Outline Planning for 79 Houses on Bleadon Hill

Posted on 12th December, 2014

Click image to enlarge map



(post meeting note: NS unanimous vote to refuse permission but as stated below this is going to a future appeal decision process)


District councillors are going to discuss whether to approve or refuse the application on Wednesday 9/3/16 at 2.30pm at Weston Town Hall in Walliscote Grove Road. People who wish to speak about the application must inform the council before the meeting. Or go online and add a new comment


Apparently, from the Committee report obtained via the application webpage the application will be dealt with on appeal, the report states:

"The applicant has lodged an appeal against the failure of the Council to decide the planning application within the statutory determination period. This means that the Council cannot decide the application and a decision will instead be made by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The appeal will be a public inquiry at a date to be confirmed. The Council can therefore only consider what it would have concluded had it been able to determine the application. This report describes and assesses the planning application in the usual way, but the recommendation is adapted to reflect the appeal process. However, if given the opportunity to make a decision, the application would have been recommended for REFUSAL. The full recommendation is set out at the end of this report." 

Please note:  This is a separate application to the recent update sent on Wentwood Drive/Highfield Road proposed development




Things may have appeared quiet but from a highways advice report recently posted on the application webpage, the developers heeding highways previous advice to refuse, have been setting up a deal with Crosville to provide a new bus service for the proposed development (and also the other 60 houses proposed on Wentwood) thereby hopefully mitigating the un-sustainability aspect of the original Highways report which now seems to have given NS Highways a change of heart! Although developers will only fund the service for 3 years should development be accepted/approved, by when Crosville say the new service will then be commercially viable.....


But what if it isn't and the new residents still use their cars (look at the current poor use of 4a)? Will the houses then be demolished.........


Perhaps developers should also be asked to fund new doctor's surgeries, dentist's, schools etc. etc. that are already creaking throughout the area, perhaps if they did then the scheme may not be quite so financially attractive to them.


Not forgetting of course the complete and tragic loss to future generations of our natural environmental landscape's beauty forever! Hardly compensated for by a small local play space or S106 contribution to Hutton Moor! We are unfortunately witness to the continued erosion of our 'green and pleasant' land.

See also latest ecological mitigation reports on Wentwood application.



Below is copy of an email received by BOB in reply to above and shown for your information


Following Your Bleadon BOB information I asked for advice from my son (who is managing director of a fairly large building company in the UK) ,and regularly involved in trying to buy land and get planning permission.


The report from Highways is simply their position with regards to fundamental design and road safety. The developer has addressed all of their concerns about design of the access – that is a box ticked for the developer, and is just one issue resolved from a technical standpoint. It does not mean that permission will be granted.


Other issues concerning effects upon the countryside and sustainability are more complicated, and to a large degree are subjective. However all planning applications must work within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), and also the Local Plan (written and adopted by the Local Authority). North Somerset has its own “Core Strategy” which was adopted in 2012, and although subject to judicial review, only one policy, CS13, relating to “scale of new housing” was found to be unlawful. As a result several policies are under review as they may be affected by CS13. However, “the policies can still be accorded appropriate weight in any decision making….”. In other words, planners or the planning inspectorate use these documents to determine if an application follows the rules/guidelines set out in those documents, with each document given appropriate “weight” in their decision making process. For example if a local authority has a Local Plan but it is not legally adopted, the planning inspectorate can give little or no credence to that document. As North Somerset’s Core Strategy is adopted, it should be used as the main framework for decision making, alongside the NPPF.


As I see it there is fundamentally only 1 factor:- Sustainability


Sustainability is key to the NPPF, and has 3 mutually dependent strands; an economic role, a social role, and an environmental role.


