Parish council stands firm against orchard destruction for housing

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 August 2018

Archant

Dull houses designed without any imagination should not be allowed in Yatton, according to one of its parish councillors.

Cllr Chris Jackson has hit out at national house-builders who repeatedly come up with ‘LEGO’ designs for homes ‘straight out of the catalogue’.

He was speaking at Monday’s planning meeting in which Yatton Parish Council stood firm in its opposition to Persimmon Homes’ efforts to build almost 70 homes.

The main site was used by the rugby club for juniors to play. But five ‘executive’ homes are planned on the adjoining orchard, despite the parish council, North Somerset Council and Natural England saying the area should be protected.

Critics of the scheme say Persimmon is putting its own profit margins ahead of what is best for the environment.

Persimmon has twice tinkered with its scheme for Moor Road but Cllr Jackson recommends it rips it up.

Persimmon wants to put a road through the orchard to the main housing estate in what would be a highly unpopular move.

Instead, neighbours and the parish council say the best way to access the proposed main site would be via the rugby club, if it ends up being torn down for housing, as has been rumoured for years.

While Persimmon has tinkered with the road layout, the failure to change the access completely or remove the executive homes from the orchard saw the parish council vote to continue to oppose the plan.

Cllr Jackson said Yatton would be ‘betrayed’ if the orchard was lost simply because it was the easier option.

He concedes Yatton is not a ‘chocolate-box village’ but says what is there should be preserved.

Cllr Jackson said: “We are presented with out-of-the-catalogue designs. With these LEGO houses you can’t tell where in the country they are.

“There are distinctive local designs which they could adhere to.

“The bargain (we are always told) is we will get some cash for infrastructure to offset the vandalism of the land.”

Road safety concerns were also raised.

Cllr Roger Wood described the proposed link to Moor Road as ‘lethal’.

The proposed site is also outside of the settlement boundary and North Somerset’s planning guidelines says in such circumstances developments of up to 25 homes only should be allowed.

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