Unfortunately the original July Appeal was adjourned due to the illness of a key witness. It was rescheduled for October 2019.


The reconvened Inquiry ran for 4 days with over 24 hours of publicly held discussion (equivalent to a whole years worth of parish council main public meetings in 4 days!). The inspector and interested parties also made accompanied and unaccompanied site visits in and around the development site. Link to BOB 200+ Houses Appeal Blogs. See also Chronological Updates.


Below are draft notes of the proceedings:






DAY 1 - TUESDAY 23 JULY 19 (Approx 10:00-16:00)

  • Time of following days now changed to 09:30-17:00 onwards, earlier finish on Friday.
  • Members of the public spoke both against the application and also for the application's possible benefit, and competition, for local business.
  • Futher information was asked to be made available to the public via the Inspector.
  • The outcome/decision of the Appeal may take a further 6-8 weeks after the end of the proceedings.
  • Discussions to be had around Character of area & ANOB; Flood Risk; Natural Environment & Protected Species; and Is this an appropriate location for the application in relation to local and national policies?
  • Also Highways and Housing Land Supply. There is to be a round table discussion regarding NSC's 5 year land supply, provision and shortfall.
  • Approximately 30 members of public attended during day.
  • If you are going to attend the Appeal remember to bring water and a fan as some attendees were struggling to stay focussed with a few catching up on some sleep!


DAY 2 - WEDNESDAY 24 JULY (Approx 09:30-18:00)


Approx 30 people, attending throughout the day.

Topics touched on included:

  • Landscape sensitivity, quality and value discussed.
  • Visibility of Holiday Park in relation to Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB).
  • Rhynes - usage, watercourses, balancing ponds.
  • NSC reference to National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) re: building design, NPPF paragraphs 171, 172 and 177, and NSC's Development Management DM11 Policy (ANOB).
  • Gap between Bleadon and WSM not currently subject to any NSC designation.
  • A370 visibility, vegetation planting, lighting issues.
  • Bleadon Acting Together representative spoke re: 1) Dark skies lighting issues (incl, LED blue light, light trespass, glare and over illumination. Also effects on humans, animals, flora & fauna). 2) Highways (single track roads, rat run, 200+ cars would destroy village tranquillity). 3) A370 - (Exception to Statement of Common Ground (currently unpublished to members of the public?) and safety comments. 4) Character (Added to NSC's portrayal yesterday, compared Bleadon to the growth of Uphill, Hutton and Worle). 5) Feeling of Bleadon (not just a place on the map but an active village community). Round of applause at the end.
  • Inspector said he has visited Bleadon, will again and will try to visit at night also.
  • Long break for both sides to try and achieve a common ground statement on Ecology and 5 year land supply.
  • Broadly agreed badgers and reptiles may be dealt with by appropriate application conditions.
  • Bats and water voles some agreement with some principle issues to resolve.
  • NSC Natural Environment Team Officer - discussion re: Water Voles (predation risk by cats, dogs, mink and rats; new rhynes; mitigation, displacement); Bats (effect of lighting within, proposed and surrounding Bleadon, including in relation to their roosting and breeding sites and dark corridors); Extent of habitat. Key problem - hard to guess what a wild animal will do/not do when their environmental conditions are changed.


DAY 3 - THURSDAY 25 JULY (Approx 09:30-15:00)


Unfortunately this Appeal has been adjourned due to the illness of a key witness. It will be rescheduled as soon as possible but August/September doesn't look promising. However, the Inspector will facilitate reconvening the Appeal as soon as possible


Inspector's Summary

  • Thank you for today's documents and coordinating resident responses.
  • No formal evidence can now be brought forward and we're now looking at a significant delay.
  • The Inspector will make some suggestions for a future schedule. Looking at a 4 day program when we get back, new things will come into the public domain.
  • The Inspector stated that he is aware of the concern and emotion attached to large scale developments. Thank you for the current approach.

During the course of the Appeal new pieces of evidence were submitted to the Inspector for his consideration, some are/will be available on the NSC website.