Economically it is relatively easy to see a benefit in building these houses. Additional households means more people spending money in the local shops etc, not to mention short term gains from an employment basis during the construction process. It could, and should, be argued that social benefits are subjective and perhaps better suited to alternative locations. Social factors such as additional pressure on local services such as GPs etc should be considered. It also needs investigating if there is indeed a social need – ie does the Local Authority have a need for additional housing in this area – does it have a 5 year land supply which is adequate to construct sufficient housing for it projected population? This could be key. If there is sufficient land/housing identified for a 5 year period, then there is no social need for this development! Other major developments already planned in the area could be vital to prove that the land supply is already sufficient.


The environmental argument is perhaps the main issue in this application, and is also possibly the most subjective. What one planner believes to be acceptable, another may not (and local residents certainly will not). It is on this point (and possibly the 5 year housing supply) that I would expect the residents and the local planners to concentrate their arguments. This would include such things as …. Having a new bus route is all well and good, and the local roads may not be up to their theoretical capacity, but it still means substantially more car journeys will take place than say 79 houses located in a more sustainable location where more people CAN walk to local services. Planning policies require a set number of parking spaces per dwelling (dependent upon number of bedrooms), which will probably work out at 2 spaces per house. With 79 houses, hence 158 parking spaces (and one assumes 158 cars) how did they only get 43 cars leaving the site every morning? You can prove anything with statistics, although common sense would suggest otherwise. It may be useful to have your own survey and assessment carried out (because the planners won’t). There are also clear policies about building in the countryside….


“Policy GDP/1 –Except where provided for by other policies, built development in the countryside will not be permitted. Where built development in the countryside is proposed, the maintenance of the character and appearance of the countryside and the avoidance of coalescence of settlements will be objectives of any decision on the proposal.”


The applicant already has a landscape mitigation strategy in place, but I would argue that, although you can to a certain extent hide the development by planting trees and hedges, it does not address the fundamental argument that they are building in the countryside. Again having your own study to contradict their argument would be useful. Personally I felt that too many of the photos and arguments used were long range, and did not address the more local issues upon the landscape. It could also be argued that the long range photos which show the areas of existing residential development on Bleadon Hill and beyond, perfectly demonstrate that this site will merge villages together.


Another issue raised by the NPPF is regarding Green Belt land (not sure if this site is classed as green belt, but the principle should hold up). That is :-


Green Belt serves five purposes:

● to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas;

● to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another;

● to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment;

● to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and

● to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.


The second point of merging urban areas into one another would, in my view, be a strong argument to refuse permission, and is one that should be pushed harder. This development specifically contradicts the NPPF in this matter.


I am not a planning consultant, and indeed would normally be sitting on the other side of the table in these situations, but I would suggest that the local planners will be taking all of the relevant policies and guidelines into account. However with the current political agenda being to relax planning and get more houses built it would be prudent to have a concerted and prolonged dialogue with planners as well as local and county councillors to try to get them on board with the local residents. Ultimately this will probably go to appeal (assuming that the planners do refuse it in the first instance) at which point the planning inspector will rely heavily upon the NPPF. All arguments should therefore, even at this stage, refer back to that document.




Happy reading



Weston Mercury report




The deadline for comments on the Outline Planning Application for 79 Houses on Bleadon Hill is 25th February, NEXT WEDNESDAY.


I know that many have sent their comments to North Somerset already but, if you haven't yet then please take the time to do so and/or also inform your neighbours and friends to do likewise. Comments already submitted include those relating to the infrastructure issues, environmental and ecological impact, ancient burial ground, covenants and the possibility that the additional lower field may be purchased, which over time may bring the development close to Purn Way and thus open the likelihood of connecting Bleadon Village to Bleadon Hill, which would change our rural village landscape forever.


If you have made comments on this BOB blog (below), please make sure that they also appear on the

North Somerset website for formal consideration (15/P/0167/O):


If you prefer to post your comments then the postal address is:  

North Somerset Council

Development Management

Post Point 15

Town Hall


BS23 1UJ 


FYI. This application was considered by the Bleadon Parish Council on 9th February, who decided to reject the application, the meeting was well attended and draft minutes will be posted here when published by the clerk.



