Trapped in planning blight for five years

PUBLISHED: 11:17 02 July 2007 | UPDATED: 11:14 24 May 2010

REGARDING the latest plan to redevelop the Dorville Hotel in Weston, Mike Bell has been actively involved in the long and convoluted history

REGARDING the latest plan to redevelop the Dorville Hotel in Weston, Mike Bell has been actively involved in the long and convoluted history of this site and he comments with insight and experience. I am in complete agreement with Mr Brown about the lack of will to determine long-standing and critical planning decisions which is hindering progress and prosperity for Weston. The objectors to the latest Dorville plan do not oppose redevelopment. On the contrary, we have been trapped in planning blight for five years and are desperate to move on and see this mouldering eyesore in our midst replaced.However, the issue is not 'a fairly attractive plan' of glossy computerised images but a flawed and unrealistic concept of the suitability of the type and size of this development in a distinctive conservation and tourist area of Weston.There has been an appropriate plan for this site in the pipeline since 2004, passed by the 'awkward squad' councillors but bogged down in planning restrictions which have dragged on with an evident lack of co-operation and high levels of frustration between developers and planners.Thus we have the latest plan for redevelopment of the Dorville site, an opportunist and calculated move by the developers to exploit an aggravated situation and cash-in on current political correctness by providing 'lower-end' market housing of an unprecedented size, type and density on one particular site. Incredibly and almost simultaneously came official approval for the 2004 plan.The current plan will appeal to North Somerset Council who has a mandatory requirement to provide affordable and social housing but who sold off its housing stock last year, saying it would spend the £22 million on creating affordable housing, but who are now proposing to use £14 million of that on road repairs and 'other things'. So here is a fortuitous quick-fix to an urgent problem and convenient and timely way out of a messy planning cock-up that has been round the block too many times.My first reaction to Mr Brown's suggestion of an appeal was 'bring it on', but unfortunately it would condemn this area to yet more months or years of political and planning prevarication. I suspect that neither party would want to go to appeal because the outcome would be a revelation of expediency and deceit on both sides.Let us resurrect some integrity from this shambles, adhere firmly to the original 2004 plan, and get on with it.MURIEL FREEMAN - South Road, Weston

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