Victory in first set of tennis battle but ...

Published on: 01 Jul 2016

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RESIDENTS who successfully opposed a large care home near their homes in Downend  face a further battle to stop a proposed housing estate.
The scheme for a 60-bed care home off Cleeve Hill was thrown out by a planning inspector last month but plans have now been unveiled to build up to 12 houses on another part of the site.
People living in Cleeve Hill and Overndale Road, who objected to the care home on the former Downend & Fishponds Tennis Club courts, are also against the proposed homes being built behind 61-67 Cleeve Hill, in an area they say is a wildlife haven.
A number of them are concerned about the potential increase in traffic on Cleeve Hill, where there have already been three accidents this year.
Residents are also worried about the likelihood of flooding and of noise and light pollution, as well as the loss of many mature trees.
The developers say their plans are justified because of the need for more housing in South Gloucestershire.
A number of people have already posted objections on the council's website to the outline scheme. Its planning reference is PK16/2577/O.
Louise Lightfoot, whose garden backs on to the proposed housing site, told Downend Voice that both the care home scheme and the homes plan were the wrong scale for the area.
“In an ideal world, we would not want the land to be developed at all, but if it is going to happen, we want something that is sympathetic to the local environment. We are proud of where we live – all we are asking is for the developers to work us,” she said.
The care home proposal was put forward late in 2014 but the developers went to appeal because they said the council had been too slow in making a decision. Eighty-five people wrote letters of objection and one resident told councillors that the scheme was ten times the size of homes nearby and would be “like dropping the ss Great Britain into a residential area”.
The inspector Jennifer Tempest published her report last month, stating that “ the environmental harm would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the social and economic benefits of the development proposed”.

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