As I’m sure residents are already aware a requirement to build more than 20,000 homes has been imposed on North Somerset Council. My primary concern are those residents that will be affected. Though we are told that additional homes across the country are necessary, I am at a loss to understand where the demand emanates from in this area. Another concern is that the required infrastructure – such as school places, hospital beds and roads – is not developed enough to support this kind of housing increase, let alone the investment that would be necessary to develop more jobs. Many people understandably feel that any demand to build more homes should be accompanied by grants to upgrade facilities. At the moment I cannot see where this has been forthcoming and with current available funds it would be an impossible financial commitment for North Somerset Council and local rate payers to meet on their own. Certainly housing developers’ Section 106 financial contributions are a drop in the ocean as opposed to an approximate £6 million price tag required for a new school.
Residents tell me they fear that villages will turn into towns, and towns will have to expand rapidly to accept the influx. Others feel that Weston-super-Mare has also reached its capacity, and that any further imposed development might mean we will need to dust off plans for another motorway junction!