Council refuses planning application for 22 homes and a public car park in Wick

Controversial plans to build 22 homes on Green Belt land next to Church Road/High Street in Wick and provide a public car park to help manage visitors to Golden Valley Nature Reserve have been refused by South Gloucestershire Council.

Several reasons have been given, including the harm it would cause to the Green Belt, where development is strictly controlled, and the impact on the setting of nearby Grade I listed Wick Court.

Planners also had concerns about how so many homes would fit on the site in light of all the necessary infrastructure, and were concerned that no crossing point had been proposed for people to get from the proposed car park to the nature reserve on the other side of the busy A420, where there is a history of accidents.

Developer Wick Land Ltd’s scheme was also contrary to council policy on appropriate provision for affordable housing and public open space.

The council had received 118 letters of objection and 11 in favour.

As we reported last summer, the developer came under fire for starting work on the site, even though no decision had been taken by the council at the time over the outline planning application for 14 four-bed houses, three three-bed houses, three two-bed flats and two one-bed flats.

A 2.4 metre high fence erected by the developer which screens the site from the road led to the council issuing an enforcement notice, branding it  “inappropriate and negatively impacts the openness of the Green Belt”.

The developer appealed to the Secretary of State after being ordered by the council to take it down and a planning inspector’s decision is still pending.