Site Allocations Plan March 2016

Document Section Site Allocations Plan March 2016 PUT FORWARD A SITE OR MAKE GENERAL COMMENTS General comments about a town or parish [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 14838017//2
Respondent Deleted User [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 28 Apr 2016
Comment

Whilst we welcome the allocation of the Venus Street site at Congresbury we are mindful that the Council’s approach to the Service Villages is unbalanced. The Core Strategy identifies nine Service Villages through Policy CS32: Service Villages:

 

  • Backwell
  • Banwell
  • Churchill
  • Congresbury
  • Easton-in-Gordano/Pill
  • Long Ashton
  • Winscombe
  • Wrington
  • Yatto

The policy recognises that “small scale development appropriate to the size and character of the village” will be allowed. We are of the view that although all of the above are categorised together under the heading of Service Villages there is some variation in their size and level of facilities that are available.

With this in mind and considering the Council’s own assessment as set out in the document “Assessing the Sustainability and Settlement Hierarchy of rural settlements in North Somerset” as well as the facilities check list which form part of the current consultation, there does not appear to be any consistency with the level of allocations made at a number of the Service Villages. We also consider that other opportunities  may well exist at other settlements beyond the Service Villages tier.

We consider that Congresbury, is a highly sustainable location for additional residential development and benefits from a wide range of services and facilities. Accordingly, as a location it could easily accommodate additional growth over and above that which is currently proposed to be allocated without any detrimental impact to the character, appearance and function of the settlement.

For example, Congresbury has a greater range of services and facilities and sustainability score than Churchill but is allocated less than a third of Churchill’s housing development. Equally Yatton is allocated nearly 10 times as much development as Congresbury but is only marginally more sustainable. We are therefore concerned that the Council has not paid due regard to its own assessment of sustainability and is therefore seeking to allocate significant residential development in locations which are not the most sustainable. Accordingly such an approach would not represent a “justified” approach taking full account of all evidence that is available.

 

Summary

In summary, we support the allocation of Venus Street, Congresbury for residential development.

However, we consider that the Council would be advised to re-consider its approach to the use of settlement boundaries as well as the distribution of development at its Service Villages. We believe that there is additional scope to make further allocations to distribute these more accurately having due regard to the Council’s own evidence.

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