Backwell awaits Government decision on unpopular housing application

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 February 2018 | UPDATED: 18:55 08 February 2018

Farleigh Fields. Picture: Jeremy Long

Farleigh Fields. Picture: Jeremy Long

Jeremy Long

A planning application for 65 homes in Backwell has been submitted, as campaigners wait for a Government decision on a separate, unpopular, development.

Developer Taylor Wimpey has been working with Backwell Parish Council to create a housing plan for Moor Lane which is in-keeping with the village’s neighbourhood plan.

The parish council spent a £25,000 Government grant to write the plan, which lays out its vision for house-building in the village. Moor Lane was one of the sites the parish council designated for new homes. It will learn next week if Farleigh Fields, which was not included in the neighbourhood plan, can be built on without its support.

Taylor Wimpey’s final proposal for Moor Lane, which was submitted to North Somerset Council this week, incorporates 22 affordable homes and six bungalows.

If approved, the houses will have garages, and additional parking would also be provided, to ease concerns the parish council’s concerns.

MORE: What does the JSP mean for North Somerset?

A parish council spokesman said: “Backwell Parish Council is pleased Taylor Wimpey is addressing the bottleneck caused by parking cars in Moor Lane, with help for those residents who live there with additional car parking spaces, while deterring the ongoing problem of train-users not using the designated car park.

“It is anticipated the development would start later this year, and be completed before the end of 2019.”

The parish council will learn next week if a proposed 220-home development on Farleigh Fields will be allowed.

The final decision will be made by the Secretary of State for Housing on February 15.

The parish council has been bolstered by a High Court ruling against a group of housing developers who argued neighbourhood plans should not be given as much weight in places where there was not a five-year housing supply, as is the case in North Somerset.

However, High Court judges disagreed with the developers, and recognised the role of neighbourhood plans. It suggests the minister may be able to give Backwell’s neighbourhood plan more weight when making a decision on Farleigh Fields.

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