'Illogical to rush' plans for homes on orchard

PUBLISHED: 06:19 25 March 2019

The orchard would not see homes built on it, but it would have a road run through the middle of it, if Persimmon Homes' planning application is accepted. Picture: Steve Bridger

The orchard would not see homes built on it, but it would have a road run through the middle of it, if Persimmon Homes' planning application is accepted. Picture: Steve Bridger

Steve Bridger

A picturesque gateway into Yatton could be damaged forever, if a housing scheme outside the settlement boundary is allowed to go ahead, according to campaigners.

Persimmon Homes’ 66-home scheme for Moor Road is unpopular largely because it would involve building a road through an orchard.

North Somerset Council’s planning committee was due to vote on the idea on March 13, but delayed its decision to allow members to have a look at the site in April.

Steve Bridger, of No Moor Development campaign group, said: “The setting of the orchard is a valued gateway into the village that must be protected. The proposed scheme would significantly compromise the character of the gateway approach to the village.

“This is a very sensitive site. Two years of construction traffic through the orchard would cause in my view irreparable harm.”

His comments were echoed by Cllr Jill Iles.

The councillor for Yatton said: “This is an extremely sensitive site on the edge of Yatton.

“This is a gateway into Yatton from the moors and any development will have a huge impact which could cause permanent damage.”

“Persimmon wanted to build 70 homes, with 65 on the northern field and five ‘executive’ houses overlooking the orchard.

It has ditched the latter – and slightly increased the number of homes on the other field – following advice from council planners.

Critics of the scheme say the best way for householders to reach the northern field development would be through Yatton Rugby Club, assuming it is also turned into housing in the coming years.

Cllr Tom Leimdorfer said with the rugby club’s move more than likely, it was ‘illogical to rush’ Persimmon’s plan to build a road through the orchard, with concerns of access to Moor Road also highlighted at the meeting.

And Cllr David Pasley said he ‘would not blame the people of Yatton for feeling they are being over-run by development’.

Josh Ashwin, a planning manager for Persimmon, urged councillors to back the plan.

He said the land was bequeathed to Children’s Hospice South West who would sell it to Persimmon upon planning permission being granted, boosting care provision at Charlton Farm in Wraxall.

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