WSM Town Council met on 11th February and have published their decision already as follows:


OBJECTION: The Town Council do not support the application on the following grounds:-

  • The site affects an SSSI.
  • The site is within an AONB and will affect the visual amenity adversely.
  • A development of this size would join up and damage separate identities of two settlements
  • The development is outside the 'development boundary' and therefore contrary to the Local Plan.
  • The development is 'out of character' with Bleadon Hill and would be to the detriment of its identity as a settlement. 





Planning Application 15/P/0167/O has now been submitted, Please make your comments to North Somerset online via this link and before 25th February 2015


Also contact  the Town & Parish Councillors and North Somerset Councillors via links below and let them know your views too.


Outline Planning permission is sought for 79 Houses on Bleadon Hill


The Land is on Bleadon Hill opposite Hillcote Estate and is split between Bleadon Parish Council and Weston-super-Mare Town Council. The North Somerset wards are Hutton & Locking and WSM Clarence & Uphill and MP John Penrose.



The application for outline planning permission for 79 houses on Bleadon Hill that spans both Bleadon Parish and WSM Town Council boundaries has now been submitted to North Somerset Unitary Authority.


This is yet another major potential development application in our area against our Parish Plan so please take the time to comment online and/or email or write to your respective councillors with your views. If you previously made comments to the developers website these should now be made again to North Somerset to be considered as part of the official planning process.



Please forward or print this to others you know who maybe interested. The deadline for comment is 25th February 2015

Copy of Master Pan from NS Application 





  More details and opportunity to make your views known via http://landatbleadonhill.co.uk/


NB:This developer website link may now no longer be live & you should comment to North Somerset via links above Information on proposal for Land at Bleadon Hill




"Thanks for the information. I have completed their comment form. However there are 2 issues with this form that we should all be aware of:


1. There is no email link i.e. “Send” button on the page, so you have to save the form as a Word document, then attach it to a separate email to the developer.


2. HOWEVER the email link at the foot of the page is wrong – if you click on it, it goes to the wrong email address – it links to comment@landatchudleigh.co.uk You need to manually enter the email address - comment@landatbleadonhill.co.uk


I have informed the developer but I think we should all know. Another “accident” in procedure? If they don’t get any objections by email then they won’t think that there are any. Wrong!! Also the email link goes to the wrong email address – it links to comment@landatchudleigh.co.uk "

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Comments (8)

An outline planning application for 79 homes on the outskirts of Weston-super-Mare is being discussed by North Somerset Council next week.
The applicant, Clifton Emery Design, is looking to build the houses on Bleadon Hill.
A number of objections have been logged on the council’s online planning portal, including objections from Bleadon Parish Council and Weston Town Council. The town council said the development would ‘join up and damage the separate identities’ of Bleadon and Weston.
District councillors are going to discuss whether to approve or refuse the application on Wednesday 9/3/16 at 2.30pm at Weston Town Hall in Walliscote Grove Road.
People who wish to speak about the application must inform the council before the meeting. Or go on line and add a new objection letter
Following Your Bleadon BOB information I asked for advice from my son( who is managing director of a fairly large building company in the UK) ,and regularly involved in trying to buy land and get planning permission.

BOB edit : Email information refered is posted above
I have posted my objections to this development on the North Somerset Website and would encourage you all to attend the planning meeting on Monday 9th February 2015 at the Coronation Hall Bleadon prior to the Parish Council Meeting and to post any objection and or support you may have to this application


Thank you to Bleadon Bob for keeping us informed on this major planning application and the email of 1st February giving details of when Bleadon Parish Council's Planning committee will consider the Outline Planning Application submitted for Bleadon Hill, on the 9th of February.

