Clevedon B&M redevelopment approved, despite hundreds of objections
- Credit: Ever Ltd
Multi-million-pound plans to redevelop a popular Clevedon store to create a gym, shops, a café and 39 flats for people aged over 60 have been approved.
Almost 900 people objected, saying the town needs housing for young people, not retirement flats, and warned losing 121 of the 266 parking spaces was the “worst thing possible” for the Triangle.
But developer Ever Ltd said many had misunderstood fundamental parts of its proposals – the retail offering will increase, B&M is welcome to stay and it is "not building a care home".
Objections went beyond those concerns.
Town councillors said the former Morrison’s site would be overdeveloped, the scheme would worsen Clevedon’s growing age imbalance and installing a zebra crossing on a bend was an “accident waiting to happen”.
A member of the public said: “This could possibly be the worst application that Clevedon has seen for a long time.
"We do not want or need any more retirement flats in Clevedon. We are not God’s waiting room.
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"This would be an additional drain on our already crumbling area health service.”
Another said: “Once the parking is gone, life in the town will be gone, too.
"I think it is hard enough for the existing businesses to keep afloat and I am worried that once the convenience of the car park is taken away, these will be gone, too.”
The manager of Clevedon’s historic weekly market agreed, saying when it is on the car parks are 90 per cent full and approval of the plans would “kill the retail heart of the town”.
North Somerset Council planning officers said there was no legal requirement for the developer to provide a public car park and it is likely to see increased demand at evenings and weekends when it is currently underused.
They said there was no clear evidence that the plans would cause a significant imbalance in population, and accepted that providing affordable housing was unviable.
Instead, Ever Ltd instead offered £100,000 to revamp a piece of land in Queen’s Square.
North Somerset Council’s planning committee voted on November 17 to follow the officer recommendation to approve the application.