Concern grows over housing scheme for Portishead with parts of town 'gridlocked'

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 October 2019

Archant

People concerned by housing plans for Portishead have been urged to 'stand up for themselves', as efforts to block the development grow.

Fears over plans for hundreds of homes at Tower Farm are increasing after workers were spotted surveying the land, prompting people to call a meeting.

Salmon Settled Estate (SSE) hopes to harvest the 28-hectare site, which sits on greenbelt and cannot be developed unless North Somerset Council planning policies are changed, for 450-550 homes and a 'community hub', but the developer is yet to submit a planning application.

With growing pressure to build more houses across North Somerset, and Portishead seen as a lucrative place to develop, residents fear falling victim to a changing planning landscape.

Emma Holloway, of Merlin Park, has joined forces with neighbour Alex Overton to call a public forum after concerns over SSE's plans surfaced on social media.

She said: "That area around High Down Primary School at drop off and pick up times is already gridlocked. There are real safety issues around the junctions and any development is going to add traffic.

"Portishead is already overstretched in terms of parking, travel, public transport, schools and medical centres. We need to stand up for ourselves.

"We understand there's a lot of pressure to provide more housing but you cannot just keep cramming housing in if children haven't got schools and people can't get medical appointments."

Ms Holloway hopes the meeting will prevent the spread of 'misinformation' and give people a chance to 'do something' about the proposals.

Tanya Slatter, vice chairman of Portishead Town Council, vowed the authority is working to ensure developers cannot 'take advantage' of Portishead.

She said: "This situation once again highlights the need for a town plan, which will help in managing where in the town any future development can and can't take place. Progress is now being made on this, with residents and councillors meeting earlier this week to continue the process of putting a robust plan together."

The meeting will be held on October 23 at the Folk Hall, in High Street, at 7pm.

People with planning knowledge are encouraged to email ehtherapies@gmail.com

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