There are far-reaching national proposals in the new Planning Bill which is currently being consulted on before it becomes a new Planning Act, possibly in 2021.

Locally North Somerset Council is preparing a new Local Plan to 2038, which will decide where new housing and other development is to go. Everyone is invited to comment on the proposals for the new Local Plan, which includes 4 different options for Winscombe and Sandford. Go to to comment by 14th December 2020

Currently there is no Neighbourhood Development Plan for Winscombe and Sandford.

Individual planning applications can also be commented on by everyone. The Parish Council planning committee comments on new planning applications, more information about these on the Parish Council website

More information about parish housing and industrial developments is shown on the Community Matters page.

News and information about national, regional and local planning proposals and policy is shown in section B. Planning application locations are shown on the North Somerset Council planning map

You can look at all the documents and comment on a planning application at the North Somerset Council planning page

Recently members of Sustainable Winscombe and Sandford took part in the national consultation on the controversial new Planning Bill proposals, see Swands response to Planning for the Future consultation.pdf

Date Application NumberAddressDetails of ApplicationResult of ApplicationFurther Information
08-Jun-20 20/P/0720/FUH 82B Greenhill Road Convert existing garage etc
08-Jun-20 20/P/0405/FUH 29 Homefield Close Demolition of existing outhouse etc
08-Jun-20 20/P/0092/FUL Land Opposite Sandmead Cottage, Sandmead Lane Siting up to 5no. non-permanent 'glamping' tents on agricultural land.
08-Jun-20 20/P/0269/FUL 3 Evergreen Close, Winscombe, New build of a 4 bedroom house.
08-Jun-20 19/P/3154/FUH 6 Quarry Road Double height side and rear extension
18-Nov-19 19/P/2570/FUH Marburg, 15 Southmead, Winscombe, BS25 1LB Proposed Dormer loft conversion and alterations to roof, extension to raised decking, new opaque canopy andreshaping of the north east corner of the existing dwelling.
18-Nov-19 19/P/2462/OUT The Bramleys, Station Road, Sandford, BS25 5RF Outline application for the Demolition of outbuildings and construction of 7 No. new dwellings with approval ofaccess (Appearance, landscaping, layout and scale reserved for subsequent approval).
18-Nov-19 19/P/2453/FUL Horsleigh House, Barton Road, Winscombe, BS25 1DP Erection of a 2-bedroom bed and breakfast holiday let for visitors to an Alpaca Farm.
18-Nov-19 19/P/2525/FUH 31 The Lynch, Winscombe, BS25 1AP Proposed two storey side extension following demolition of converted garage & single storey rear extension.
18-Nov-19 19/P/2496/FUH Oakridge House, Oakridge Lane, Winscombe, BS25 1LZ Proposed conversion of loft area into master bedroom.
18-Nov-19 19/P/2436/FUH 3 The Paddocks, Greenhill Road, Sandford, BS25 5PH Demolition of existing single storey side extension. Single storey rear extension, side extension, front porchand loft conversion.
18-Nov-19 19/P/2434/FUL Winterhead Farm, Bristol Road, Winscombe, BS25 1PP Conversion of existing garage into a holiday let
18-Nov-19 19/P/2387/TPO Apple Tree Cottage, Sidcot Lane, Winscombe, BS25 1LA T1 - Oak - crown reduction by up to 10 metres Application being made by 8 Woodborough Road.
12-Jun-19 19/P/1267/LDP Chapel Cottage, Hill Road, Sandford, BS25 5RJ Lawful Development Certificate for Proposed for the conversion of integral garage to living accommodation.For information only.
12-Jun-19 19/P/1215/RLA Culvert to SE of Max Mill Farmhouse, Max Mill Lane, Winscombe Listed building consent for the repair of existing curtilage listed medieval culvert and strengthening by constructionof new concrete structure around existing masonry structure.
12-Jun-19 19/P/0931/FUH 33 Brae Road, Winscombe, BS25 1LJ Formation of a new access to the side of the property and erection of an attached carport.
12-Jun-19 19/P/1174/FUH 13 Brae Road, Winscombe, BS25 1LN Double garage and implement store to replace existing pair of single garages
