‘Infrastructure needed before homes’ – readers share opinions

PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 May 2018

John Penrose has shared his view on the JSP plans.

John Penrose has shared his view on the JSP plans.

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Social media users have reacted to John Penrose’s assertion more multi-storey housing blocks need to be built in Weston, rather than ‘garden villages’ in North Somerset’s countryside.

Weston MP Mr Penrose has criticised the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) – a masterplan created by councils in the West Country to plug the region’s housing shortfall.

The JSP earmarks 25,000 houses for North Somerset by 2036, with many planned for rural areas including ‘garden villages’ of 1,900 and 2,700 homes for Banwell and Churchill respectively.

But Mr Penrose believes the garden villages will ‘degrade the rural character of the area’ – and instead insists Weston should be targeted for housing development by building ‘up not out’.

He said: “Only a fraction of the new housing is proposed for the centre of towns and there is a great deal more potential capacity for creating good-looking four, five, or six-storey mansion blocks, terraces or mews housing (rather than high-rise towers) in other urban areas like Bristol.”

A Weston Mercury poll of 100 readers found 49 per cent believe building flats in Weston is a better option than creating villages.

However, many people took to social media to share their view.

Michael Horgan wrote: “John Penrose really needs to stop talking about the future house builds in Weston, and concentrate on the real issues happening now.

“The amount of new homes already constructed far outweighs the current infrastructure.”

Paula Draper commented: “It’s no good building loads more housing in the town centre, it can’t cope now.

“Until all this is solved, how could you ever think of building new homes?”

Margaret Hunter said: “Weston is already overcrowded. No more homes until better infrastructure is in place.”

Adrian Tedstill commented: “Costs have been cut everywhere. Child services, mental health, police, rubbish, and even the hospital is shut in the night. Is building more houses a good idea when services are stretched?”

To join the discussion, visit www.facebook.com/wsmercury or www.twitter.com/wsmercury

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