Campaigners say Congresbury was ‘betrayed’ by North Somerset Council over 50 new homes

PUBLISHED: 06:44 26 February 2017

CRAG protested ahead of Barratt Homes' application.

CRAG protested ahead of Barratt Homes' application.

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A 50-home housing estate has been approved for Congresbury – to the fury of campaigners.

Gladman Homes’ proposal to build off Wrington Lane look set to be decided at an independent hearing with North Somerset Council originally opposing it.

But councillors at this month’s planning meeting changed their mind and by a majority the application was approved.

Congresbury Residents’ Action Group (CRAG) is ‘angered’ by the council’s change of heart.

Cllr Tom Leimdorfer, who is the Congresbury ward councillor, led the opposition at the meeting.

The Green party councillor said the site proposed was ‘unsuitable for development’.

However, his objections were outnumbered by supporters for the scheme within the committee.

Several said that with the council requiring to allow 21,000 to be built between 2006-2026, it had to approve the application.

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees said: “We do not have sound planning reasons to refuse it. We do not have a secure five-year housing supply, and if we don’t approve applications in service villages, other applications are subject to losing planning appeals.”

The committee approved the application with 12 councillors voting for the plans, and eight against it.

Five councillors, Jan Barber, Charles Cave, Robert Cleland, Ann Harley and Reyna Knight, abstained.

A CRAG spokesman said: “Wrington Lane is obviously not suitable for current traffic demands – let alone an estimated increase of at least 60 per cent.

“We are angry but determined to fight after North Somerset Council betrayed the village and decided to approve a new building scheme.”


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