‘Isolated’ housing plan to be heard at appeal

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 October 2015

Congresbury residents at the start of the appeal against housing developer Barratt Homes.

Congresbury residents at the start of the appeal against housing developer Barratt Homes.

Archant

An inquiry which could allow an ‘unsustainable’ housing development to be built outside a village’s settlement boundary is taking place this week.

The inquiry began on Tuesday as the Times went to press, and comes after developer Barratt Homes was refused planning permission by North Somerset Council to build 80 homes off Brinsea Road, in Congresbury, earlier this year.

However, Barratt appealed and the development’s future is now being decided by an independent planning inspector during a hearing at Weston-super-Mare Town Hall.

The development has been met with fierce opposition from Congresbury villagers, the parish council and its North Somerset councillor Tom Leimdorfer.

He said: “This would be an isolated commuter settlement reliant on car transport.

“The existing road network in Congresbury has insufficient capacity to accommodate the increase in traffic likely to be generated by the proposed development, leading to unacceptable queues and delay on a route performing a strategic function. With no added employment, it would add to commuter traffic on already congested roads.”

The inquiry’s outcome has extra significance in light of the Government’s ruling last month that North Somerset will be forced to build 21,000 new homes.

The council had outlined in its core strategy document it wanted to build 14,000 homes between 2006-2026. However, following a challenge from the University of Bristol, this target was raised to 20,895 and this number was upheld despite the council asking the Government to intervene.

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