Backwell groups prepare for legal fight over 700 homes outlined in JSP

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 February 2018

Backwell Resistance campaigners.

Backwell Resistance campaigners.

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A parish council is considering taking legal advice over a housing strategy which is lining up 700 homes for its village.

An aerial illustration of where the Grove Farm homes would go in Backwell.An aerial illustration of where the Grove Farm homes would go in Backwell.

The Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) was drawn up by North Somerset Council and neighbouring authorities to outline where thousands of homes could go across the West of England over 20 years.

The plan includes 2,575 for Nailsea and 700 for Backwell, among other areas.

Backwell Parish Council is putting together a strategy to defend its objections to the JSP.

MORE: Campaigners rally to fight 700-home plan over fears village will be ‘decimated’.

Backwell residents encircling Backwell lake in a show of solidarity against the JSP.Backwell residents encircling Backwell lake in a show of solidarity against the JSP.

It expects developer Taylor Wimpey will soon submit its planning application to build the 700 homes set out in the JSP at Grove Farm.

The council has set up a working party alongside Backwell Residents’ Association, and housing campaign group Backwell Resistance.

Parish council chairman Bob Taylor said: “The objective is to look into making strong representation at the examination stage of the JSP to be held later in the year.

“They are suggesting we appoint a planning consultant to act for us, who would be very knowledgeable on the JSP, particularly the weakness of the soundness of the JSP document, and obtain specialist advice from a barrister.

“The working party is also looking into engaging a highway specialist to look at the proposed travel hub and the supporting infrastructure in and around Backwell.

“They will also consider engaging an ecologist, and any other specialist thought necessary.”

The parish council and residents association are no strangers to a legal fight over housing.

The groups spent more than £60,000 opposing a housing application for 220 homes to be built on Farleigh Fields.

MORE: Backwell awaits Government decision on unpopular housing application.

A decision from Government communities minister Sajid Javid on Farleigh Fields is not expected until March 28.

All three Backwell groups will be involved in funding the response to the JSP.

If the proposed timeline for the JSP goes ahead as the West of England councils hope, then it could be adopted by the end of 2018.

A planning inspector is currently scrutinising the document, and will hold public hearings and make amendments.

After that, it will be passed onto the four West of England councils to be adopted.

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