17-May-19 18/P/5118/OUT Bristol Airport Limited, Bristol Airport North Side Road Felton Developments to increase the operational capacity of the airport to 12 million passengers per annum (list ofdevelopment proposals previously sent) - Bristol Airport has submitted further information in support of theapplication (required under Regulation 25 of 'The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017') - for information only
17-May-19 19/P/1053/FUH 18 Knapps Close, Winscombe, BS25 1BN Existing front extension to existing detached dwelling.
17-May-19 19/P/1089/FUL Myrtle Farm, Station Road, Sandford, BS25 5RA Demolition of existing structures and the erection of a new building to accommodate engineering, staff welfareand energy centre facilities, together with external landscaping.
17-May-19 19/P/1011/TPO Land at 32 The Chestnuts, Winscombe, BS25 1LD Remove 2 x lower lateral limbs back to main stems.
17-May-19 19/P/0909/FUH 16 Wimblestone Road, Winscombe, BS25 1JR Erection of a single storey front extension following demolition of existing porch.
17-May-19 19/P/0847/ADV Mendip Outdoor Pursuits, Lynchcombe Drive, Sandford Advertising consent for 2no. illuminated facia signs and 1no. non-illuminated facia sign.
17-May-19 19/P/0930/FUH 3 The Vinery, Winscombe, BS25 1AZ Enlargement of existing window opening, construction of bay window with pitched roof.
17-May-19 19/P/0836/MMA Land Adjacent to Sandford House, Station Road, Sandford Minor amendment to planning permission 18/P/3121/MMA (Minor Material Amendment to condition 4 (approvedplans) of permission 17/P/1672/O (Outline planning for six residential dwellings)) to allow amendments to thelayout, house size and position of garage and access into plot 4, a small reduction in the area of communal greenspace and woodland and alterations to the front boundary landscape treatment.
18-Feb-19 18/P/4357/FUL Laurel Farm, Barton Road, Winscombe Proposed conversion of redundant agricultural buildings to 2no. dwelling houses with associated building operations and demolition. Updated plans
18-Feb-19 19/P/0099/FUH 6 Plumtree Close, Winscombe, BS25 1HU Erection of a single storey extension following the demolition of existing garage.
18-Feb-19 19/P/0030/FUH Caradon, Fox Lane, Winscombe, BS25 1NF Garage/annexe and ancillary accommodation building.
18-Feb-19 19/P/0179/FUH Winterhead Farm, Bristol Road, Winscombe, BS25 1PP 2no. single storey side extensions to dwelling.
18-Feb-19 19/P/0084/FUL Sandmead Cottage, Sandmead Road, Sandford, BS25 5QQ siting of up to a maximum of 5 'glamping' safari lodges on agricultural land. Widening the existing access and provide a hardstanding area for up to 5 vehicles including bin and recyclable storage.
04-Feb-19 19/P/0116/FUH 58 Greenhill Road, Sandford, Winscombe BS25 5PB Retrospective application for the erection of a 1.8 metre fence to the front boundary
04-Feb-19 18/P/4411/FUL Recreation Ground, The Lynch, Winscombe BS25 1AN Erection of 2no. new x 15 metre high floodlighting columns and replacement of lights to the 4no. existing columns. Erection of new play equipment (rope pyramid, space net, six metres high) with appropriate safely surfacing.
04-Feb-19 19/P/0058/TPO Barton Grange, Barton Road, Winscombe BS25 1DP T24 silver birch - fell and replace; T33-T47 Monterey cypress group - crown lift up to 5m
04-Feb-19 19/P/0053/FUH 3 Quarry Road, Sandford, Winscombe BS25 5RL Double height side extension with front and rear dormer windows, and single storey rear extension to existing semi detached dwelling
04-Feb-19 18/P/5196/FUL Former Mooseheart Lodge (Kildare House), 70 Woodborough Road, Winscombe BS25 1BA Hybrid planning application consisting of full planning permission for the redevelopment of former members guest house (Kildare House) to a 22no. bed boutique hotel, wedding, and events venue, with ancillary restaurant, bar, gymnasium, and spa, regeneration of outbuildings to provide hotel accommodation, conversion of former site offices to 3no. holiday lets and provision of a glamping area comprising 10 'hobbit hole' style holiday accommodation units, landscape enhancements and associated works, including a bat barn, and outline planning permission for up to 24no. residential units with all matters reserved except access.
