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Call to action on Venus Street development

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The field behind Venus Street

The field behind Venus Street

Congresbury Residents Action Group (CRAG) is calling on its supporters to attend next Wednesday’s session of the North Somerset planning committee.

The meeting, timed to start at 2pm on Wed 9th March at Weston Town Hall, is due to decide the fate of the plan to build 14 houses on a field off Venus Street, directly behind homes in Mulberry Road.

CRAG believes that by attending the meeting, councillors will know of the continuing local opposition to the scheme. The proposed development by Strongvox, has been subject to conflicting advice from the council’s own planning officers.

In addition, CRAG has labelled a site visit by North Somerset councillors “half-hearted.”

The visit by around a third of the council’s 21 member planning committee, was to the site of a contentious plan for 14 houses on a field behind Venus Street and Mulberry Road.

Previously, a council planning officer recommended rejection of the scheme by developers Strongvox on the grounds of sustainability – which was one of the key reasons why Barratts lost their case for building houses on land off Brinsea Road.

Now a new planning officer is suggesting the planning committee accepts the plan because: “the proposed development would be much smaller, and would not have an unacceptable impact upon the living conditions of neighbouring properties or the surrounding landscape.”

Said CRAG chair Mary Short: “CRAG thinks that this scheme would have an unacceptable impact on the living conditions of neighbours. Some of the houses in Mulberry Road would be just a few metres from the new development.

“The reason why we think this visit was half-hearted is because the councillors did not even enter the proposed site. And as far as we know, they did not talk to the people who would be most affected.”

CRAG opposes the development for a variety of reasons apart from the sustainability question. Access to the site is on a narrow road off Venus Street, which itself is very narrow in places, and would restrict emergency vehicles.

“Quite apart from the significant planning reasons for refusal, two residents of Venus Street bought homes on the understanding from North Somerset that the plan for development would be refused,” added Mary.

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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