'We will not be bullied'

TAXPAYERS could be landed with having to foot the costs for a massive legal bill after councillors turned down plans to increase

TAXPAYERS could be landed with having to foot the costs for a massive legal bill after councillors turned down plans to increase the size of a flats development in Portishead.Developers Crest Nicholson has applied to North Somerset Council to increase the number of flats at its seven storey development at Newfoundland Way from 100 to 110.The housebuilding giant also said in its application that if councillors didn't agree to the changes, it would appeal - which could cost the council thousands of pounds in legal bills. But councillors have stood firm and rejected the application - despite planning officers recommending its approval - saying they won't be bullied into making decisions by housing developers.The move to throw out the increase in the number of flats came from ward councillor Reyna Knight.Councillor Knight said: "The scale, massing and height of the building combined would have an adverse effect on the character of the existing developments opposite in Port Marine."We also asked the developers to reduce the number of storeys from seven to five to lessen the building's impact."We have bent over backwards to find a compromise with the developers and even held a site visit and asked the developers to reduce the number of storeys and flats in the development."We have tried to solve the problem and it is a shame a compromise hasn't been reached."Portishead councillor David Pasley said he and his colleagues were there to represent local residents and not bow down to the demands of developers.Cllr Pasley said: "We must exercise control over the future development of Portishead."It is the first time that North Somerset Council has stood up to a developer like this and it is about time that we start saying 'enough is enough'.If the application does go to appeal and is won, the development would include a mix of one, two and three bedroom flats and 159 parking spaces.A spokesman for Crest Nicholson confirmed that an appeal will be launched.


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