Developer launches planning appeal to build on Nailsea woodland
By Carol_Deacon | Friday, November 23, 2012, 15:48
STOP PRESS: A planning appeal for application 12/P/1493/F has been made against the decision to refuse planning permission. The appeal will be decided by 'written representations' and the comments made by the Nailsea Town Council will be forwarded directly to the Planning Inspectorate who are due to discuss on Wednesday, January 9. The deadline for any additional comments is Thursday, January 17.
The two woodland houses which failed on first attempt to get planning permission at Nowhere Lane, Nailsea
Despite being refused planning permission a property developer who bought a small copse at Nailsea last summer says he won't be selling.
Vince Nguyen paid £36,500 for the half acre off Trendlewood Way at auction last summer on behalf of his company Land Promotions (Group) Ltd based at Rooksbridge, Somerset.
But his controversial plan to build two homes on the half acre at Nowhere Lane provoked a huge outcry from neighbours, environmentalists and Nailsea town councillors.
The site forms part of a bridle path to East End House and the woodland is home to a variety of wildlife including badgers, owls and pipistrelle bats and features around 60 trees, including oak and ash, which are protected by preservation orders.
North Somerset Council refused permission saying the site plays an important role in the character and amenity of the area and the land retains an attractive landscaped appearance and includes a number of protected trees.
In its letter of refusal it said: "In terms of urban design it is fundamental in providing a visual break between the surrounding housing developments.This in turn contributes positively to the visual character and amenity of the area, which is particularly important given the prominence of the site adjacent to the main distributor road at Trendlewood Way and well used bridlepath at Nowhere Lane. The development of this valuable area of open space would have a detrimental effect on the visual character of the area, on adjoining trees subject to TPOs through pressure to reduce canopy spread to increase daylight to the proposed dwellings, and would have an adverse impact on land which is of local importance as a habitat for wildlife."
Mr Nguyen who has until the end of December to decide on whether to appeal said he hadn't made up his mind but he was determined to keep the land long-term as an investment.
He said: "I have had four or five approaches to buy the site but I am not interested.
"One person told me they could secure planning permission to build for the whole area but I don't know whether to believe them.
"Anyway I have no intention of selling."
Mr Nguyen added over time many unhealthy trees on the site would die.
Nailsea Town Council recommended the scheme be refused on the basis it was overdevelopment of the site and the land should remain as an amenity space.
And North Somerset planners threw out the plans, saying it is contrary to its own Core Strategy Document.
When the Trendlewood development was built in the 1970s, the land was put aside as green space for local residents.
The local council at the time was due to officially adopt the land as public open space, protecting it for the future, but failed to do so.
As a result the land, which has since passed into private ownership, has been subject to a number of planning applications over the years – all of which have been refused.
The news the development has been turned down has been welcomed by local residents who campaigned for it to remain a green space.
Planning consultant Amanda Sutherland, who represented local residents, said: "This land provides an important visual landscape buffer.
"The residents are over the moon at the result and the woods will be protected to the future."