Affordable homes bid backed despite petition protest

PLANS to build 14 new affordable homes in Pill have been approved despite a petition backed by more than 150 people.

Knightstone Housing Association (KNA) was granted the go-ahead to build eight two-bedroom flats and six two-storey homes in Station Road. The application was approved by North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee on September 26, just a week after the authority’s north area committee recommended refusal.

Parking, the density of homes in the area and fears the affordable housing would not go to Pill residents, were all highlighted as issues that needed addressing.

Simon Chandler, who lives near the proposed development, said 20 parking spaces were insufficient.

He added: “There’s opposition to this in the village. There are more than 150 petitioners against it and the parish council is against it.”

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Pill Parish Council issued a statement objecting to the plans because of overcrowding, concerns of the effects on local wildlife and an increase in traffic.

Cllr Reyna Knight, of Portishead Ward, said the application breached the council’s own core strategy agreed earlier this year and would increase the amount of traffic commuting from Pill to work.

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Although the application planned more homes per hectare than the council’s blueprint targeted, several other developments have been passed before where housing density is greater.

Councillor Donald Davies, who represents Pill ward, described the development as ‘essential’, with more than 40 Pill households in need of affordable housing.

He said: “There were plans in the early 1990s to build a doctors surgery on the site and there have been various other ideas since.

“Given the local need [for affordable housing] this is very welcome. We currently have Pill families in overcrowded flats and we currently have over-50s wanting to downsize but unable to.”

The application was passed with eight councillors voting for the proposal and two abstaining. Cllr Knight is not part of the committee and was therefore unable to vote.

A similar application was approved last year but was deemed invalid after an administrative error by KNA.

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