Bleadon Parish Council and Resident Statements submitted to the Inspector

  1. Bleadon Parish Council Revised Statement (submitted this morning 25 July 19) - Over-development of site; Residential development history; Last century development; NSC Core Strategy; Development outside of the settlement boundary; opposition of residents to this application as indicated in the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) Survey Results Book submitted to the Inspector; Heritage Landscape; Village services; Road infrastructure re: Shiplate and Celtic Way; Agriculture land; Flood risk and Infill development. The inspector asked about the current status of the NDP. BPC reply was survey went out in January, results to residents two weeks ago. Inspector asked about the width of the parish - Hillcote to village and out Shiplate Road. The three fields are related to the fields to the south of the application.
  2. BAT - Social Cohesion - in abundance, organic, sociable village, 400 additional people too many. Inspector asked about demographics, answered in relation to community halls services.
  3. Resident - Slow organic growth of Bleadon, not geriatric NIMBYs. No doctors' surgery, lovely village shop, pubs, cafe. 400+ new residents difficult to absorb socially, would split village in two. More suitable brownfield site for 53 homes.
  4. Resident - Applications used be compared to the Parish Plan. Any application outside the Village fence/Settlement boundary should be rejected. NSC not meeting its target but who should put it right? Government? Rented accommodation for those on low wages is needed.
  5. Resident - Loss of rural environment, affect quiet enjoyment of surroundings. Not against development but against the large scale. Flood risk issues and concern for existing housing in immediate area.
  6. Resident - Need to keep open spaces. 200 houses not needed as many properties already on offer for sale in WSM and surrounding area. Who will monitor and control new home owners additional lighting.
  7. Resident - Accuracy of submitted information issues especially figures, including those of walking distance estimates. Inspector stated there is a lot of paperwork and errors will occur but both side will have the opportunity to questions and clarify.

Discussion around NSC 5 Year Housing Land Supply

  • Deliverability issues were discussed in light of the updated NPPF para 47 this week; Changed from Realistic Prospect, onus now on the Local Authority to demonstrate deliverable supply.
  • Discussion around how much supply NSC has, e.g. a 4.5 or a 2.4 year supply.
  • NSC undertakes annual monitoring of its housing supply and is working to continue to collect clear evidence for these sites asking landowners and developers for the trajectory of their sites. E.g. Delivery questionnaires.
  • Discussion around 'What ensures delivery?'
  • NSC produce an Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) published in December. the current information relating to 2018.
  • Discussion around areas of agreement and contention. Particular focus around Weston Village Number re: Locking Parkland and Winterstoke Village strategic sites.
  • Discussions around individual sites whether they should be put back a year or whether they are still deliverable in the stated time frame, and whether there is robust evidence e.g. re: approved and outline applications, reserved matters, S106, outstanding application issues, site contamination and remediation issues.
  • There is a Joint Delivery Review Board consisting of NSC, developers and landowners that review the deliverability of the sites.
  • Consideration of NSC Economic Development team and work with developers
  • Some sites still operational and not coming forward as newly developed sites.
  • Bleadon Quarry - Outline permission lapses in August, new outline application now submitted, potentially to keep their options open, site development dependent on Welsh Government and funding of the Newport bypass. NSC in discussions with developers but the site will currently still retain its development status.
  • Various sites discussed owned by independent developers, Housing Associations, NSC, NHS, other councils.
  • Brownfield site discussion
  • Discussion around reduction in original projected numbers versus actual final agreement e.g. original application 30 dwellings final agreement 24, a loss of 6.
  • Discussion around NSC led development projects and EIA sites.
  • NSC Delivery Team - Who they are, what they do, and their program of events offered to the Inspector.
  • Build rate discussion, average and high projected rates
  • NPPF paragraphs 73 and 74 - trajectories and demonstrated deliverables.
  • Annual Position Statement
  • Deliverability in relation to NSC Site Allocation Plan  

DAY 4 – 15 OCTOBER 2019 - Approx 5.5 Hours Discussion



  • A few statements were received during the adjournment.
  • Discussion around fairness of information submitted at this stage of the Appeal and the reluctance to extent this Inquiry further, yet remaining flexible (e.g. shadow evidence).
  • Written statements on ecology to be received by Friday with a review of whether witnesses would need to be recalled.
  • NSC comments on the ‘Shadow HRA’ by Friday (Habitats Regulations Assessment)
  • The Inspector asked whether there were any further submissions or comments (as stated in the NSC Appeal letter to some resident)
  • BAT stated they would like to comment on ecology issues raised in the new Ecology Report and Statement of Common Ground – Inspector offered an opportunity on Friday.

