During the recent consultation on The Neighbourhood Plan a range of opinions was expressed about the type of housing needed in the village; the location of any housing; the balance between private and social housing; and the opportunities for infill housing. Some of you expressed concern about rumours of major new housing proposals in and around the village. Others expressed concern that the government’s recently announced commitment to rapid house building, supported by considerable relaxations to planning restrictions, had created new opportunities for developers to consider major housing proposals.
One such proposal from L and Q called Pill Green appeared on the Parish website on the 13/9/20. The information leaflet describes a housing development of around 1000 homes on fields in Martcombe, which are in the green belt, alongside the A369. Another separate proposal, for which the details are less clear, proposes building 200 houses at Plummer’s Hill on the fields between St.George’s Hall and the M5 service station. There are also more or less developed plans for commercial housing schemes on other large fields around the village.
It is clear that any of these projects would have a very significant impact on the shape of our village to say nothing of the implications for our infrastructure and services. If any of these projects started at the same time as the preparations for the railway, life in our village would become considerably more complicated and disrupted and we would be at risk of becoming a suburb of our village.
The Parish Council would like to make its position absolutely clear about housing needs in the village.
1. We support small-scale developments which increase the stock of social housing so that younger people are encouraged to remain in the village.
2. We support infill developments so that all land with housing potential is used appropriately. In addition, small clusters of housing from 150-200 dwellings by 2038, adjacent to existing settlements, might be acceptable.
3. We do not support rapidly built developments which increase the strain on local services, infrastructure and resources.
4. We do not support developments that fail to meet the required climate change 2030 targets relating to the protection of green spaces, clean air, carbon reduction, traffic reduction and health and wellbeing expectations.
The Parish Council has made its detailed position about its future aims for all building in and around the village explicit in The Neighbourhood Plan which will be presented to the full Parish Council meeting for acceptance on 20/10/20. The plan will then be sent to North Somerset Council and put on the Parish Council website for your reference and future discussion.
Paul Kent on behalf of The Parish Council. 30/09/20