New application for further 48-house estate in Churchill by the Crown pub and adjacent to AONB.  

 Planning application 19/P/2713/FUL

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Deadline 31st January

 

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Click  CALRAG Response for greater detail 

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Summary
Churchill is classified as a Service Village. It has already taken more than its fair share of new housing development.  330 houses either built or in the pipeline - 38.8% increase in the size of our village.  
This development will bring the increase in the size of our village to 44.5%.
Owner: Peter Everett​;  Promoter: Coln Residential 
CALRAG believes that development must planned, sustainable and in line with Government advisor, Prof. Paul Cheshire sited, "within 10 minutes walk from a train station in Green Belt" for efficient access to employment and leisure.
  • Many local people will know this particular field because it used to belong to Gilly Rowlands.  She loved her horses which happily grazed there.  Since she passed on, it has been well maintained and grazed as part of this rural village.  Gilly would be horrified.   It is understood locally that there was a covenant on the land for agricultural use only.

  • The site lies outside of the Churchill settlement boundary and adjacent to the Mendip Hills AONB. 

  • The site is not on North Somerset's Site Allocations Plan and is not compliant with policy CS32 of the Core Strategy.

  • It will have an unacceptable and  harmful impact on the rural character and landscape setting of the surrounding area and views into and out of the Mendip Hills AONB.

  • NSC Landscape Character Sensitivity Assessment 2018 p107 shows that this area is rated as ‘High Sensitivity’. This highest classification of sensitivity cannot be ignored.

  • The Landscape and Character impact has the potential to urbanise this rural area.

  • The presence of Greater Horseshoe Bats on each of 3 site surveys indicates this development is unlawful under International Law and, were this development to be permitted, then NSC would be in breach of Natura 2000 regulations regarding an endangered species. The precautionary principle must apply here and so this overrides all possible local or national assessments.

  • CALRAG believes there are Tree Preservation Orders in place on the trees that would be removed to create access. 

  • The proposed development will have a severely  detrimental impact on the rural ambience, and harm to views into and out of the AONB.  Therefore it contravenes the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CROW 2000) 

  • Access will be onto the A368 near Churchill traffic lights which, with the Banwell bypass, will have severe traffic implications for the highways network and the junction capacity.

  • The only pavement is on the opposite side of the busy A368.  It is extremely narrow.  Already children have to hop onto the A368 to pass other pedestrians.  

  • There is no employment here.

  • Access to viable public transport to Bristol for commuters.  Yatton rail station is 4.8 miles away and necessitates crossing the A370 at the offset double junction at Congresbury traffic lights.

  • Existing and housing estates under construction have ripped out our carbon-absorbing hedgerows which provided habitats for our wildlife.  In doing so they are ripping out the character of our villages.

  • Climate Change - North Somerset Council leader, Don Davies pledged to put Climate Change Emergency at the heart of every council decision.

  • Churchill/Mendip Spring remote Strategic Development Location along with other similar remote locations was one of the reasons why the Independent Inspectors at public examination of the West of England Joint Spatial Plan found it to be unsound. They had not been compared with reasonable alternatives.  There are alternative sites closer to the employment in Bristol.

  • Village life is a cultural choice.  It is very different to town life.  This application represents further discrimination of those whose culture choice is village life.

  • This application must be called in to Full Council if officers are minded to approve.