Sandford by 90 per cent with no new facilities to support them.
Speaking at the planning meeting, Banwell and Winscombe Cllr Ann Harley called the plans ‘urban sprawl’ and the committee should protect rural areas ‘at all costs’.
She said: “The community is extremely upset at how they have been treated.
“I understand the officers are in a difficult position but we should support the people who elected us and the areas where we live.
“Any large development in Sandford is unsustainable, its infrastructure is totally inadequate for this kind of development, farmland will be swallowed up, rural areas should be protected at all costs.
“Unsustainability will create an urban sprawl and it will not stop, enough is enough.”
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.
Cllr Tom Leimdorfer said: “This proposal is not in the site allocation plan which was recently updated and is totally contrary to our policies.
“We have to consider the cumulative effects on the community if we let another 85 houses be built.”
Cllr David Shopland added: “I was not elected to oversee the urbanisation of North Somerset, I was elected to look after people.
“We are governed by politics but we should remember the people, it is up to us to stand up and say no.
“In the grand scheme of things it will lead to over development.”