An application to build 41 new houses on a greenfield site in Bishop Sutton has been granted planning permission, despite strong opposition from local residents and councillors.
The application was granted permission by a planning inspector after the developer Barratt Homes took Bath and North East Somerset Council’s original decision to refuse the application to appeal.
The news has sparked anger amongst local residents who have been fighting the plans, with the area’s local councillor Vic Pritchard (Cons, Chew Valley South) describing the news as ‘devastating’.
Local people had objected to the application on the grounds that the design was not in-keeping with the character of the village and that development should instead take place incrementally in more appropriate locations.
The granting of permission for the development comes after an application for a further 35 houses in the village was given the go-ahead by the council earlier in the year.
Conservative councillors have said the decision by the inspector should spark an urgent review by Bath and North East Somerset Council of how it handles planning appeals.
Councillor Vic Pritchard (Cons, Chew Valley South) said:
“This is clearly devastating news for the village and residents are naturally hugely disappointed with the outcome. This is completely the wrong development in completely the wrong location. The design is not in-keeping with the village and transport links to our area are already inadequate.
“Bishop Sutton had been earmarked by the Council to grow by up to fifty houses over the course of twenty years. Yet this decision will now mean the village expands by over seventy houses in pretty much one go. The Parish Council has put in a lot of work to show how the village can grow incrementally in more appropriate locations, so it’s a shame these efforts have been to no avail.
“Questions will have to be asked about the way in which B&NES defends against these sorts of planning appeals, as residents currently feel bitterly let down.
“Because of the continued delays to finalising the Council’s Core Strategy planning blueprint, our area is clearly left more vulnerable to these types of unwelcome and opportunistic planning applications. The Council desperately needs to get its act together on this to avoid yet more unwanted development taking place throughout the area.”