Fears new homes will put pressure on services

PUBLISHED: 09:00 02 October 2015


Concerned villagers have hit out at a proposal which will double the size of their village and put added strain on nearby schools and health services.

Barrow Gurney Parish Council is objecting to Crest Nicholson’s plans to build 156 homes at the former hospital site in Wild Country Lane.

Councillors believe the scheme will have a ‘fundamental impact’ on the parish as it would double the number of homes and put increased pressure on nearby schools and GP surgeries already under strain.

English Care Villages had previously planned to turn the site into a care village but the firm was unable to find the £12million needed to go ahead with the scheme.

Councillors believe the care village was more fitting for the rural location and claim more infrastructure would be needed if new homes are built there. Council chairman Eric Gates said: “The site was originally developed as a hospital, primarily for its tranquillity and remoteness.

“For this reason, its previously-planned use as a care village seemed a particularly appropriate outcome and one which we believe should be pursued.

“For exactly the same reasons, the site seems to be inappropriate for a major housing development, since it is accessed by a single track road, located some distance from any local services and residents will therefore be entirely car dependent.

“The site is understood to lack main drainage, gas supplies and, with its extensive tree canopy, will offer little scope for solar power generation.

“For all these reasons, it must rate poorly as a sustainable location for development.

“The care village proposal made no demands for education and made positive provision for health care of the new residents.

“A housing development will place significant demands for both these services in Long Ashton – the nearest service village – where both the schools and the health facilities are already oversubscribed.

“Such a development would therefore require substantial infrastructure investment.”

The plans include 156 homes, with affordable housing, associated open space, links to road networks and potential to create woodland walks.

North Somerset Council confirmed it has received the plans which are due to go online this week.

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