Developer challenges refusal of planning permission for Keynsham industrial estate
A DEVELOPER is challenging the decision to refuse planning permission for a new industrial estate in Keynsham.
Places For People Strategic Land sought outline permission for the development on a site just north of the A4 Bath Road.
But members of Bath and North East Somerset Council’s planning committee voted to refuse the scheme.
They cited fears about road safety caused by a new junction onto the A4 and concerns that the masterplan for the wider area had been concealed.
The developer has now informed B&NES Council of its intention to appeal against the refusal.
In its appeal documentation, the developer says the councillors’ decision was “not reasonable” and was made against the advice of council officers.
At the planning committee meeting last December, fears were voiced that schoolchildren could be “wiped out” by HGVs if the scheme went ahead.
Councillor Lucy Hodge said she did not have confidence in data showing the new junction onto the A4 was safe and claimed the masterplan for the wider area had been hidden from planning chiefs and the public. B&NES Council had allocated the land for employment to establish the town as a significant business location and reduce commuting.
The outline plans proposed up to 5,700sqm for business, industrial process, general industrial and storage uses that councillors feared could result in another concrete factory being built close to people’s homes.
They refused the application, saying the noise, pollution and safety risk could be reduced by creating a new access road onto World’s End Lane, which if landowners agreed could be widened to remove pinch points.
Agents acting on behalf of Places For People Strategic Land state in their appeal documentation that an officer’s report to the committee “makes clear that the comprehensive masterplan required … had already been considered and deemed acceptable by the planning committee and that the application proposals are consistent with that plan.
“The clear advice to the committee was that the application met the policy requirements in that regard.
“The Council has acted unreasonably in refusing the application on this basis. The fact that a copy of the agreed masterplan did not form part of the application material is not a reasonable basis on which to refuse the scheme.
“Having regard to the second limb of the reason for refusal: the absence of a vehicular access to the site direct from Pixash Lane (via World’s End Lane) there is no credible justification for refusing the application on this basis.
“As argued consistently during the determination process on behalf of the appellants, [the policy] does not preclude access to the employment land from Bath Road.”
The appeal application has been lodged with the Planning Inspectorate. It is not clear when an appeal might be held or what form it would take.
The planning committee’s decision to refuse permission was made by six votes to four. The meeting was told that the application had been opposed by Keynsham Parish Council, Saltford Parish Council, Saltford Environment Group and 147 objectors.
• Pictured, plans for employment land off the A4 Bath Road in Keynsham
Image: Congar, Places for People