250 New Housing Spaces in Bleadon Area

Posted on 19th May, 2016


UPDATE - 9 August 2016


The applicant has now withdrawn the re-application for 79 houses on Bleadon Hill. BOB is currently unsure how the current appeal to Planning Inspector on the original application for non-determination by North Somerset is affected by this, See NS Statement of Case here (posted 9/8/16). Although the original application was refused (albeit late) by NSC it went to appeal, so the Planning Inspector is still involved. Bleadon residents therefore need to remain vigilant as this process continues. [Previous 79 HOUSES information here]


Also, the WENTWOOD DRIVE development appeal process has now been changed to a 'Hearing' from 'Written representation', more details on this post


Thanks to the action groups and individuals protecting our environment who have taken the time and effort to comment on the original and re-applications to North Somerset. Also thanks to all who contact BOB to share their concerns, communicate processes and deadlines, highlight meetings, etc. with our community by various means including the BOB website, blogs/comments and emails.



Dear All,


Despite an appeal already being submitted to the planning inspectorate, an outline planning application for 79 houses on Bleadon Hill has been re-submitted with a deadline of June 2nd for comment here 


Apparently, the comments previously submitted to NSC regarding the first application will NOT automatically be taken into account for this 'new' application. Residents can use exactly the same submission but need to use the 'new' application reference number 16/P/1053/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


This seems to make no sense and perhaps someone from NSC can explain why the developer is allowed and has re-submitted a seemingly identical application, but in the meantime please comment again asap.........

FYI, It also includes a letter from the agent reasoning that the Wentwood Drive application (for another 60/50 houses) was treated more leniently on the topic of landscape, visual impact and sustainability. 


In addition, North Somerset officers have recommended approval for a "Change of use of land from a mixed use of agriculture and seasonal car boot sales to use as a holiday lodge and caravan site" on Accommodation Road land - 15/P/2304/F


So, including Bleadon Quarry these developments, if all approved, could bring a potential of up to 250 new housing spaces to the immediate Bleadon area, when according to the 2011 Census we currently have about 530, a massive increase! As far as we can tell there is no corresponding increased provision in the essential amenities or services e.g. doctors, dentists, etc


Previous application information here




I have also been asked by a Bleadon Resident to circulate the following related message below:




What is happening?


Molwin Estates has resubmitted its plan to build 79 houses on Bleadon Hill. This has largely been 'under the radar' and many people have either not seen the application or have assumed that their previous objection would be carried forward. Unfortunately this is not the case.


We are desperately trying to contact anybody who may want to lodge an objection to make sure that as many people as possible have the chance to comment.


Why has the developer resubmitted the original application?


Our Parish Council's Locum Clerk, Tony Jay, says that this is a common tactic used by developers. People assume that their original objection will be used in respect of the duplicate application, but that's not the case. The consequent low number of objections allows the developer to say that their plans have been accepted by the local community.


In this case, the original planning application is being appealed with the Secretary of State. A low number of objections to this duplicate application will strengthen the developer's hand at the appeal hearing. It is rather a sneaky tactic designed to bypass community opinion.




Why should you object?


Building in this unique location would:

  • Close the gap between Weston and Bleadon
  • Overburden our already stretched local resources (including drainage and community facilities)
  • Make a narrow country road many times more dangerous
  • Create a dormitory community that will contribute nothing to our local economy
  • Create an exclusive hilltop development that would not create any opportunities for the young people in Bleadon to remain in the area
  • Create an eyesore directly in front of the Mendip Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, that would be visible for miles


There are many more good reasons for objecting – you can find details by looking at the objections that were made to the original application.



How do I make an objection?


For your objection to have the most impact, it should be in your name only. If you are part of a couple or group, you should each submit individual objections.


There are two ways to lodge your objection:


1.     Object online


Click here: 16/P/1053/O


Click on 'comment on application'


Please note: if the planning portal is offline, make a note to try again later


2.     Write to North Somerset Council


Your letter of objection should be addressed to:


Neil Underhay

Development Manager

Post Point 15

North Somerset Council

Town Hall

Weston super Mare




What should I say in my objection?


For maximum impact, your letter should not be a copy of another letter – it's important to use your own words.


