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Families fight housing on last greenfield between Paulton and Midsomer Norton

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

Michael and Carole Fitzpatrick from Paulton who are opposed to the building of houses on Boxbury Hill Picture: Kevin Bates BAKB20131203A-432_C.jpg

Michael and Carole Fitzpatrick from Paulton who are opposed to the building of houses on Boxbury Hill Picture: Kevin Bates BAKB20131203A-432_C.jpg

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Opposition is growing to plans for two housing developments on the edge of Paulton, which opponents fear could lead to the formation of a Midsomer Norton-Paulton conurbation.

One of the applications would see the last greenfield site between the two communities filled with 124 homes, with Edward Ware Homes wanting to build at Boxbury Hill.

An application has also been submitted at nearby the Paulton House business centre to convert offices into 58 one-bed apartments.

Both schemes will be discussed at a meeting of the parish council's planning committee on Monday, at 6.30pm.

Paulton councillor John Bull said both applications seemed to be unjustifiable, given that 600 homes had been earmarked for the village's Polestar site.

He said the applicants seemed to be taking advantage of the uncertainty over B&NES Council's core strategy blueprint.

"Not only will it throw more strain on the surrounding infrastructure, such as local roads and school places, but I believe it to be outside the housing development boundary, marking the limits of the village.

"Building here will be a further step to merging Paulton and Midsomer Norton."

He said that the Paulton House scheme seemed inappropriate and that keeping employment was more important for the village.

Residents living near Boxbury Hill are also concerned about the extra pressure on local facilities and roads.

Carole Fitzpatrick said: "It is the last field between Paulton and Midsomer Norton and without this boundary we will become one."

Midsomer Norton councillor Barry Macrae added: "This is appalling and another speculative and crass development. It makes a mockery of hopes for Midsomer Norton, Paulton and the Somer Valley."

Fellow councillor Paul Myer said that the Paulton House plans for a building once used by the DIY firm Focus threatened the future of the Somer Valley's newest enterprise park, with local employment space being removed in favour of more housing.

"It is often quoted that here in the Somer Valley we have the highest out-commute rate in the South.

"Surely the loss of this valuable space, which was re-christened by its current operators the Somer Valley Enterprise Park, will only exacerbate the situation?"

Developer Mr Ware said B&NES did not have a five-year supply of housing land.

He said: "We realise there will be some resistance to the scheme and we accept that people do not want new homes on their doorstep.

"We have one of the best architects in the country, Robert Adams, who designed the nearby Duchy estate on board to design these homes."

Property manager for the owner of Paulton House, Alan Powell, said that the building had been extensively marketed as office space and so far only 31 serviced offices had been occupied.

He said: "The intention is not necessarily for the whole building to be converted, but as much or as little as is called for depending on the market."

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2 comments

  • concerned931  |  December 14 2013, 9:41AM

    Say NO to Greenfield development in Paulton by making an objection on: http://tinyurl.com/owdqxh4 Or google 'bathnes parcel 5922'

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  • concerned931  |  December 10 2013, 9:49AM

    You should object to another Greenfield development at Specklemead - Google 'bathnes planning parcel 5922' I would like to highlight the plight of residents on the Western edge of the village at Abbott's Farm Close and Specklemead, where Ware homes has yet another speculative development planned and in consultation (ending 20th December). Not many residents may be aware of the proposed three story, cramped development accessed via a dangerous 5.5m wide cul-de-sac on another Greenfield site outside of the village boundary. On the first consultation around 80 people objected, and with a slight revision we have another chance to object until the 20th of December. Unfortunately not many local people will even know this planning application is pending – we need more support from the other 5000 people in the village who are unaware that the edges of the village are being smeared out into the countryside. You can find the plans on the Bathnes site – Google 'bathnes planning parcel 5922' (the application is '13/03547/OUT' near Farrington road in Paulton). Paulton Parish council says of this proposal: "Having viewed the new information, Paulton Parish Council is still minded to object to these revised proposals and comment that none of the previously advised reasons for objection have been addressed by the new proposals. Paulton Parish Council has further noted the objections raised by BANES's other consultees as follows: B&NES Landscape: OBJECT. This response questions the conclusions of the Landscape Visual Impact Assessment and finds some of the information submitted to be "wholly misleading". Environment Agency 30 Sept: OBJECT. The Flood Risk Assessment does not comply with requirements and fails to fully demonstrate the feasibility of the drainage as proposed. B&NES Urban Design 23 Sept. OBJECT. Proposals outside the HOB being unsustainable. Demand for housing being satisfied by the Polestar Site. Unwanted speculative development. Proposals demonstrate overdevelopment of the site and exceeds the SHLAA. Adverse impact on existing landscape and lack of screening to the site. Inadequate pedestrian access and linking to existing footpaths. Unsafe internal road layout. Poor Open Space provision. Unacceptable visual impact of three storey buildings." PLEASE HELP SAVE PAULTON AND MAKE YOU VIEWS KNOWN - ACT NOW ON Parcel 5922

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