NSC Planning Policy Discussions:

  • Currency of NSC Local Plan/Core Strategy in relation to NPPF 2012,  NPPF 2018 and NPPF 2019 and therefore the ‘weight’/amount of consideration the Inspector should give to certain NSC policies.
  • Discussion around NSC policies, housing assessment, strategic sites, deliverability and the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) [NB It was planned for the JSP to "... identify the new housing requirement for North Somerset and new strategic growth areas and infrastructure requirements but will not contain specific allocations. This will be the role of the North Somerset Local Plan" from Issues and Options Consultation Statement]
  • NSC locational strategy in relation to its Site Allocation Plan (SAP), hierarchy, sustainability, deliverability and the development site.
  • Key NSC Local Plan/Core Strategy policies CS33 – “Infill villages, smaller settlements and countryside” CS3 – “Environmental impacts and flood risk management”CS5 – “Landscape & historic environment” & CS4 – “Nature Conservation”

NSC 5yr Land Supply:

  • Discussion of NSC Local Plan/Core Strategy in relation to NSC 5yr land supply E.g. CS33
  • NSC considered to have 4.4yrs of a 5yr land supply using previous NPPF 2012 calculations, reviewed annually. Discussion around evidence, scale and weight of shortfall.
  • Discussion around previous NPPF 2012 Para 49  Relevant policies for the supply of housing should not be considered up-to-date if the local planning authority cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites.”
  • Discussion around previous NPPF 2012 Para 215 “… due weight should be given to relevant policies in existing plans according to their degree of consistency with this framework”
  • NPPF 2019 Para 73 – Maintaining supply and delivery of housing re: Strategic Policy, rate of development, weight, 5 yr land supply, buffers, deliverable sites and calculations vs previous NPPF. Also, footnote 7 demonstration of 5yr housing supply, low delivery less than 75% of requirement over the previous 3 years.

Sustainable Development:

  • NPPF 2019 Para 10 - “So that sustainable development is pursued in a positive way, at the heart of the Framework is a presumption in favour of sustainable development (paragraph 11)””
  • Discussion around decision–taking: NPPF 2019 Para 11 “Plans and decision should apply a presumption in favour of sustainable development”, 11d (out-of-date policies), 11di (reason for refusal) & 11dii (adverse impacts vs benefits) and Footnote 6.
  • NPPF 2019 Para 177 “The presumption in favour of sustainable development does not apply where the plan or project is likely to have a significant effect on habitats site …, unless an appropriate assessment has concluded that the plan or project will not adversely affect the integrity of the habitats site”
  • (NPPF 2019 Section 2 Para 8) Achieving Sustainable development, three objectives – economic, social & environmental
  • (NPPF 2019 Section 9) Promoting Sustainable Transport - means of transport other than by car, bus routes, frequency, walking, cycling.


Deliverability and sites:

  • Sequential testing (NPPF 2019 Para 158 “The aim of the Sequential Test is to steer new development to areas with the lowest probability of flooding”) and Exception Testing discussed including related JSP.
  • Tidal and defence considerations discussed, e.g. Walborough defences.
  • Previous NPPF 2012 Para 47 vs NPPF 2019 Para 67? .. sites are only considered deliverable if they will be delivered within 5yrs?
  • NPPF 2019 Para 75 - NSC Action Plan re: under-delivery
  • Previous NPPF 2012 Para 33 in relation to “…ports, airports and airfields…
  • NSC RAG Ratings.

Additional discussions:

  • Bleadon’s Infill status and associated boundary constraints.
  • Settlement boundaries to be reviewed and may change in the future.
  • Effects of development – benefits vs adverse effects.
  • Deliverability of the development.
  • Reference to Sandford Appeal Inspector decisions.
  • NPPF 2019 Para 112 & 113 re: Supporting communication system e.g. 5G, including in relation to connected transport and smart city applications. (previous  NPPF 2012 Para 45)
  • Bleadon demographics vs different settlements and patterns. Social cohesion.
  • Reference to Strategic Gap.
  • Flood risk zones, categorisation and considerations in relation to climate change i.e. Flood Zone 2 moving to Flood Zone 3.