Friends of the Earth have produced a simple but effective guide to writing a planning objection, which you can find here: Updated Oct 2016


There are many good reasons to object to this development, but here are some ideas you might like to consider:



  • The site is situated on a narrow road with three dangerous corners and poor sight lines
  • The site will give rise to a significant number of traffic movements which will prejudice the safety of residents, drivers, riders and pedestrians on an already dangerous stretch of road



  • The development has not been identified in the Housing Core Strategy as the area is not sustainable
  • Housing growth is most sustainable when close to the community facilities and services a community requires. These services are mostly situated in Weston, where a great deal of brown field development is already taking place
  • The proposed development fails tests on the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development
  • Economic: there are few employment opportunities in the immediate area: this would in effect be a dormitory development
  • Economic: the resident would be unlikely to support local businesses in the Bleadon area and so would not make an economic contribution to the community
  • Social: the site is separate from Bleadon village, where social facilities (such as the village hall) are already suffering from over-demand. There are no social facilities on Bleadon Hill
  • Environmental: The development will cause unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the landscape, including views to and from the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Environmental: The development will destroy the unique and special hill line of this part of the Mendip Hills Character Area
  • Environmental: The lighting on the development will further erode the dark skies to the south of Weston impacting on populations and wildlife



  • The site is situated at the top of a steep hill limiting the transport choices of any residents contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework
  • Similarly, there is no easy access to realistic pedestrian and cycle routes, which should be a priority for any sustainable development
  • Overall, the site would discriminate against the less mobile
  • It is a given that despite being on a bus route, residents will almost exclusively use cars for journeys


Over development

  • This development would effectively join Weston to Bleadon, affecting the nature of the entire area and eroding the character of Bleadon village
  • The type of housing needed in the UK is reasonably priced town-based housing on brown field sites. Weston has this in abundance across a number of sites including the airport, Locking Road car park and the developments near the motorway
  • This would be an exclusive hilltop development, making no discernible impact in solving the UK's housing crisis




  • Bleadon has no school. As school places are allocated according to a child's distance from the school (favouring those living nearest to the school), and as Bleadon is on the edge of North Somerset, our children already struggle to get school places. They are often offered places at schools miles away from the village, because all the places at schools closer to Bleadon have already been taken by children living close to those schools. The proposed development would seriously disadvantage families living in Bleadon, by placing an entire new population of families closer to ALL North Somerset schools. The development would effectively remove any chance of village children getting into any schools within a reasonable travelling distance.
  • The knock-on effect is this: our village children will end up attending many different schools, which means that children in the village will grow up not knowing each other. In villages where schools exist, there is a much stronger sense of community because the children know each other and that carries forward from generation to generation. Essentially, this development will further erode one of the fundamental building blocks of our community.  

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Comments (14)

Thank goodness the silent majority have at last flexed their muscles and voted to leave their EU.
Hopefully, our over crowded islands can now get back to a more sensible approach to immigration and with that a more sustainable policy in respect of further developments on green belt land.
. I know, from attending BPC meetings, that North Somerset Councillors have been fighting a losing battle with Central Governments over this issue.
Thanks, Have objected as a family, 3 times, and passed on to others

Many Thanks for the timely reminder. I have posted my objections.
Once again thanks for the work you've undertaken to promote the issue of the proposed housing development on Bleadon Hill.

Just to let you know, I am aware that many online objections have been made to NSDC but few if any have yet been uploaded. This is likely to have been annoying to residents who expect their objections to be publicised asap. Quite a number of folk that I know have submitted items with some as a result of your notifications. I was aware that the planning portal was down over the weekend. I have emailed NSDC to bring this to their attention. I have asked that the consultation period be extended from 2/6/16 so that people can make their comments due to the site being down. An additional reason for an extension was that the application was dated in April but not brought to public attention until mid May.

There is a good likelihood that comments made after 2/6/16 will still be considered
Advice below from my son (Expert in this business) to protest. Do not copy but use the main points If you want to write.

Subject: Housing development letter of objection

Dear Sir

I am writing to object to the planning application reference 16/P/1053/O, for 79 dwellings to be built on Bleadon Hill. In simple terms the development is contrary to both the National Planning Policy Framework, and the North Somerset Core Strategy / Local Plan, in that this proposed development is not sustainable, and from a design/landscape perspective the coalescence of settlements (which this application proposes) is stated a being undesirable.

