Dinghurst Road Development

Planning application 19/P/2713/FUL

The proposal for a 48-house housing estate in Churchill just below 'The Crown' and adjacent to Mendip Hills AONB

needs your input AGAIN

New modifications - North Somerset Council invite you to comment on the new documents

Click here to read them (1-3 September)

Deadline to respond: Wed 30 September

CALRAG summary:

  • Highways and access

    • The management of site-access, from A368 Dinghurst Road, remains entirely unacceptable

      • There remains no right turning third lane to enable eastbound traffic safely to enter the site.

      • Pedestrian access remains totally unsuitable.

      • The various North Somerset Highways proposals have all been completely ignored

  • Storm Drainage:  

    • The proposals remain totally inadequate.

      • None of the actual detailed geotechnical data derived from the site in June 2020 is made publicly available. We are offered only a very few summary numbers.

      • The subsoil conditions and depths on this site are remarkably variable – very different half-drain times observed at different locations on site.

      • The five dwellings accessible from Skinners Lane are proposed to depend on individual soakaways unconnected to the main system. For the uphill dwellings, this is absurd because here, Carboniferous Limestone bedrock is much less than 1m below the surface.

      • NSC Flood Risk Management Team (letter 9 Sept. 2020) makes similar points.

  • Ecology and natural environment 

    • This proposal poses profound ecological problems.

      • Serious loss of local biodiversity for bats and many other species.

      • Vague reference is made to 'offsetting' at another site which is meaningless without clear, explicit reference.  This is avoided by invoking 'confidentiality'.

  • Landscape:  
    • Profound adverse effect on the local landscape at this important gateway to the immediately adjacent Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

    • The very serious adverse landscape problems have been clearly stated in the response from the Mendip Hills AONB Partnership (letter dated 11 September). CALRAG totally supports the partnership response.

    • This proposal for residential development is incompatible with the provisions for AONBs within the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. (CROW 200)

    • The more recent assertions offered by the applicants, concerning the inconspicuousness of the site within the landscape, simply fail to be supported by fact.

Click here to make your comments directly to NSC.  
Copy and paste your response and send to ward councillor Patrick Keating,  
and John Penrose MP
Full CALRAG response coming shortly

See other comments

Summary January 2020
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.


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