A370: Campaigners angered by new junction plans
PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 August 2015
North Somerset Council has deemed a housing developer’s changes to a busy junction ‘acceptable’, leading campaigners to accuse the authority of ‘capitulating’ in the fight against large-scale development.
The council has decided not to cite traffic and road concerns as a reason for refusing an 80-home development off Brinsea Road in Congresbury, which is set to be decided at an appeal hearing on October 6.
The authority had stated highway problems as a reason for refusing to grant the Barratt Homes development outline planning permission earlier this year and had expressed concerns about the busy junction of the A370 and the High Street in particular.
However, Barratt put forward a plan to ‘mitigate’ the development by widening this junction and the council has deemed this ‘acceptable’.
A council spokesman said: “Our planning department has had discussions and the proposal to make these changes to the junction are acceptable.
“We still object in principle to the development and this does not stop the community or Congresbury Parish Council from objecting.”
Housing group Congresbury Residents’ Action Group (CRAG) said it had reacted to the decision with disappointment and ‘fury’ and felt the authority had given in to a developer with no interest in what happened to village life and the community.
CRAG chairman Mary Short said: “The council turned down this scheme for three very good reasons – traffic density, landscaping and the fact the development is outside of the village boundary.
“Barratt’s answer to the traffic problem is a threat to the conservation area and urbanises the entrance to the village.
“These firms are out for a quick profit to satisfy shareholders and obviously it’s attractive to Barratt to build on a greenfield site, as they don’t have the trouble caused by brownfield sites in towns – but CRAG will do all it can to make sure they don’t succeed in ruining our village.”
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