Sustainability is obviously key, and as a local resident I must bring to your attention a number of inaccuracies in the supporting documentation put forward by the developer. Their plans and rhetoric refer to the site being 800m from the village of Bleadon. Unfortunately the drawing clearly shows that the vast majority of the site is beyond this distance, and the facility that Bleadon has to offer (the post office and store) is situated at the other end of the village some 1200m+ away, or 150% of the design standard. The principal behind this nationally recognised 800m dimension is the ability to walk/cycle to the facilities at that location within a reasonable time frame. Although topography does not preclude either walking or cycling, that fact that the site sits at the top of a steep hill will inevitably deter residents from both walking and cycling. The times stated as achievable for either walking or cycling are unrealistic, and the planners must take into account the local situation in this regard.

It is also worthy of note that, although footpaths have been designed into the scheme itself, there are no footpaths nor street lighting from the site down to Bleadon, nor for several areas on the road to Oldmixon. The developer happily promotes the use of bicycles and walking, but the fact is that the roads are narrow and unlit, as would be expected of this small, local, rural road, and do not provide for a safe walking/cycling environment.

The transport plan makes reference to no accidents having taken place at the narrow section of Bleadon Hill, which I, and I’m sure many other local residents, can confirm is not the case. It may well be that all collisions have been of sufficiently slow speed not to require notification to the authorities, but they do occur. A further 79 houses, and those associated car and bus journeys, will inevitably lead to further collisions at this point, and for the report to suggest that the road width is actually wide enough for cars to pass is ridiculous. Again I would suggest that planners must take into account the actual situation at that point in the road.

Although I am no traffic expert it seems ludicrous to me that a development of this size will only generate the number of traffic journeys suggested. 79 houses, in this hill top location, will be served by an absolute minimum of 79 cars, and in all likelihood 100+ vehicles. The report makes reference to the current Bleadon Hill area of car usage, but it should be remembered that this area has a high proportion of elderly residents. If the new development is to be targeted at other elderly residents then that must cast doubt on the cycling and walking statistics put forward, and if aimed at a younger (working age) resident then the anticipated journey numbers must be adjusted to reflect that type of population.

Although landscaping is excluded from this outline application it is clear that this proposal will lead to the coalescence of settlements as mentioned above. This development will join Bleadon Hill with Hillcote, and being a prominent hilltop position, seen from numerous vantage points in the surrounding area, will lead to loss of landscape and give the impression of continuing urban sprawl. Use of planting and screening is not deemed to be a permanent solution and should not be considered as adequate to address this issue.

It is clear from the plethora of information put forward by the applicant that they are fully aware of the shortcomings of this location, its obvious detriment to the environment, and it’s lack of sustainability. Desperately trying to push this site through the system based purely on a national, and local need for housing, is not a reason to grant permission. There are many other, far more suitable, potential development sites that should be allocated within the district.

Yours sincerely
Hello everyone,

I have contacted the NSC planning department, and am assured that comments on this planning application can be received after the deadline of 2nd June. The Parish Council will be considering this planning application at their meeting to be held on 6th June at the Youth Centre.

The submission of a second application is a tactic often used by builders. Members of the public object to the original application, but sometimes are not motivated to object again to the secondary application, wrongly thinking that their original objections will be transferred to the new application. The builders then claim that the public have come to accept their planning application as less people are now objecting. Therefore it is very important that everyone who objected to the original planning application resubmits their comments in relation to the new application.

I am also the Parish Clerk at Banwell, and builders are currently using exactly the same tactics in regard to a planning application for 155 houses there.

Locum Parish Clerk

Bleadon Parish Council
Dear all

I’m sure that you are all aware of this but just in case you are not….. Note that the deadline for the repeat objections is 2nd June.

As BOB says: “This seems to make no sense and perhaps someone from NSC can explain why the developer is allowed and has re-submitted a seemingly identical application, but in the meantime please comment again asap.........”

It’s like living in a banana republic sometimes!!