Other considerations:


DAY 5 – 16 OCTOBER 2019 - Approx 6.5 Hours Discussion



  • Discussed travel by means other than by private car, #20 bus, suitability, start/end times, frequency, access to trains to Bristol, financing. Flexibility of bus service provider.
  • Walking distances to bus stop from within new development and rest of Bleadon Village.
  • Routes to access bus stops, locations, A370 pedestrian crossing.
  • Bleadon (RAG Rating)– Amber minus
  • Flooding matters.
  • Discussion of original vs alternative Indicative Plan, road safety audit, accesses to site, Statement of Common Ground, Residential Design Guidance, refuse collection.
  • Journey times, single journeys, journey’s to school e.g. Lympsham Primary, journey to train station.
  • Financial contribution, Section 106, longevity of contribution.

Lighting along A370

  • Extent of lighting requirements.
  • Road safety requirment at junctions.

Access to village

  • A370 junction historic designs vs current standards.
  • Safety issues of current access roads – resident perception, accident record underplayed, danger underestimated, fatalities,
  • Existing vs additional access roads to Bleadon – rat run issues.
  • Bridge Rd street parking.
  • WSP Plan - Acceptable vs agreed access roads, visibility

Non-housing aspects

  • Employment, retail, education.

Flood risk

  • Discussed Sequential and Exception Tests - NPPF 2019 Para 157 .
  • Development site currently Flood Zone 2 but with Climate Change considerations (considered/moving towards) Flood Zone 3 for 100 year lifetime of the development.
  • Surface water drainage into rhyne system - use of land raising on the site.
  • Consultations with Environment Agency e.g. flood risk mitigation and Internal Drainage Board (IDB) re: surface water drainage and discharge rates. (EA flood incidents map. From data received during investigation, concluded no reports of flooding in Bleadon?)
  • Flood risk mitigation proposals, tidal flood risk, breaching of river Axe – no ground floor sleeping, evacuation plan, flood defence measures.
  • Mechanisms of flooding – over topping flood defences in wider locality, surge up river Axe
  • Likelihood of flood and effect of climate change –1:100yr, 1:200yr and 1:1000yr occurrences discussed in relation to published data.
  • Flood risk reduction measures – drainage, 1:1yr, 1:30yr & 1:100yr greenfield runoff rates for post development discharge modelled, discussion with IDB.
  • Use and size of rhynes discussed – gravity drainage system, raising the site in the west to the lower end in the east.
  • Discussion of alternative indicative plan, with ponds.
  • Underground swale network, surface water drainage pipes, soil infiltration testing (BGS soil maps), permeable geomembrane vs geotextile.
  • Discussion around – flood defences, breach, cyclical tidal flooding, high rainfall, fluvial flooding.

Landscape Architecture

  • Discussion around submitted Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA).
  • Different viewpoints of development site discussed - Purn Hill, Hellenge Hill, PROWs, Mendip Hills, Bleadon Levels, Bleadon Moor, AONB, River Axe, A370, Celtic Way, Roman Rd.
  • Landscape Sensitivity Assessment – discussion around categorisation of site sensitivity – low, medium, high.
  • Vegetation mitigation measures discussion - Planting, buffer zones, ditches, hedgerows, screening, influence of landscape character on design of the site.
  • Discussion around setting of development, settlement form.
  • Logical boundary - A370 vs Bleadon Road.
  • NSC Local Plan/Core Strategy CS5 “Landscape & historic environment” sets the scene, NSC Development Management Policies DM10 “Landscape” & DM11 “Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)”.
  • Discussion around impact/effect of aspects of the development – positive, negative, neutral. Benefits vs adverse impacts.
  • Site design in relation to surrounding area – geometic pattern, ponds.
  • Flat vs elevated terrain characteristics. Views into/out of AONB. Views/housing seen through vegetation gaps - A370 lighting affects.

