‘No homes should be built in Portishead until infrastructure improves’

PUBLISHED: 07:28 15 November 2017

Campaigners fighting to protect Old Mill Road businesses made their thoughts about housing clear earlier this month.

Campaigners fighting to protect Old Mill Road businesses made their thoughts about housing clear earlier this month.

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No more homes should be built in Portishead until its train line is operating and new roads in and out of town are provided.

That is the defiant message from residents who are fed up of homes being built, but no GP surgeries, schools or transport links.

With major development at the marina having taken place over the past decade and several other developments in the pipeline, enough is enough, according to resident Jonathan Mock.

He has called on Portishead Town Council to pass a resolution to oppose house-building schemes until ‘material infrastructure in Portishead is improved’.

He said it would send a message to North Somerset Council and get MP Dr Liam Fox’s attention.

He said: “More importantly, it sends the message the town council is – as one – squarely behind and formally supports residents’ concerns over problems with our roads, transport links, school places, health centre appointments, etc.

“Portishead has sold so much land for development over the past 20 years and yet has barely benefited from any money to keep our infrastructure up to date to cope with the massive rise in population.

“We need our town council to take a stand, even if a moral one.”

Town council chairman Lesley Cottrell said the idea had merit and would be discussed.

She questioned why North Somerset Council is considering a new school in Yatton and a M5 link road for Nailsea, but nothing similar in Portishead.

She said: “At the very least we need another primary school and really another secondary – but the projected figures aren’t sufficient to justify them.”

Cllr Cottrell believes there are about 200 homes with planning permission still to be built – and that is before Standard Life Investments’ 350-flat plan for Old Mill Road goes before planners.

That project would see businesses forced to move out, to the ire of Cllr Cottrell.

She said: “Standard Life has very good tenants at the moment who pay their rent who could stay there within the scheme if it changed its plans. Why hunt for tenants who may or may not materialise? In my opinion big retailers won’t happen.”

A Standard Life spokesman said recent public consultation shows many people are in favour of a cinema, shops and a gym being built in Old Mill Road.

In response, Cllr Cottrell said she had not heard anyone talk positively about the plan.

She said: “Everyone is up in arms about the 350 dwellings and fears for infrastructure.”

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