Village ‘besieged’ by new homes receives public inquiry boost

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 August 2015

The fight for the fields has been ongoing throughout 2015.

The fight for the fields has been ongoing throughout 2015.

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Dozens of villagers attended a public meeting amid fears Claverham will be ‘besieged’ by housing developments.

More than 50 people turned up to voice their concerns at perceived speculative housing applications, at Claverham Future’s meeting.

Meanwhile on August 12, North Somerset Council’s planning committee agreed to allow a public inquiry to take place into whether The Field and The Copse in Claverham, where a developer is keen to build, can be granted village green status. Village green status could stop development in that area and those for and against the move will be allowed to express their views.

Villagers have raised numerous objections to extra housing in Claverham, including a lack of school places and transport.

Gladman Homes has applied for permission for 85 homes in those fields off Chestnut Drive, while another developer’s suggestion to build 30 homes off High Street is opposed by Yatton Parish Council.

Claverham Future chairman Nigel Cooper said: “We want our neighbourhood plan to speak for the community.

“We are not prepared to continue being besieged by speculators. We are finding out what those who live, work and play in Claverham want for their future and will record it in a neighbourhood plan, so developers will know what we find acceptable and what we wish to promote for our village.

“We know our community better than any developer.”

The group hopes a neighbourhood plan will enable the village to withstand pressure from developers and influence where and how development takes place in the village. Although the plan cannot overrule Government or strategic local plan policies, it does carry legal weight.

At North Somerset’s planning meeting, Teresa Moore asked the council to back its efforts.

Cllr Jill Iles said: “This area is used by residents for all sorts of reasons. They want to safeguard it from development.”

Committee members agreed to the inquiry, which will see North Somerset fund a solicitor, at the cost of £5-10,000.

For more information about Claverham Future’s campaign, email info@claverhamfuture.org.uk

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