Council refusal ‘a slap in the face’ to Yatton

No Moor Development has released this statement following North Somerset Council’s refusal to carry out a combined Environmental Impact Assessment.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Council refusal ‘a slap in the face’ to Yatton

We are angered but not surprised by North Somerset Council’s (NSC) refusal to conduct a comprehensive and cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on all of the proposed and approved housing developments at North End, Yatton.

This is a slap in the face for 1,360 residents who voted YES in the parish poll held on 14 April 2016. The Council’s response is also another nail in the coffin for Localism on the very day the ideological Housing and Planning Bill received Royal Assent.

The Council’s letter is a feeble and self-serving attempt to mount a defence of the Executive Member for Strategic Planning, Highways, Economic Development and Housing’s entrenched position of instructing Council planners to target North End for over 600 houses.

The Council says “officers have taken great care to ensure that the analysis and the studies submitted by developers have identified potential impacts on the physical environment, as well as social, cultural, and health impacts.” So instead of empty words, why not demonstrate this by publishing quantitative analyses?

We have evidence that much of the data gathered is flawed, misleading and some of it plain wrong. We demand that the Council publishes the combined data and reports upon which it has based the assertion it has “fully considered the cumulative effects in Yatton”.

We also note that the letter does not once mention the discredited Sustainability Matrix. This was labelled “unsound” by (of all people) Persimmon Homes and exposed the Council’s justification as a pile of sand.

The Council refuses to conduct a cumulative EIA because it already knows this process would expose the decisions they have made on the developments at North End to further scrutiny. We therefore welcome Yatton Parish Council’s decision to explore the possibility of commissioning its own independent EIA.

Last year North Somerset Council promised to do all it could to mitigate the impact of ‘speculative’ plans, but now says “there remain difficult decisions to be made… as inevitably the resources available through this process will be limited.” After three decades of underfunded dreams and the recent revelations that it is sitting on £13m of developer IOU’s, Yatton residents have long lost confidence that this Council can deliver the infrastructure the village needs for a sustainable future.

The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP is on record as saying what is needed now is “a holistic impact assessment of the collective impact of all the proposed and approved housing developments in Yatton.” The Council’s insensitivity now means there is no reason why Dr Fox cannot now formally ‘call in’ the Hallam and Bloor 2 permissions, as requested by Yatton Parish Council in April.

No Moor Development will continue to scrutinise the developers and hold our elected representatives to account over the decisions they make, and we have called a public meeting for Thursday 26 May (7:30pm at Horsecastle Chapel).

ENDS

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