In the case of the solar farm application of 2013 due to errors in the planning notice of incorrect location and time restraint on the public commenting, only two objections were received over this and Bleadon PC voted in support with the justification that there were so few objectors. As we know this was subsequently refused by North Somerset Council and also by the Appeal process. NSC had received in excess of 70 objections.

I am sure Bleadon PC's stance on the proposed development on Bleadon Hill carries considerable weight when NSC make their decision and so it is important that people let their concerns be known to the PC. They can be contacted by email to the Parish Clerk, Bruce Poole.

We, like many others, strongly object to the proposed planning application for 79 houses on Bleadon Hill by Clifton Emery Design, for many reasons, including that from the National Planning Policy Framework issued by the Government, the Government attaches great importance to Green Belt land. The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl, by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence.
In the case of Bleadon Hill, Green Belt serves the following purposes:
1.to check unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas;
2.to prevent neighbouring towns or villages merging into one another;
3.to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment.
If this development were to be approved, then it would set a precedent for all the other Green Belt land between Bleadon Hill and Bleadon Village to be developed, which in turn would inevitably merge one settlement into the other.
According to Green Belt policy, inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances. There are no special circumstances in this particular case.
According to an article in a recent Mercury publication, Weston has been shortlisted to become one of the country’s first flagship housing zones, a new scheme which will help to regenerate brownfield sites and attract fresh investment to the town.
Therefore, there can be no requirement for such a large unsustainable development in this rural setting, bearing in mind that in and around Weston there are a considerable number of large sustainable sites currently being developed.
I welcome the opportunity to meet up with other similarly concerned locals.
Along with neighbours living on Bleadon hill we are obviously concerned about the possible development of 79 houses on Green Belt land opposite Hillcote. It would affect a large number of us in many ways.
1) Obvious addition to the volume of traffic using the hill as well as the increase in through traffic once the road is widened which would have to happen. Which would mean quite a few of the residents would lose the frontage from their properties? We already have people using the hill as a Rat run made even worse when there are problems on the 370.
We would propose a meeting be held in the village hall to try to address the problem for residents of Bleadon hill and Bleadon village.
I object strongly to this application on highways grounds.

Using the accepted modelling of car movements generated by the occupants of dwellings (5 to 7 per day) this number of houses will result in an additional 395 to 553 movements per day. The majority of these will be between the development and Weston-super-Mare. These vehicular movements will use the existing junction at Bleadon Hill/A370 or alternatively Totterdown Lane. Both these roads have their own specific issues.

In the case of the junction with Bleadon Hill and the A370 there are poor sight lines for vehicles crossing to either Uphill or turning right towards Weston-super-Mare as vehicles approach this junction at speed from both north and south directions. This is particularly poor from the direction of the hospital round about due to the bend in the road. There have been numerous accidents at this location.

With the alternative route via Totterdown Lane which is one-way at the junction with Bleadon Hill to Highfield Road the issue here is the speed at which vehicles travel down Totterdown Lane. This in turn makes exiting Highfield Road difficult for residents as line of sight is poor.

Both the above issues could be addressed as part of any development if sufficient developer contributions were made to the local highways authority specifically for this purpose. If these commitments were included within any planning proposal and improvements were beneficial to existing residents then I would withdraw my objection.
Here we go again another get rich quick scheme that most residents can do without. First the solar farm, successfully batted into long grass, now a housing estate of considerable size in a prominent and elevated position.

The pleasing countryside views at this location naturally make this an attractive proposition to a developer, however this very fact destroys its original attractiveness.

I suspect the developer is putting a finger in he air to test opinion at this level of development and if receiving a negative reaction is quite happy to modify the plans down a little and everyone will be relieved that the original scheme is not implemented and that it will go ahead on a reduced level.

In Bleadon over the last couple of years we have ended up with a permitted Golf Club premises which isn't being used but no doubt a suitable use will be found, permitted lakes for storage of water for agricultural use and now an agreed and permitted change to a water sports park. I await to see if this application goes ahead what we will end up with.