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Call to scrap Weston-super-Mare homes for 'people's forest'

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image captionDevelopment on the 25-hectare former landfill site is included in the local plan

Plans for 700 homes on a former landfill in Weston-super-Mare should be scrapped and the area turned into a "people's forest", a councillor has said.

John Crockford-Hawley said building on the 25-hectare site would cause "unbelievable problems" due to contamination.

The site was the town's landfill tip from the late 1960s until the 1980s.

Another site for the homes would be needed if the plans are changed.

"I have a pet desire to see it taken out of any development plan and turned into an urban woodland," the Liberal Democrat, who sits on North Somerset Council, said.

"There are all sorts of contamination problems.

"I foresee unbelievable problems in trying to develop that site."

'Natural woodland'

Mr Crockford-Hawley said: "I don't envisage a formal public park...but could see a people's forest where anybody could plant trees and over time truly natural looking new woodland might arise from the rubbish below. 

"Just imagine school kids and scouts being encouraged to plant their own trees, in time this would become their forest and it would become an ideal place to play, explore and walk dogs."

Jenny Ford, North Somerset Council's head of development, said there were "difficulties" in building houses on the site but decontamination of the land was "not impossible".

"It was a landfill site so would need decontaminating.

"If it came out of the local plan we'd need to find another location for that quantum of housing," she said.

The council said it is currently looking at options for the site with government agency Homes England, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

Related Topics

  • Environment
  • North Somerset Council
  • Trees
  • Weston-super-Mare

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