04-Feb-19 18/P/4323/FUH 6 Helens Road, Sandford, Winscombe BS25 5PD Single Storey Front/Side Extension.
11-Jan-19 18/P/5118/OUT Bristol Airport, North Side Road, Felton Outline planning application (with reserved matters details for some elements included and some elements reserved for subsequent approval) for the development of Bristol Airport to enable a throughput of 12 million terminal passengers in any 12 month calendar period, comprising: 2no. extensions to the terminal building and canopies over the forecourt of the main terminal building; erection of new east walkway and pier with vertical circulation cores and pre-board zones; 5m high acoustic timber fence; construction of a new service yard directly north of the western walkway; erection of a multi-storey car park north west of the terminal building with five levels providing approximately 2,150 spaces and wind turbines atop; enhancement to the internal road system including gyratory road with internal surface car parking and layout changes; enhancements to airside infrastructure including construction of new eastern taxiway link and taxiway widening (and fillets) to the southern edge of Taxiway GOLF; the year-round use of the existing Silver Zone car park extension (Phase 1) with associatedpermanent (fixed) lighting and CCTV; extension to the Silver Zone car park to provide approximately 2,700 spaces (Phase 2); improvements to the A38; operating within a rolling annualised cap of 4,000 night flights between the hours of 23:30 and 06:00 with no seasonal restrictions; revision to the operation of Stands 38 and 39; and landscaping and associated works.
11-Jan-19 18/P/4992/FUH The Birches, Hillyfields Way, Winscombe BS25 1AE Single Storey Extensions and Internal Alterations
11-Jan-19 18/P/4792/FUL Woodborough Mews, 7 Nippors Way, Winscombe BS25 1HF Proposed sub division of property to form 2No. residential flats
11-Jan-19 18/P/5004/FUH Whitestones, Hillyfields, Winscombe BS25 1PH Two storey rear extension and enlargement of existing garage
11-Jan-19 18/P/4845/FUL 2 Coombe Cottages, Barton Road, Winscombe BS25 1BL Erection of ground based solar panels in the field in front of our house for domestic use
14-Nov-18 18/P/2697/FUL Land at The Chestnuts, Winscombe Erection of 6 no. dwellings with associated hard/soft landscape works and drainage. Amended plans submitted
14-Nov-18 18/P/4653/FUL Pimple Barn, Mead Lane, Sandford, Winscombe BS25 5RG Erection of a domestic garage and change of use of land from agricultural to garden
14-Nov-18 18/P/4439/MMA Myrtle Farm, Station Road, Sandford, Winscombe BS25 5RA Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) of application 16/P/2171/F (Erection of new warehouse building with ancillary facilities including a new access road, warehouse yard and car parking, lighting scheme, landscaping and surface water attenuation) to allow upper level accommodation to be used as offices; additional 3rd floor level within office accommodation; glazed foyer to office entrance; increase size of office roof lights; provision of car park for use with offices; alteration of glazing layout to offices; alteration of fire escape to SW elevation; alteration of PV panel layout; Re-positioning of warehouse floor to be flush with distribution area; reduction of external ground levels around perimeter of building and Gabion retaining walls to accommodate level change in lieu of sloping banks
14-Nov-18 18/P/3312/FUH 61 Greenhill Road, Sandford, Winscombe BS25 5PA Extension to garden wall and new gates
14-Nov-18 18/P/4492/FUH 10 South Croft, Winscombe BS25 1JW Single storey rear extension and internal alterations
14-Nov-18 18/P/4418/RM Land Adjacent To Sandford House, Station Road, Sandford Submission of reserved matters of appearance for the erection of six residential dwellings and associated garages, pursuant to permission 18/P/3121/MMA (Minor Material Amendment to condition 4 (approved plans) of permission 17/P/1672/O (Outline planning for six residential dwellings, with parking provision, an altered access from Station Road and new internal access road; Access, Landscaping, Layout and Scale for approval; Appearance reserved for subsequent approval) to allow minor changes to the size and footprint of four dwellings, minor changes to the position of three garages, and the slight repositioning of the plots boundaries between four plots.)
