It’s been a strange autumn.
Until fairly recently the trees in the wood and by the river have stayed resolutely green.
Now at last, they are beginning to show their seasonal tints of yellow and brown.
The first frost was late this year but it had been so mild that when it came it took me by surprise.
I love cold crisp mornings, so I was out of the house with dog and camera in record time.
It was just after sunrise when I approached the river.
Mist was rising from the fishing lakes and the sunlight was filtered through thin cloud.
Overnight the valley had been transformed into a scene of ethereal I have always loved my waterside walks, but now they are tinged with sadness.
I know that, if Nailsea Town Council’s proposal to remove protection from the land between the settlement boundary and the river is adopted, the peaceful idyll will be shattered.
I’m told the town needs development, and that the ‘strategic gap’ between Nailsea and Backwell must be protected, but at what cost?
BACKGROUND: In July this year it was reported that hundreds of new homes could be built on the fringes of Wraxall if plans to remove land from the green belt go ahead.
Nailsea Town Council asked North Somerset Council for a green belt review of the land surrounding the town.
As part of the review the town council want to see a stretch of land on the town's north eastern border with Wraxall removed from the green belt to provide a new access road to Southfield Trading Estate.
The new road would link up with Clevedon Road on the edge of Nailsea, with the town council suggesting the land inbetween be used for housing, leisure and employment purposes.
The town council suggested the land following a drive by North Somerset Council to find potential sites for development.
The authority had planned in its Core Strategy document to build around 14,000 new homes across the district by 2026.
But following a challenge to the strategy, Government planning inspectors said the housing numbers were not sufficient and 26,750 homes needed to be built.
Land at Causeway View in Nailsea has already been earmarked in the local plan for 450 new homes.
But as the demand for new homes has increased, Nailsea could see up to 1,000 new homes built in the town over the coming years.
It is the third time that the town council in a dangerous precedent has asked North Somerset Council to consider removing the land from the green belt.
But district council policy is currently not to discuss any changes to the green belt ,
Nailsea Town Council clerk Ian Morrell said this summer: "The town council has been concerned for many years that North Somerset Council's refusal to consider a green belt review makes the land between Nailsea and Backwell the most vulnerable for development, whereas it should be in the green belt.
"It considers that land to the north east of the town could be suitable for employment, leisure and residential, but above all it wants to see an objective analysis of all potential sites so that the long-term needs for housing, jobs and leisure facilities for the town and villages can be met."
See further planning stories on the August news page by clicking HERE.