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Extension granted for Strongvox objections due to problems with North Somerset Council website

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Website ProblemsCongresbury residents action group (CRAG) has written to North Somerset Council pointing out that a string of website failures is jeopardising the democratic rights of people in the district.

CRAG has told chief executive officer Mike Jackson that the council’s planning website has been out of action so many times that it might have prevented people wanting to object to housing schemes.

At this week’s meeting of CRAG, chair Mary Short said: “This obviously doesn’t just affect Congresbury – residents of all North Somerset could have their democratic rights impaired.”

Currently, CRAG is organising opposition to the scheme for 19 houses and flats in land off Venus Street proposed by developers Strongvox. Because of problems with their website where people can register objections online, North Somerset has extended the cut off date three times.

The latest date for villagers wishing to object is now 20 March. Added Mary: “My advice to Congresbury residents who want to make sure their voice is heard – send a letter.”

Despite the problems, there have already been more than 150 objections to the plans. Said Mary: “It might seem a lot for a small development, but if the website had been working efficiently it might have been double that number. I think the council should leaflet the whole village, or put a notice in the council news magazine.”

The planning officer dealing with the Venus Street case is David Tate, his address: North Somerset Council, Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1UJ.

John Mills John Mills

Journalist and jazz saxophonist John Mills has lived in Congresbury for more than 25 years, moving to the village from West London with his wife Rocki and 10 month old son, Sam in 1979. After a few years in Clevedon, John and Rocki moved back to the village in 2006, renovating and extending a bungalow in Yew Tree Park. Sadly, Rocki died in 2013. John, 71 keeps busy musically, playing with Cadbury Wind Band, with his son in the Sam Mills Quintet, and with a newly formed duo, Sax in the City with fellow Congresbury saxophonist and vocalist, Louise Harris.


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