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CRAG to request North Somerset Council rejects more housing schemes

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House BuildingCongresbury Residents Action Group (CRAG) is to request that North Somerset Council rejects two more housing development schemes in the village – in the light of evidence given at the Barratts public inquiry.

CRAG’s Peter Tonks, who at the inquiry questioned the validity of Barratts highways information, now believes that the council has a duty to reject the Sunley plan for 54 buildings at Cobthorn Way and 14 houses on land off Venus Street, proposed by Strongvox.

At Monday’s meeting Peter told members of CRAG: “The parish has information on traffic that bears upon Sunley and Strongvox. The traffic flows are wrong, as shown by evidence (at the inquiry) from Dr Robin Jeacocke.

“I shall write to North Somerset telling them that they think the capacity of the B3133 is greater than it is in reality because their assumptions of traffic flow are based upon questionable figures.

“These schemes should be rejected at least until a proper traffic survey is carried out. The survey should be done by North Somerset – not by people working for the developers,” added Peter.

On a related issue, CRAG learned that the parish council would be investigating what was available – in terms of barrier construction – to protect the 16th century Market Cross.

The parish council is acting on advice from Historic England, another theme that emerged from the inquiry and the threat to The Cross from Barratts mitigation scheme for the High Street/A370 junction.

CRAG also decided that the report from North Somerset’s ecology officer on the Cobthorn Way plan should be referred to Natural England. Susan Hibberd said the report showed that protected bats with roosts in Kingswood and Urchinwood were definitely threatened by Sunley Estates’ proposal.

“The developer’s survey hadn’t covered the most active months for bats and their main supply of insect food would be lost without cattle grazing in the fields” she added.

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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