PLANS for 90 homes in a Somerset village opposed by 1,109 locals have been rejected.

Story by Local Democracy Reporter.

Developer M7 wanted to build an estate on a field on the edge of Congresbury.

North Somerset Council's planners yesterday (Wednesday, October 11) unanimously threw out the 'Pineapple Farm' proposal, despite officers' recommendations to approve it.

Congresbury locals held a protest on the site and came out in force at the planning meeting.

Speaking for the village, Amie Price-Bates told councillors: “This application does not support health, social, and cultural wellbeing. It fails to protect the environment and disregards the concerns over over a thousand local residents.t

READ MORE: Decision day for 90 homes proposal.

“Congresbury has no GP surgery, there is a complete lack of primary school capacity and developers are proposing to bus children as young as four to schools out of area.”

Cem Kosaner, the agent for M7, said the developers would contribute money for a GP surgery in Congresbury, but Cllr Dan Thomas said there were no plans to reopen one.

Cllr Terry Porter said: “My real concern is the lack of concern it gives to the neighbourhood plan. I think that has been ignored here.”

Cllr Hannah Young said Congresbury residents selected places where new developments could be built, but the field where M7 wanted to build 90 homes was not one of them.

Andrew Green, who helped organise local opposition to the plans, said: “We just think that the North Somerset planning committee have listened to over 1,000 of the residents’ objections and we are delighted with today’s outcome.”

Former Congresbury councillor Tom Leimdorfer said it was “absolutely” the decision he would have made when he was on the council.

But Mr Kosaner said M7 had worked “diligently” with the council to have the plans recommended for approval.

He added: “It is disappointing that there wasn’t any balanced debate by members of the committee regarding the acute housing shortfall in North Somerset or indeed the impact that has on those less fortunate and in need of housing.

“The housing crisis extends across the country and is a major focus of the main political parties.

"Without contributions from new residential development, existing services and facilities cannot improve.

"It is critical to sustaining vibrant and thriving communities.

"The reasons for refusal remain unclear and we will carefully review the final outcome following the ‘cooling-off’ period when the decision will be reconsidered by planning committee.”