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CRAG responds to North Somerset Council’s call for 2,500 houses

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CRAG has responded angrily to a planning inspector’s call for North Somerset to provide sites for 2,500 houses over the next few years.

The inspector had been looking at the council’s Site Allocations Plan, which sets out housing sites needed to reach North Somerset’s housing target.

But because the inspector did not accept that North Somerset could deliver the required number, she has asked the council to identify housing sites for “up to 2,500 dwellings.”

CRAG’s chair Mary Short said that was going to be very difficult to achieve. “This is a theoretical figure not based on the real-life situation in which NSC finds itself.

“People need affordable housing where there is employment on their doorstep – not miles away where they have to rely on cars to drive to work. When developers build houses in villages like Congresbury they typically cost over £300,000, considerably more than most young people can afford. The developers also try to wriggle out of providing even a minimum number of affordable homes, as seen by the recent case of the Gladman application in Congresbury.

”Roads through our villages are already heavily polluted by streams of lorries and a constant flow of commuter cars. If there is a need for more housing, it is for social housing either provided by housing associations or local authorities, and should be in areas closer to where people can reach all the amenities they need.

“NSC is currently reviewing its Green Belt policy, and CRAG would urge it to think seriously about that before desecrating the countryside around our rural villages any more than it has already.”

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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