Campaigners launch fight against new homes on busy Churchill village school route
Campaigners are urging people to join them to fight off plans for dozens of homes on green fields in Churchill. Woodstock Homes has submitted plans to North Somerset Council to build 36 new homes on land at Hillier’s Lane in the village.
The homes would be a mix of two and three-bedroom bungalows and two, three and four-bedroom houses. An access to the development would be created from Hillier’s Lane.
Children’s trim trail play equipment would be included in the plans along with new planting and public open space. An old outbuilding on the site would be retained along with an attenuation pond for local wildlife.
But Churchill and Langford Residents Action Group (CALRAG) is angry at the plans for more homes – on what is a busy route to Churchill Academy. The lane is also used as a rat run to get from the A368 to Congresbury and the A370.
Campaigners say Hillier’s Lane is already congested at peak times and extra homes would just add to the traffic. A spokesman for Churchill and Langford Residents Action Group said: “Churchill faces another threat from speculative housing developers, this time on Hillier’s Lane – the main vehicle route to Churchill Academy and a rat-run to Congresbury.
“The proposed development of 36 houses is bounded by Hillier’s Lane to the west and the A368 to the south. Hillier’s Lane is already severely congested at peak school drop-off times. The proposed vehicle access for this development would simply make this worse
“Large numbers of school buses and private vehicles drop off schoolchildren on Hillier’s Lane. At peak hours the road is extremely congested.
“Nearby residential roads, with no pavements, are used by children walking to school, yet vehicles -many of which speed – use these as rat-runs to avoid Hillier’s Lane. We urge everyone to object to this latest threat to Churchill in the strongest possible terms.”
Campaigners say due to the large amounts of new housing in the village, local primary and secondary schools are already full. They claim that the village GP surgery is already ‘buckling’ under the pressure of demand and that people are already waiting many weeks for a doctors appointment.
They have also raised concerns about the lack of public transport in the village and the development would lead to more cars on the roads. Fears of the impact on wildlife have also been raised.
The spokesman added: “The development would be completely out of keeping with the character of the village, and would be highly visible from the Mendip Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty (ANOB). It breaches the village settlement boundary and lies immediately adjacent to the conservation area
“Species-rich hedgerows will inevitably be destroyed, and wildlife impacted. Internationally protected lesser horseshoe bats have been identified in an old barn on the site. This part of Churchill has no street lights, yet street lighting would be introduced with the new housing.
“Put simply, this is yet another example of proposed development that is in the wrong place. Churchill is already trying to cope with significant new housing, and there is more that has already been identified within North Somerset’s draft local plan.
“This proposal would be in addition to these plans. When will this stop?.”
Developers say the development would cater for families, first-time buyers and the elderly and that it would ‘boost the vitality and expenditure within the village and beyond with the introduction of new residents. They added: “The site at Hillier’s Lane is suitable, available and deliverable and this proposal provides an excellent opportunity to support the sustainable growth of the settlement.”