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MP Liam Fox says firms should not lose out to housing

PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 April 2017

Jane Lewis (Fitness Hub), Andy Wilkinson (A Dog's Day Out), Amy Schools and owner Claire Cleeves (Fitness Hub), Phil Ford (Ryan's Rentals), Ryan Peake (Ryan's Group of Companies) and Patrick Gardner (T&G's Woodware).

Jane Lewis (Fitness Hub), Andy Wilkinson (A Dog's Day Out), Amy Schools and owner Claire Cleeves (Fitness Hub), Phil Ford (Ryan's Rentals), Ryan Peake (Ryan's Group of Companies) and Patrick Gardner (T&G's Woodware).

Archant

Portishead campaigners fighting to keep their businesses in Portishead have been backed by North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox.

A campaign to safeguard firms in Old Mill Road was started last year after North Somerset Council revealed initially it would be potentially willing to accept development of the area, including 100 homes.

It has scaled back its proposals to include 20 homes and a mixture of leisure, retail and eating facilities but there remains some concern within the community about whether independent firms in the area will lose out.

Dr Fox told the Times the town cannot afford to lose what it already has.

He said: “I had a constructive meeting about the future of Old Mill Road. I made it very clear how much local people value the amenities we have there.

“While there is no objection to further retail, employment or accommodation development on top of the current light industry and amenities that we enjoy, it would be quite unacceptable to lose them in the name of development.”

North Somerset Council has included plans for 20 homes and a mix of other uses in its recent sites allocations plan which has been submitted to an inspector for review.

In a letter to Portishead Town Council, a North Somerset Council spokesman said the 20-home scheme has been made by the executive members who were ‘mindful of local concerns’.

It says that having homes above business units remains a possibility too.

Any businesses required to move would be given assistance in their search for ‘alternative/larger premises’, the letter concludes.

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