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Land agent Gladman, whose latest proposal for Congresbury was comprehensively rejected by the planning authority, is now seeking a legal loophole to try and get their scheme accepted. The firm first submitted to North Somerset Council a plan for 50 houses in Wrington Lane, around four years ago. Despite a vigorous campaign by local residents, the council agreed the proposal on the condition that a footway was provided before building commenced. Residents of the lane were confident that the carriageway was so narrow in parts, that there was no way such a scheme could succeed. And so it was. Having failed with their plans, the firm has now written to North Somerset claiming that the footpath condition was imposed after planning consent. They argue that the company – Bovis – can go ahead building the houses, without having to construct a footpath. CRAG says there should be a limit to the number of appeals such firms can make.
John Mills (edited)
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CRAG was well-represented at Monday’s meeting (19 August) of Congresbury Parish Council’s planning committee. The agenda item which attracted CRAG members was the appeal by Gladman to the Planning Inspectorate against North Somerset Council’s rejection of the scheme for changes to Wrington Lane.
Committee chair Michael Greaves summarised the council’s objection to the scheme, stating that Wrington Lane was totally inadequate for more traffic, a situation that would be exacerbated by the development at Cobthorn Way. Read more
Various action groups have formed to respond to North Somerset’s Strategic plan for a new town of 2,500 new houses at Mendip Spring. For more information click here.
Angry villagers from Cobthorn Way, Wrington Lane and Verlands besieged Congresbury Parish Council meeting on Monday to raise their strong objections to the tactics adopted by Strongvox, who have taken over the development at the bottom of Cobthorn Way from Sunley Homes, the original developer.
Strongvox have applied to the planning authority to replace the original mix of 38 properties with 21 four-bedroomed houses, instead of a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroomed units, and the original four bungalows reduced to one. The 11 affordable units cannot be changed.
Congresbury Residents Action Group (CRAG) has learned that a number of significant changes to Wrington Lane proposed by land agents Gladman are to be rejected by North Somerset Council’s highways department.
More than 25 supporters of Congresbury Residents Action Group (CRAG) turned up for the official hearing into the Strongvox scheme to build 24 houses on land off Brinsea Road. The hearing at the Royal Hotel, Weston, also drew members of the village Parish Council and district councillor Tom Leimdorfer.Read More
After three and a half days of close argument, CRAG’s team at the Wrington Lane public inquiry, ably led by Peter Walton, are quietly hopeful of a positive outcome.
Praise for CRAG’s efforts came from District Councillor Tom Leimdorfer who said he was immensely proud of the village. “We knew that we were up against land agents with very deep pockets using top experts and an aggressive business model,” he said.
Friday’s session ended with evidence from two important witnesses for Gladman.
The first, a landscape architect tried to argue that 50 new houses in a field would not alter the character of the surrounding area. The second, Gladman’s town planner, tried to convince the inspector that because North Somerset could not prove a five year supply of land for development, their appeal should be allowed.
Congresbury Residents Action Committee (CRAG) has decided take on a development company at a public inquiry due to take place later this month. CRAG made the decision to fight Gladman Homes after North Somerset council’s U-turn to approve a decision to allow building.
In August 2016, North Somerset planners cited four good reasons for opposing an appeal lodged by Gladman Homes for their application to build 50 dwellings on land off Wrington Lane.
Now six months later, following advice from planning officers, the council has done a 180 degree turn and approved the plan – even though they had already approved a scheme by Sunley Homes for 38 houses in a nearby field.