Additional discussions

  • Site visit arrangements. The Inspector asked whether there were any other suggested sites. The Chair of BPC informed the Inspector that residents of Bleadon ask that he include three other locations (marked in pencil) to the published proposed walk. The Inspector proposed he would walk these routes Thursday weather permitting, some accompanied, some unaccompanied. Also see published map and unapproved Bleadon Parish Council Itinery in received by Inspector in July. [UPDATE 11 Nov 19 - Route discussion]
  • Section 106 agreement.

DAY 6 – 17 OCTOBER 2019 - Approx 5 Hours Discussion



  • Ecology matters.
  • Section 106 position – hopefully signed today.
  • Program of site visits – Cllr Williams indicated that some people in the room have identified some additional locations they’d like the inspector to visit.

Discussion around Reasons for Refusal

  • Survey information on Ecology matters tomorrow.
  • Reason 1–travel, 2–Landscape, 4-Flood risk
  • CS33 “Scale of new housing” needed to be reviewed by 2018, still outstanding .
  • Reliance on SHLAA submitted to JSP
  • CS3CS4CS5 and CS33 discussed as being the most important policies in this Inquiry.
  • Discussion around CS33 “Infill villages, smaller settlements and countryside” and how to consider development inside and outside the boundary and potential contention.
  • NPPF 2019 Para 11di re: out-of-date policies & clear reason for refusal, footnote 7 and 5yr land supply, deliverability, buffer, NSC 73% deliverability looking back 3yrs.
  • Tilted balance.

Flood Risk

  • Discussion around Flood Zone 2 (moving to) Flood Zone 3, Environment Agency flood map, Sequential Testing, reasonably available alternative sites, (8K sites identified via JSP?), NPPF Para 159 “If it is not possible for development to be located in zones with a lower risk of flooding … the exception test may have to be applied. The need for the exception test will depend on the potential vulnerability of the site and of the development proposed…” and NPPF Para 160 application of the Exception Test.
  • NSC Local Plan CS3 Environmental impacts and flood risk management”
  • Reference to Planning Policy Guidance (PPG)
  • Discussion around NPPF Para 160 application of Exception Testing, flood risk assessment “For the exception test to be passed it should be demonstrated that” … Para 160a “the development would provide wider sustainability benefits to the community that outweigh the flood risk” and Para 160b “the development will be safe for its lifetime taking account of the vulnerability of its users, without increasing flood risk elsewhere, and, where possible, will reduce flood risk overall”
  • DR40 Development Management Advice Note
  • Discussion around ground floor sleeping in a potential flood zone, safe refuge e.g. first floor

Affordable Housing & Sites

  • Affordable Housing and NSC deliverability, demand of affordable homes, people submitting multiple bids, (approx 200 bids for affordable property in Bleadon, 2 available?), Homechoice 3,360 people on Affordable housing register in North Somerset [NB NSC website states, “Around 600 properties become available each year but there are 3,300 households waiting on the HomeChoice register with over 300 applicants every month”]
  • Council Action Plan vs PPG e.g. Para 50. Deliverability.
  • NSC Local Plan was to follow the JSP but this is now delayed, although there has been an initial consultation [NSC Local Plan 2036 Consultation?]
  • Bringing forward of council owned and partner organization sites.
  • Local Development Orders

Discussions around development, sustainability

  • Consideration of the heirarchy of settlements.
  • RAG Ratings.
  • Site Allocation Plan (SAP)
  • Sandford Inspector comments
  • Review and adoption of plans in relation to JSP adoption.
  • NPPF Para 9 – plans, framework, local circumstances
  • NPPF Para 8 – achieving sustainable objectives – economic, social and environmental.
  • Community viability via bus link, needed affordable housing, opening up public access to open space, community area.
  • Community Interest Levy (CIL) given directly to parishes to spend on points parishioners raise.
  • New Homes Bonus (NHB) to NSC, more Council Tax.
  • Direct and indirect employment and spending, including temporary employment and spending during building. More local services used.
  • Increased bus service – travel to WSM and beyond.
  • Health Centre, Pharmacy – no current support from NHS or clinical groups
  • Shops, Offices – expressions of interest
  • Development driver behind shops, health centre, offices, etc. from public comment and stated community need.
  • Potential oversubscription on existing village halls vs potential for more volunteers and help, more clubs
  • Bleadon population age vs balanced communities, housing types


