Village to learn if 220 homes will be built on fields following £60k fight

PUBLISHED: 12:28 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:32 15 November 2017

Farleigh Fields. Picture: Jeremy Long

Farleigh Fields. Picture: Jeremy Long

Jeremy Long

A long-awaited housing decision which has the potential to blow a North Somerset parish council’s vision for growth out of the water is due next week.

Farleigh Fields. Picture: Jeremy LongFarleigh Fields. Picture: Jeremy Long

Proposals for two housing applications which could grow Backwell’s population by more than a quarter are in the hands of planning authorities.

A decision on a 220-home application for Farleigh Fields is due from a Government minister on Tuesday, following a number of delays.

North Somerset Council discussed last night (Wednesday) how 700 homes have also been earmarked for the village.

MORE: Backwell still ‘in the firing line’ for more houses as Government minister delays appeal decision again.

More than £60,000 has been spent by Backwell Parish Council and Backwell Residents’ Association to fight homes being built on Farleigh Fields.

The plans are contentious, as the land was not marked for development in Backwell Parish Council’s neighbourhood plan, which lays its vision for how the village will grow in the future.

The council was given £25,000 from the Government to create it.

But with more clarity expected on the both developments in the next seven days, a parish council spokesman said its neighbourhood plan ‘may no longer be the prime decision-making tool for development in the village’.

They added: “The potential significance of these proposals for Backwell are enormous.”

North Somerset Council met yesterday to discuss the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP), which outlines how house-building should proceed across the whole West of England area up to 2036.

MORE: 25,000 new North Somerset homes move closer to reality.

Its executive decided to press ahead with the JSP, which council leader Nigel Ashton described as ‘probably our least worse option’.

The JSP says Backwell will receive a 700-home extension, but it was initially thought house-building would not begin there until 2026 at the earliest.

However, two weeks ago developer Taylor Wimpey announced its intentions to build the homes on Grove Farm, in West Town Road, and has already laid out its vision for how the site may look.

The Times understands Taylor Wimpey hopes to complete its consultation process by January.

Its initial plans, revealed at an exhibition on Thursday, suggest there will be a affordable housing, children’s play areas and a primary school.

The parish council is expected to hold an open day in December to brief residents on the applications before developing its own plan of action.

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