Portishead 'rat run' fear as housing association seeks to build new flats

PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 July 2019

The developer wants to work with the community to define development boundaries and the extent of the strategic gap.

The developer wants to work with the community to define development boundaries and the extent of the strategic gap.

Archant

Councillors have objected to a proposal to demolish garages and build flats in their place, amid concerns it would have a 'negative effect' on Portishead.

Portishead Town Council has opposed Alliance Homes' application for the former garage site off West Hill, where the housing association hopes to build eight affordable rent flats for people in need.

The town council voted at its July meeting to oppose the plans after receiving 'various concerns' from neighbours - but the housing association insists more affordable housing is needed in Portishead.

Malcolm Kemp, who lives in West Hill, told councillors he fears the plans will have a negative impact on the town, particularly the loss of parking.

He said: "Where is the logic in this?

"While on the surface this application seems satisfactory, the effect on the community will be negative.

"The application fails to take the opportunities available to improve the character and quality of the area and the way it functions."

Geoff Hardman told councillors he believes the transport network around West Hill is already problematic and Alliance Homes' plans would exacerbate the situation.

He said: "Please can the town council be aware of the road infrastructure in that area. It's not good.

"Buses coming up West Hill have to go on the other side of the road to get past the bollards. It's a rat run."

Eve Hughes, Alliance Homes' development officer, assured people the project is not for profit and the firm wants to 'work with the community'.

She said: "North Somerset Council is under (target) on its housing delivery for the next year so in terms of affordable homes, many more are needed in the area."

Sue Mason, chairman of the town council's planning committee, called on members to oppose the plans.

She said: "I propose we object to the application because there have been various concerns raised by neighbours, and we call on North Somerset councillors to take it to committee if the case officer is minded to approve the application."

Cllr Mason's proposal received the backing of the authority, and the comments will be taken into account by North Somerset's planning officers before a verdict is given on planning permission.

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