14-Nov-18 18/P/4357/FUL Laurel Farm, Barton Road, Winscombe BS25 1DX Proposed conversion of redundant agricultural buildings to 4no. dwelling houses with associated building operations and demolition
14-Nov-18 18/P/4537/FUH 4 Southcroft, Winscombe, BS25 1JW. Erection of a detached garage/workshop to rear garden area.
06-Apr-18 18/P/2724/FUH 1 Woodborough Drive, Winscombe, BS25 1HA. Proposed erection of 3 front dormers to enlarge loft conversion under construction
06-Apr-18 18/P/2592/FUH 1 Woodborough Crescent, Winscombe BS25 1AW Erection of a two storey side extension.
06-Apr-18 18/P/2502/FUL Land to the rear of Yew Tree House, Hill Road, Sandford, BS25 5RJ. Erection of a detached dwelling.
06-Apr-18 18/P/2552/FUH 20 The Lynch, Winscombe, BS25 1AN. Single storey side extension.
06-Apr-18 18/P/2437/FUL The Yatman Trust, Laurel Farm, The Square, Winscombe BS25 1BS Erection of 9 No. dwellings, a village shop and public parking following the demolition of existing buildings.
06-Apr-18 18/P/2534/FUL The Oaks, Max Mill Lane, Winscombe, BS25 1DS Replacement of existing mobile home and associated out buildings with the construction of a new self-build single storey family dwelling and associated landscaping
06-Apr-18 18/P/2223/FUL Former Winscombe Community Meals Kitchen, 20A Wimblestone Road, Winscombe, BS25 1JR Extension and conversion of former meals on wheels kitchen building to residential dwelling. Demolition of garage with erection of store building.
06-Apr-18 18/P/2153/FUL 35 Moorham Road, Winscombe, BS25 1HS Change of use of part of dwelling and rear garden to holiday accommodation.
06-Apr-18 18/P/2463/FUH Muritai, Mead Lane, Sandford, Winscombe, BS25 5RG Demolition of main roof and reconstruction with gables facing North-East and South-West
06-Apr-18 18/P/2451/FUL 48 Greenhill Road, Sandford Winscombe, BS25 5PB Erection of a bungalow.
06-Apr-18 18/P/2376/FUL Heatherdale, Greenhill Road, Sandford, Winscombe, BS25 5PF Application for removal or variation of condition Nos 6 and 11 on application 17/P/1906/F
06-Apr-18 18/P/2375/FUL 51 Greenhill Road,Sandford,Winscombe,BS25 5PA Erection of 2No. Dwellings
27-Mar-18 18/P/2035FUL Barton Grange,Barton Road, Winscombe,North Somerset Proposed change of use of residential care home (Use Class C2) to 4no. residential dwellings (Use Class C3) Decision: Granted
13-Mar-18 17/P/1799/RM Land To The North-West Of Sandford Primary ,Off Greenhill Road ,Winscombe, BS25 5QB Strongvox Homes: Submission of Reserved matters of (appearance, landscaping, layout and scale) for the erection of up to 118 no. dwellings Decision: Granted
08-Mar-18 18/P/2061/FUH 5 Risedale Road, Winscombe, BS25 1LF Proposed front extension to existing detached dwelling, and new timber shed forward of principle elevation Decision: Granted
08-Mar-18 18/P/2218/FUH 21 Church Road, Winscombe, BS25 1BH Proposed raised deck to rear of property, and front extension to ground floor (under existing balcony). Additional Balcony section to front Decision: Granted
08-Mar-18 18/P/2103/FUH 54 The Lynch, Winscombe, BS25 1AR Proposed replacement garage roof Decision: Granted
08-Mar-18 18/P/2174/MMA Heatherdale, Greenhill Road, Sandford, Winscombe, BS25 5PF Application for variation of condition No. 2 on application No. 17/P/1906/F to allow various changes as detailed in the support statement
08-Mar-18 18/P/2060/FUH The Lodge Winscombe Court, Winscombe Hill, Winscombe. BS25 1DE Proposed partial alteration & extension of the existing roof structure to replace sections of flat roof. Decision: Granted
08-Mar-18 18/P/2046/FUH Wringstone Farm, The Barton, Barton, Winscombe,BS25 1DY Conversion of garage to include a first floor extension to form a residential annex.
08-Mar-18 17/P/5602/FUH 76 Sandford Road, Winscombe, BS25 1JF Two storey side and rear extension with associated works. Decision: Granted