  • NSC CS5 – “Landscape & historic environment”
  • Reserved matters re: design and Indicative Plan.
  • NSC DM10 – “Landscape” – level of impact up to the decision maker, potential ‘harm’ – acceptable vs unacceptable, beneficial or otherwise
  • NSC DM11 “Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)”. – NPPF Para 172 “Great weight should be given to conserving and enhancing landscape and scenic beauty in … Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty”, protection status, Footnote 54 – “English National Parks and the Broads: UK Government Vision and Circular 2010 provides further guidance and information about their statutory purposes, management and other matters”
  • Discussion around policy re: views in to, out of and within the AONB
  • Natural England, Mendip Hills, distinctive hill line above Bleadon, AONB
  • Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA)
  • Setting of AONB
  • NPPF Para 170 “Planning policies and decision should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by …”
  • Greenbelt

Location, deliverability, policies

  • Large scale development 200 houses, green area, Section 386 of Act.
  • NPPF Para 12 sustainable development, reduced weight plans and statutory provision and material considerations.
  • NPPF Para 11d re: out-of-date plans – consequences and footnote 7 re: land supply. And NPPF 11di – reasons for refusal.
  • Deliverability housing re: CS13 – Scale of new housing - “A supply of deliverable and developable land will be identified to secure the delivery of a minimum of 20,985 dwellings within North Somerset 2006–2026. The appropriate level of new homes will be reviewed by 2018.”
  • NSC Core Strategy in light of JSP changes
  • NSC Locational plan CS14: Distribution of new housing – “New housing development 2006–2026 will be accommodated in accordance with the [NSC] hierarchy…” e.g. Bleadon is CS33 – “Infill villages, smaller settlements and countryside”
  • Validity of documents/policies in relation their public scrutiny.
  • Review of policies re: CS13 – “3.184 If for any reason the JSPS has not been finalised the Council will move ahead with a review of the document on the basis of the best information available to it (including the NPPF compliant SHMA). In either case the review will be completed by the end of 2018 with a replacement for this policy being adopted by that time.” No reference to a Supplementary Plan.
  • Discussion around Local Plans should give a degree of security where development should go including reference to Neighbourhood Development Plans, and associated weight.
  • BPC NDP – early evidence gathering and first survey stage. References made both in support and against comments within it.
  • NSC Site Allocation Plan (SAP) – re: development site.
  • Development non-compliant with CS33 – “Infill villages, smaller settlements and countryside”
  • Discussion over shortfall, the number of dwelling built/not built over last 10 years
  • NSC Settlement Boundary review [NB included in Local Plan 2036 consultation]
  • This development in relation to 5yr land supply and deliverability – possibly start building by 2021 if NSC approved and builder developer found, with possible build out rates of 50 units per year

Site visit

  • Inspector has already visited parts of the area over the course of the Inquiry.
  • Locations 1,2,3 & 3a the Inspector will visit unaccompanied.
  • Locations 4-8 the Inspector will be accompanied by a NSC and an Appellant representative.
  • Residents may also attend but the Inspector will not engage in any questions to ensure fairness to all parties.
  • Walking route and map

DAY 7 – 18 OCTOBER 2019 - Approx 6.5 Hours Discussion



  • Hope to undertake site visit today as undertook parts yesterday.
  • JSP Inspector’s Interim Note.
  • NSC Ecology Note.
  • BAT ecology comments.
  • Reference to Exmoor & Quantox Bat SAC – outside NSC district
  • Discussion around Inspector’s commitment to community engagement and allowance to speak.

NSC Shadow Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA) – Bats and Lighting

  • The Shadow HRA is to further assist the Inspector’s understanding, not to challenge or change any information
  • BAT received this Shadow HRA on Tuesday and their expert can’t respond until 23 Oct. Discussion around ponds and water vole islands and discussion included in first session.
  • Discussion around adjourning the proceeding further in relation to fairness, reconsultation, considerations and feedback. That may introduce another month to the proceedings. Late submissions. Rule 6 option mentioned. Inspector open to discussion but reluctant to adjourn Inquiry again, especially due to the time taken to reconvene last time. The Inspector commended the work by residents and BAT but decided to close the proceeding today.

