Concerns 25 affordable homes will close gap between North Somerset villages

Freemantle's homes for Smallway in Congresbury

A village field is set to be developed with 25 affordable family homes despite fears the gap between Congresbury and Yatton is closing. - Credit: Freemantle Developments.

A village field is set to be developed with 25 affordable family homes despite fears the gap between Congresbury and Yatton is closing.

Freemantle Developments previously secured outline permission for 20 homes in the 1.5-acre site off Smallway and some residents said even that was too many. 

North Somerset Council gave great weight to the provision of affordable housing and approved the larger scheme last week. 

Freemantle’s plans said: “The proposed development off Smallway presents the opportunity to create a new development full of character consisting of 25 new homes on the edge of an established residential context in Congresbury. 

“The scheme presents an attractive and high quality development that is sympathetic of its local context and appropriate to the area delivering sustainable and robust homes.

“The proposal is a natural continuation of Congresbury, closing the gap between existing residential development and the mixed retail area to the north.”

The developer added: “The site is located to the north of Congresbury, the River Yeo and the village centre. Due to its position, the site has excellent access and connectivity to the whole of Bristol and the south.

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“The site is very well situated to local facilities which offer a range of retail, business and educational facilities.” 

It described the 21 homes being built on the neighbouring Homefield site to the east as a “natural continuation” of Congresbury that will help to meet the demand for family houses. 

The plans were met with 15 objections, with one critic saying the distinction between Yatton and Congresbury was becoming slimmer.

Another said: “This planning application is simply for too many houses on a stretch of road/junction that is already busy enough. The junction has too many accidents and near misses as it is, and another (at least) 25 cars will add further to this.
“Surely if there is a real need for this number of houses, could a more suitable site not be found?”

A third said it was fanciful to assume all the residents would use public transport or cycle, adding that Congresbury cannot take any more traffic, concerns echoed by the parish council. 

Welcoming the provision of 25 affordable homes, planning officers said the scheme would not harm the strategic gap between Congresbury and Yatton. 

They added: “The site is close to the local village centre where local services exist and is close to bus stops which have good local bus connections to Yatton, Bristol, and Weston. 
“The mix of housing proposed is appropriate to the village and will not cause significant impacts on local infrastructure.” 

The officers said conditions would mitigate the loss of green space and the impact on ecology and biodiversity.

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