08-Mar-18 17/P/2024/OUT F Sweeting and Sons, land adjacent to Orchard Lea, Station Road, Sandford. Outline application for residential development (of up to 16 dwellings) with all matters reserved for subsequent approval.
08-Mar-18 17/P/5600/FUH Headingley, Bridgwater Road, Winscombe Single storey side extension Decision: Granted
08-Mar-18 17/P/5383/ADV Shute Shelve Autopoint, Bridgwater Road, Winscombe Replacement and relocation of existing totem sign.
08-Mar-18 17/P/5249/FUH 3 Plumtree Close, Winscombe Proposed side extension with conservatory to rear Decision: Granted
10-Feb-18 17/P/0426/F 6 Quarry Road ,Sandford ,BS25 5RL Erection of 2 front dormers Decision: Granted
08-Feb-18 17/P/5347/FUH 80 Church Road ,Winscombe ,North Somerset, BS25 1BP Erection of a detached double garage Decision: Granted
26-Jan-18 17/P/5653/FUH 22 Brae Road, Winscombe Proposed two storey side extension over garage and rear single storey extension together with internal alterations
26-Jan-18 17/P/5559/FUH 31 Church Road, Winscombe Proposed single storey side extension to provide a ground floor bedroom and accessible en-suite for the use of a disabled family member Decision: Granted
26-Jan-18 17/P/5548/FUH Fircot Hillyfields, Winscombe Erection of a side extension and a conservatory following the demolition of existing outbuilding
26-Jan-18 17/P/5433/FUH 30 Woodborough Drive, Winscombe Single storey rear/side extension. Decision: Granted
26-Jan-18 17/P/5523/FUH Fox Hollow, Parsons Way, Winscombe, BS25 1BT Single storey rear extension and new rear deck/terrace. Decision: Granted
26-Jan-18 17/P/5347/FUH 80 Church Road, Winscombe, BS25 1BP Erection of a detached double garage
26-Jan-18 17/P/5608/FUH First Floor Flat, 4 Rockeries Drive, Winscombe, BS25 1DN Conversion of garage/barn to additional living accommodation for existing dwelling. Demolition of single storey entrance lobby and erection of two storey extension providing access to converted garage and to existing first floor flat. Building of a dedicated bat attic.
04-Jan-18 17/P/5377/FUH 11 Sidcot Lane, Winscombe, North Somerset, BS25 1LA Erection of two storey side extension to create granny annexe and double garage. Demolition and rebuild of single storey rear extension. Demolition of existing garage. Decision: Refused
04-Jan-18 17/P/5183/FUH 6 Wimblestone Road, Winscombe, North Somerset, BS25 1JR Erection of a two storey side extension and a loft conversion with dormers to front and rear. Decision: Granted
04-Jan-18 17/P/5061/FUL Land to West of Barton and to South of Barton Road, Winscombe Erection of an agricultural building. Decision: Granted
18-Dec-17 17/P/2559/F 11 Homefield Close, Winscombe BS25 1JE Full planning permission for demolition of a single storey rear extension and garden room and replacement with a two storey rear extension with single storey lean to element. Decision: granted, Notes: Development shall begin before expiry of 3 years, in accordance with the approved plans and documents.
14-Dec-17 17/P/2402/F Barton Grange, Barton Road Winscombe BS25 1DP. Full planning permission. Proposed change of use of residential care home (C2) to 8 no residential apartments (C3) ( Decision) withdrawn by application. No decision will be made on it.
14-Dec-17 17/P/2573/ADV Land At The Two Junctions Of Greenhill Road & Lyncombe Drive Sandford ( Mendip Snow Centre) Advertising consent for one temporary events banner (SG1), one illuminated freestanding sign (SG2), one illuminated freestanding structure with temporary events banner ( SG3) and one freestanding sign (SG4 ( Decision) SPLIT DECISION: SG1,3 and 4 refused; SG2 granted for 5 years.
26-Oct-17 Land North of Station Road and Sandmead Road, Sandford, Land East and Wet of Nye Road, Sandford Proposed Public Path Diversion Orders of AX/29/76,AX29/50 and AX29/49,( see map PPO170 26.10.2017)
03-Apr-17 17/P/0887/O Land North of Greenhill Road Sandford (Aurora) Outline planning application for a residential development of up to 93 dwellings and associated infrastructure, with all matters reserved for subsequent approval except for access