Objection to Application 16/P/1053/O - Housing Development Bleadon Hill

Reference: Application 16/P/1053/O

I draw reference to the NSC decisions made, April 2016 and the recent rejection to a similar development application. I voice my concerns that it appears that little has been done by the applicants (Jillings Heynes Planning) since the rejection April 2016, other than to identify that the response/decision was not made in a timely fashion. The applicants appear to be using the process to hold discussions with NCS in order to identify mitigating actions in order to conduct a box ticking exercise. I have suspicions that this is the narrow end of the wedge in order to push the application through if not at this level, but by escalating to a national level. One would hope that a similar mistake is not made this time around and that the NSC listen to and address the concerns of the local community. I voice my concerns regarding the various topics:


As has been identified, there is limited routes in and out with a narrow road bridge on Bleadon Hill allowing access to the site and narrow one way street at the top end of Totterdown Lane as well to enable egress (Not to mention Channel Heights and Burnham Drive) I have almost been knocked over 4 times on the Narrow stretch of road Totterdown Lane/Bleadon Hill Junction by the flow of normal traffic owing to limited visibility and lack of footpaths. An increase in traffic on the existing road layout will lead to an increase in the potential of an accident and will place an increased demand on the existing road network. Should additional bus services be introduced then this will lead to an increase in congestion to the road network. Additional bus services need to be frequent, sustainable and not a short term hollow promise box ticking exercise and then withdrawn when the site has been established and discovered unsustainable.

Sustainability & Infrastructure

Availability of infrastructure, local shops, Schools and amenities to support the local populace is scarce and access to them will be undoubtedly by the existing road network. See points made in accessibility…. Also see decision to original plan.

Environment (AONB) & Green Belt

The development of this area brings into question under what plan has the area been identified for development, certainly not the Housing Core Strategy. This will have an impact on the Area of Natural Beauty (AONB) and the disturbance and loss to the local wildlife such as deer, newts, frogs and foxes that populate and frequent the area. Visibility of developments and the heights of housing (both on the hill and also the physical height of the housing), I refer to the developments in the areas of Stonehenge (Stonehenge visitor centre, also Army re-basing and housing plans Larkhill, Wiltshire.

Noise Pollution & Congestion

Increased noise pollution and congestion as a result of traffic using the Totterdown Lane and surrounding road network, not just during the development of the site but also if the development of the site is completed and the housing inhabited. Also the additional parking congestion as the roads are narrow and parking is of a premium in most areas.

Drainage & Flooding

I have concerns that the existing drainage systems may not cope with additional housing and leading to flooding of properties and/or the extended period of time/disruption (similar to Spring Hill) to overhaul the existing pipe/drainage network. See previous objections to plan.

My family and I are highly disappointed that the previous rejection has been appealed against. I trust that my points of view echoed by my family are taken into account by the NSC.
Just got back from Business trip, PSA a draft objection to the development application recently submitted by Jennings Heynes Planning. Pretty disgusted with the way the NSC have handled it, especially to find out that for whatever reason they missed the time frame to inform all parties of the original decision, thus allowing the submission, as you say, of an almost identical application and not allowing the community's objections to carry over.
The only way to stop this rape of green belt land is to vote leave in the up and coming referendum. More people means more houses.
This housing problem has a long way to run if we stay in the EU.
With our "living wage" now up to 8 times higher than some of the new countries joining the EU and the expected flood of people drawn in by it,.we will be swamped.
Many thanks for publicising the new application for homes at Bleadon Hill. This has taken everyone by surprise I think. I have copied off my original objections to the first 2015 application and sent them in on the new one. Unfortunately, North Somerset seem to be slow in uploading things which might put people off. I made an objection last Saturday and it still has not appeared. I will try to keep you posted.
I have spoken to the planning office today to ask how they can apply again and they said they have made some very small changes to the application and if they like they can keep doing this. Thanks.
Unbelievable that this has come around again. Thank you for your email.
See below a note I sent to members and Wentwood Drive Action Group re the Bleadon appeal and second application.

A number of you have concerns re the new application for this site, do not worry it's to be expected, below is an explanation as to why this has happened

The applicant gets a free go on a further application so the applicant will seek to reinforce those areas of the appeal application that was deficient

So highways as you mention will be revised to take on board the reasons for refusal

The applicant is also likely to reinforce sustainability and landscape visual impact and landscape character assessments, the other reasons for refusal

These parts of the second application will be co joined with the appeal at some stage so this fresh and updated information will be used to strengthen the appeal case

It is imperative that Mendip Hills in the second consultation maintain the objection and highways on highways matters

Please forward to any who contact you with concerns, also make sure they have also raised objections themselves to the inspector