Residents slam developer's "wanton vandalism" destroying Medieval landmark

CRAG

Congresbury residents believe housing company, Vistry has breached a Grampian condition with its Wrington Lane development. - Credit: CRAG

Congresbury residents have locked horns with a housing developer for its decision to remove chunks of a historic medieval meeting point to make room for housing.

Vistry has set about ripping apart the much-loved 'Mansbury Mound', a limestone outcrop used as a play area by generations of kids in the village.

The Congresbury Residents Action Group (CRAG) claims a Grampian condition was set by North Somerset's previous council, forbidding work to begin before a public footway had been installed. 

Mansbury Mound

The Mansbury Mound. - Credit: CRAG

“The former North Somerset Council should never have allowed a development of this size in a narrow lane." Says Mary Short, chair of the CRAG.

"Residents have quite rightly opposed the development and have suffered years of planning blight as a result.”

Another nearby resident, Susan Hibberd, described the works as "an act of wanton vandalism for developers to start destroying a much loved and historic feature of the village landscape when their ability to conform with planning conditions is still in doubt.”

Vistry has planned on building 50 homes off Wrington Lane for more than five years but has been deterred by the caveat stating a public footpath was to be built before work could be done.

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The development will include two, three, four and five-bedroom properties, 15 of which will be classed as affordable housing. 

Last week, the company started to slice away at the mound to make room for the homes with planning consent.

A spokesperson said: "We will be installing the off-site footway before any residential homes are built.

"Enabling works, including earthworks, roads and sewers, are currently being carried out in accordance with the planning consent.

"We have written to residents and, as approved by the local authority and archaeologists, will be reducing the rock outcrop as agreed in the planning conditions.”

Wrington Lane development

Workers have removed the mound's topsoil and will begin to remove limestone on June 6. - Credit: CRAG

Vistry insists these plans have been scrutinised through all the proper channels, a claim which North Somerset Council agrees with.

A spokesperson for the council told the Mercury: "We understand the developers are preparing to carry out works in accordance with the planning permission that has been granted.

"The residents are in dispute with the developers over the ownership of land to improve the footway and this is currently being investigated."

Wrington Lane

'Coming soon' signage at the site. - Credit: CRAG