Good News (so far) on the Aurora planning application, Sandford

District Councillors UNANIMOUSLY REJECTED the first Aurora planning application for 85 houses, ( 17/P/08870/O ) next to the Strongvox site for 118, on the A368 in Sandford, yesterday, August 8th.. The second Aurora application,( 18/P/ 3625/OUT) for the same site with a slightly different layout, will be decided on 12th September, when the same arguments will be heard again. Residents are urged to keep sending their comments in.

Despite pressure from Council planners who recommended approval of the scheme, several District Councillors on the North Somerset Planning and Regulatory Committee spoke out against the disproportionate and unsustainable expansion this would mean, for an infill village with very few facilities, and the damaging impact this would have on Sandford residents' quality of life and community. 88 objectors from Sandford and the surrounding villages wrote in expressing their anger and outrage at the proposal.

Aurora, together with Strongvox, would mean over 40% growth for Sandford, an infill village, and goes against Council policy and the new Local Plan, as well as National Planning Policy guidance on building safe and healthy communities. Council planners are desperate to meet government housing figures, and are trying to say that the previous Strongvox Appeal decision means they should let this application through, without acknowledging the damaging cumulative effect of the Aurora development, on top of Strongvox.

Aurora have already put in an Appeal on the first application. A Planning Inspector will decide whether or not the development should go ahead, later on this year.

The reason the Aurora Applications are attracting such outrage is that firstly it's far too much growth, far too fast, for a village the size of Sandford. It will turn Sandford into a commuter dormitory, and push existing services like GPs and Schools in the surrounding villages to breaking point, and increase existing traffic problems for Banwell, Winscombe, Sandford and Churchill. Secondly, the development proposal doesn't provide any of the community facilities needed to help integrate the new residents into village life. There are no new jobs, and no new bus services.

If the Aurora development is approved as being 'sustainable', then this opens the door wide to any large speculative housing development application anywhere else in the North Somerset countryside which boasts a bus stop. If 200 houses is 'sustainable' for an infill village of 500, then just think of the numbers which would be considered 'sustainable' for a service village.

One District Councillor at the meeting called for a strong message to be sent to the government protesting the current situation where Councils are under such enormous pressure to get the housing figures up. There was speculation that Planning Inspectors must be reaching the point when they, too, will be forced to speak out about the pressures on them to pass housing schemes which frankly go against good planning.

Objectors are calling on the Council planners to focus on brownfield land, and sites near larger settlements which can better absorb large numbers of new houses and residents. So far, North Somerset Council hasn't issued any information about plans to develop council-owned or brownfield land. This would be the obvious, sustainable alternative to trying to force through large, unsustainable housing developments in the countryside, where the only people who profit are the developers.

Anyone who cares about the countryside, and community life, is urged to join one of the neighbourhood groups for their area. Together, we can bring influence to bear, to change housing policy so that these wasteful and unsustainable housing development applications are ruled out from the start. .

SNG: Sandford Neighbourhood Group,

CALRAG: Churchill and Langford Residents Action Group:

CRAG: Congresgury Residents Action Group:


The holidays are traditionally the time politicians, or anyone who has a dodgy or unpopular plan, tries to sneak it under the radar of public scrutiny. It's called 'putting out the trash' when the government does it just before parliament closes at the end of July.

This week, Sandford residents got a shock when they found a planning application for 93 houses, Aurora, which the Council has been sitting on for a year, has sprouted a brand new Application Number 18/P/3625/OUT, and a very slightly different Master Plan , and had been put in for Decision on 8th August by the Planning and Regulatory Committee, at less than a weeks' notice.. The Council Planners are recommending approval, which is even more of a shock, mainly because Aurora, added to the Strongvox development now being built on the site next to it, will mean a mega- housing estate of over 200 houses, in a village of only 500. Not only is this going against the Local Plan,, but it would very likely be thrown out by a Planning Inspector, because of its size, and the effect this will have.

So why is the Council now saying it's all right to put a 211 home housing estate in an infill village ? We know the Council is desperate to get the housing figures up, but this is going too far, surely? There are other applications waiting for approval near the towns and service villages, which have at least some facilities already, and are better able to absorb an extra 450 people. From what's on the Aurora application plan, it's mainly housing, so it's not as if the developers are offering anything to make up for the lack of community facilities in Sandford.

If the Council is willing to go along with this in Sandford, where will this stop? Isn't it time the Council gets a grip, and stands up to developers, and makes sure housing is built on derelict land, and near towns and service villages?

