Villagers fight proposal to site homes on greenbelt near beauty spot
- Credit: Archant
Villagers from Pill are urging people to object to plans to build affordable housing close to Ham Green Lake.
The proposal for 16 housing units for rent in Chapel Pill Lane has been proposed by the Pill and District Land Trust as part of the parish’s neighbourhood plan to provide much-needed affordable housing.
However, the land is in the greenbelt and next to Ham Green Lake which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and villagers are concerned about the effect it could have on wildlife.
Simon Bluck, of Chapel Pill Lane, said: “The field is on the verge of Ham Green Lake which has SSSI status. It is used as a fishing lake and we see buzzards, swans, herons and fish there.
“The other side of the lake is woodland and behind that further is another field. It’s an attractive area and as a water course it is an area of natural interest.
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“I’m in favour of affordable housing and all for the land trust’s initiative to find pockets of land and areas where it could be done but this is in the greenbelt.”
North Somerset MP Liam Fox visited the site in January and is backing villagers’ objections.
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He said: “Not only is building in the greenbelt robbing future generations of the environment we should all cherish but this particular spot is hugely valued by those who have grown up and lived in Pill and it’s vicinity.”
The Neighbourhood Plan has been drawn up by a steering group with from representatives from Abbots Leigh and Pill and Easton-in-Gordano parish councils, members of the community and Alliance Homes to set out possible sites for development to 2026.
The steering group looked at 10 possible sites for new homes, but Chapel Pill Lane was the only site where the landowner was willing to engage and sign terms of agreement.
Orchard View – a brownfield site at Perrett Way in Ham Green – has also been earmarked for 24 new homes, as well as a 60-bed care home.
Villagers are urging people to comment on the plan before the September 12 deadline.
You can view the plan by logging on to www.pillanddistrictplan.org and comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org