A DEVELOPER behind a proposed 350-home site in Thornbury that had been refused has announced they will be taking the decision to appeal.

Plans for the Cleve Park development, which was earmarked for the field adjacent to Morton Way and Grovesend Road, were refused by South Gloucestershire Council in March.

Put forward by developers Wellbeck Land and Landform Estates, the plans also included 14 self-build plots and a 70-bed care home, as well as community and commercial facilities, and open space facilities including allotments

The prospective development, as with a number of others in the town, had drawn mixed reactions from the town, which has already had more than 1,000 new homes approved over the last few years, with those on the Cleve Park site among the hundreds still seeking approval, as well as the controversial 3,000-home Buckover Garden Village on the town’s borders.

While the request for an appeal has been announced, it is not yet known what procedure will be taken, with the developer having requested an inquiry, while South Gloucestershire Council have requested a hearing.

The inquiry process, an expensive procedure, could be several days long.

Erik Pagano, managing director of Landform said: “There are two parts to the application process, there is the technical assessment and the political side, and while we believe the council’s officers assessed it correctly and saw the development for what it was, and the benefits it would offer, sadly the councillors did not see the same.

“We believed we submitted a comprehensive and robust application, one that will clearly deliver on the identified need for housing, in a suitable location.

“It is understandable that some people are resistant to new housing, but new housing is needed. It is clear at a national level, with no argument between parties. It is just the politics of delivery that the people are debating.

“We hope that the planning inspector that will oversee the inquiry will see that and support our appeal.”

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesman confirmed the request for the appeal had been lodged and that the developer had requested an inquiry, adding that the council had requested a hearing as they “considered it the most appropriate procedure for determining the appeal.”

A Thornbury Town Council spokeswoman said that having objected to the original application and welcomed the decision to refuse planning permission, they would continue to object to speculative applications outside the settlement boundary and local development plan.

She said: “It is important that new development in Thornbury meets the needs of the community, is well designed and integrated and can provide the necessary infrastructure to support our growing town, which this application failed to demonstrate.

“The Town Council will continue to make these arguments during the appeals process.”

A spokesman for resident’s action group TRAPP’D said: “We are very concerned to ensure that South Glos puts together a robust defence of this appeal, given that the same Planning Officers who are organising the defence were strongly in favour of the proposal in the first place.

“We have been in contact with South Glos to say we want to give evidence to the appeal, and to be fully involved with their legal team in building the strategy for defending the original decision."