Also, the way this application is being pushed through reflects very badly on the Council.. Sandford residents have now found out that their comments on the original application aren't on the Council website any more... The Report the Committee has already been sent is inaccurate and based on out of date information, objectors say. With 3 working days to go, can residents get their comments in, in time to be read by the Planning Committee? Or perhaps they should go along to the meeting, (if they aren't on holiday)? :Objectors and supporters have 3 minutes to speak to the Committee, with one spokesperson for each side. . So, is this a done deal? It's anyone's guess. We won't know until the Committee decide, but until then, good luck Sandford.


Sandford residents are shocked to discover that the highly controversial AURORA 93 DWELLING HOUSING DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION, on land North of Greenhill Road, next to the 117 dwelling Strongvox development now being built, has been RECOMMENDED FOR APPROVAL by North Somerset Council Planning and Regulatory Committee, by the Case Officer.

The application is LISTED FOR DECISION by the Planning and Regulatory Committee at a meeting starting 2.30pm on Wednesday 8th August at the Council Offices, Weston, under a new Application Number, 18/P/3625/OUT. Less than a weeks' notice has been given.

PLEASE SEND IN YOUR COMMENTS NOW, by logging onto the North Somerset Council planning website sending/taking in a letter to North Somerset Council, quoting the Application Number. Please ask friends and family to comment as well. Please email (Sandford Neighbourhood Group) to register for bulletins. Copy documents are on the website


  • This is probably the last chance we have to make a difference. If the Aurora development is approved and built, this means Sandford will have grown by over 80% in population since 2008, not counting other smaller developments, or the allocated 16 dwelling Sweetings Yard site.
  • The Case Officer's Report does not mention Sandford's size, which it should. Allowing over 200 more dwellings ( Strongvox plus Aurora) to be built in a infill village of 503 dwellings, within a 2 year period, would be a massively disproportionate increase in planning terms, and should not be permitted.
  • If the flawed arguments in the Case Officer Report on Aurora are not challenged, this means that ANY new speculative development proposal for Sandford would be acceptable in the future, using the same misleading arguments.
  • Only last week there was yet another new development proposal for Sandford, 40 dwellings on the Sutherland site, again on land North of Greenhill Road, very close to the Aurora site.
  • The Case Officer's Report claims that Sandford is 'sustainable', based on an assessment made by the Strongvox Appeal Planning Inspector two years ago. The assessment is NO LONGER VALID, as there have been considerable changes since then. The Strongvox Inspector's assessment was based on
    1. the availability of bus services which have been axed, which it is not proposed to replace,
    2. the provision by Strongvox of shared community facilities with the Primary School, including a new shared hall, which will not now be built, and
    3. limiting the number of new houses to 118, given Sandford's character.
    4. Providing a school playing field was given limited weight by the Inspector.
  • Other events reducing Sandford's sustainability, since the Inspector's Decision, are
    1. the closure and sale of the Methodist Chapel, and
    2. the closure of the pre-school playgroup.
    3. the cumulative residual effect of extra traffic from the 118 Strongvox households, and now 95 from Aurora, which have not been properly assessed. Banwell, Winscombe, Langford and Churchill will be adversely affected as well.
    4. The Primary School, currently full, may eventually be extended, but this will not happen in time to receive the children from the 118 Strongvox families. The Aurora school playground is a replacement for the play area built over by the school extension for the Strongvox children, not an additional benefit.
  • Unplanned large development in Sandford , with developers contributing minimal onsite amenities, and with no Council funds available to make up the shortfall in shared public spaces, community meeting places, walking/cycling routes, allotments and other local services Sandford needs, means that Sandford will inevitably become a mainly commuter dormitory settlement. There will be several separate large housing estates, the majority of residents accessing jobs and services by private car.
  • Social interaction between residents old and new will be difficult, as will healthy lifestyles. There will be a knock-on increase in health and social care cost.
  • The health, social and cultural well-being of all residents will suffer, as well as the countryside. This is contrary to the Local Plan, and Sections 8,9,11, 12, and 15 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2018, as well as being unsustainable.
  • North Somerset Council has no 5 year housing supply, therefore planning law says that the presumption in favour of sustainable development applies, unless the adverse effects of development outweigh the benefits.
There is no evidence that the Aurora development scheme is sustainable. There is no available alternative to using private motor cars, no additional public transport, no evidence that the original objections about flooding and drainage lodged against this scheme have been overcome, and no evidence about any additional local jobs.