Bleadon Acting Together (BAT) Ecology written statement read out – Four main points:

  1. Importance of ecology in Bleadon & well-being – Bleadon in Bloom award (Oct 19);
  2. Protection of water voles – protected species, flood risk, voles can’t live in ponds, voles captured on camera in internal rhynes, predation risk by cats and dogs, grass snakes priority species found on site, breeding birds.
  3. Comment on HRA informative – SSSIs, 5 night data capture vs bat varying flight patterns, migration to different roosts at different times of the year, new roost in Marshalls Quarry, greater horseshoe bat caught by cat recently with a local house security light now removed
  4. Ecology – important to national and European species, house security lighting issues, grazing animal vs dogs, dog mess and torches.

Bleadon Acting Together (BAT) Lighting, half page, written statement submitted, not read out, but considered by all parties.



  • Considered European sites, Natural England
  • Mendip Bat SAC greater and lesser horseshoe bats, numbers and community corridors.
  • NSC Bat Consultation Zone and Supplementary Guidance document – area of conservation
  • Bat feeding, foraging, flight path areas, roosts – landscape, design, hedgerow, grasslands, rhynes
  • Site lighting – effects, mitigation via conditions, 0.5 lux, dark corridors
  • A370 lighting – junctions vs whole length
  • Dark corridors needed for foraging and commuting
  • Hedgerow calculations
  • Rhynes, widening, buffer, Drainage Board maintenance, maintenance strips
  • Dog walkers and torches
  • Bat area as geographical link between northeast and southwest feeding/roosting areas
  • Types of bat, activity survey 2018/9 – 15K bat calls, around 100 greater and lesser horseshoe bats

Water voles

  • Discussion around predation by mink, cats and dogs
  • Burrow flooding, ponds, watervole conservation licence, English Nature
  • Water voles and ponds
  • Consideration of other animals e.g. grass snakes, amphibians, vertebrates, birds all will inhabit and experience current/development site environment. Mink control program. Nature conservation officer.
  • Development Construction and mitigation discussion – animal disturbance during construction, land raising, wider rhynes, considerations of compression and vibration e.g. of vehicles.


  • Bat routes may be affected by lighting, concentration, type
  • Bats prefer dark corridors – interruptions in lit area
  • Lighting design– positioning of lighting, site entrance lighting, distance from housing, car park lighting, dark corridors, dark zones
  • Use of appropriate lighting – Planning conditions in the planning process. Property covenants to secure ongoing appropriate lighting thereafter. Permitted development issues. S106
  • Detail design stage to cover light glow, downward lighting, lighting buffers, private unlit drive.
  • Light pollution – guidance re: obtrusive light, Reflection off hard surfaces,
  • Comments on BAT lighting written submission - E2 Zone guidance. Health effects of LED light and blue component. Internal house lighting vs external lighting environment.

Discussion on Conditions

  • No prejudice implied but the only place the Inspector can mitigate were the scheme allowed.
  • Importance of ecology conditions, who will be using and maintaining open spaces.
  • Condition 9 re: land raising
  • Condition 13 re: planting Oct-Mar as part of the first Reserved Matters condition if required.
  • Condition 15 Construction and Management
  • Energy efficiency
  • Condition 24 re: archaeology – Bleadon Man within 100m of parts of the site, national significance, previous discovery too late in the process of building on that site
  • Any additional condition e.g. bus stop access, securing pedestrian access – Section 106
  • Section 106 – legal undertaking between NSC and Appellant committing to a number of things, open space, travel, school contributions, etc.
  • Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
  • Contribution to project officer – no costing or contribution

Closing statements

  • NSC read out their written closing statement – asking for appeal to be dismissed.
  • Appeal gave a verbal closing statement – asking for permission to be granted.
  • The Inspector closed the Inquiry thanking all who attended including residents.

The Inspector, NSC and Appellant representatives left for the accompanied site visit, along with some residents.