The adverse cumulative effects of the Aurora development substantially outweigh the benefits of providing the housing on offer.

Both Aurora applications should be refused.

West of England Joint Spatial Plan

The West of England Joint Spatial Plan will set the priorities for the Local Plan for North Somerset, and the Local Plans for the other 3 local authorities. We have an extra consultation to complete after the JSP consultation, the draft North Somerset Local Plan. This can be found on the NSC website, go to the Consultations page. Both consultations have a deadline of January 10th.


The Joint Spatial Plan: How the Inspector makes the Decision on the Plan

Examining Local Plans ( National Planning Policy Framework Para 182).

The Local Plan will be examined by an independent inspector whose role is to assess whether the plan has been prepared in accordance with the Duty to Cooperate, legal and procedural requirements, and whether it is sound. A local planning authority should submit a plan for examination which it considers is "sound" - namely that it is:

  • Positively prepared - the plan should be prepared based on a strategy which seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements, including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development;
  • Justified - the plan should be the most appropriate strategy, when considered against the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence;
  • Effective - the plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities; and
  • Consistent with national policy - the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with
    Sustainable development: There are three dimensions to sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. These dimensions give rise to the need for the planning system to perform a number of roles:
  • an economic role
    - contributing to building a strong, responsive and competitive economy, by ensuring that sufficient land of the right type is available in the right places and at the right time to support growth and innovation; and by identifying and coordinating development requirements, including the provision of infrastructure;
  • a social role
    - supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities, by providing the supply of housing required to meet the needs of present and future generations; and by creating a high quality built environment, with accessible local services that reflect the community's needs and support its health, social and cultural well-being; and
  • an environmental role
    - contributing to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment; and, as part of this, helping to improve biodiversity, use natural resources prudently, minimise waste and pollution, and mitigate and adapt to climate change including moving to a low carbon economy
For plan-making this means that:
  • local planning authorities should positively seek opportunities to meet the development needs of their area;
  • Local Plans should meet objectively assessed needs, with sufficient flexibility to adapt to rapid change, unless:-
    any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in this Framework taken as a whole; or- specific policies in this Framework indicate development should be restricted.
    -contribute to conserving and enhancing the natural environment and reducing pollution. Allocations of land for development should prefer land of lesser environmental value, where consistent with other policies in this Framework;
  • encourage the effective use of land by reusing land that has been previously developed (brownfield land), provided that it is not of high environmental value;
  • promote mixed use developments, and encourage multiple benefits from the use of land in urban and rural areas, recognising that some open land can perform many functions (such as for wildlife, recreation, flood risk mitigation, carbon storage, or food production);
  • conserve heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance, so that they can be enjoyed for their contribution to the quality of life of this and future generations;
  • actively manage patterns of growth to make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling, and focus significant development in locations which are or can be made sustainable; and take account of and support local strategies to improve health, social and cultural wellbeing for all, and deliver sufficient community and cultural facilities and services to meet local need

Currently, there is government funding for Garden Towns or Villages, one planning idea in the Joint Spatial Plan. Some general information about Garden settlements:

The Garden City Principles are a distillation of the key elements that have made the Garden City model of development so successful, reimagined for the 21st Century, and should be viewed as indivisible.Garden Cities were founded on a series of principles developed by Ebenezer Howard which remain relevant today:

  • Strong vision, leadership and community engagement
  • Land value capture for the benefit of the community
  • Community ownership of land and long-term stewardship of assets
  • Mixed-tenure homes and housing types that are affordable for ordinary people
  • Beautifully and imaginatively designed homes with gardens in healthy communities
  • A strong local jobs offer in the Garden City itself and within easy commuting distance
  • Opportunities for residents to grow their own food, including allotments
  • Generous green space, including: surrounding belt of countryside to prevent unplanned sprawl; well connected and biodiversity-rich public parks; high quality gardens; tree-lined streets; and open spaces
  • Strong cultural, recreational and shopping facilities in walkable neighbourhoods
  • Integrated and accessible transport systems

Online Joint Spatial Plan consultation :

Email forms to

Post forms to : West of England Joint Spatial Plan, c/o South Gloucestershire Council, Planning, POBox 1954, Bristol BS37 0DD

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