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'Twas the night before
Royal Oak mews
How do you fancy living next to a High Street pub, just yards from a big supermarket and bus stops in the centre of Nailsea?
Award-winning Bristol architects O’Leary Goss won approval this week from North Somerset Council planners for an imaginative £1.3million project to develop the Royal Oak garage..
The council-owned property was marketed more than a year ago for offers of £250,000 plus and at one time Nailsea Town Council expressed an interest before deciding to buy Youth House.
The plot and delapidated garage which is next to the Royal Oak pub isn't straightforward as part of the land has historic contamination and Scheduled Monument status.
However, undaunted the architects who designed the acclaimed Grade I Listed visitors’ centre at Clevedon Pier set to work and came up with plans for nine three-bed and one four-bed family homes plus a commercial unit.
The project will retain the stone walls of an original 18th century glassworks building which more recently has been used as a coach and engineering works.
Some of the remains of Nailsea Glassworks which was once the fourth largest UK glass producer lay under the neighbouring public park but the French kilns and coal-fired furnaces are long gone.
Robert O’Leary said: “It’s a privilege our company was chosen to design this scheme which will encapsulate and protect the industrial archaeological remains while providing much-needed family housing in the town centre.
“Key to the project is retention of the glassworks stone walls, along with the removal of the steel angle truss and asbestos cement roof of the derelict garage.
"The sustainable three storey, timber-framed properties will be set behind these historical walls.”
Rollo Homes are the developers and directors Paul O’Brien and Shaun Davis say work is set to start soon and be completed in around 12 months.
Mr O'Brien is well-known locally for his solar panel and roofing business and was recently responsible for the conversion of first floor offices at the Link Road into apartments.
O’Leary Goss is also behind plans to regenerate an abandoned garden centre in Tickenham with a £7 million development providing 32 two-and three-bed lifetime homes, flexible office space, small park, water-meadow and woodland play area.
At the end of October O’Leary Goss celebrated a prestigious Historic England Angel Awards 2016 as the People's Favourite for its £2.25 million project on Clevedon’s Grade I Listed Pier.
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber was behind the glittering award ceremony in London’s Palace Theatre.
The 13-strong Redland-based company recently celebrated 25 years of architectural designs and was behind the £5.2 million transformation of The Regent in Clevedon’s Victorian conservation area on Hill Road.
O’Leary Goss has completed a number of multi-million pound projects in the region, including Bridge House in Clifton and The Robinson Building in Bedminster.
They are involved with projects in the Southville, Redcliffe, Portland Square, and Redland areas of Bristol.
Robert added: ‘We specialise in interesting projects, often in hard-to-do areas and ensure our designs are in keeping with the local environment.”
Misspelling signs of times
When editor of the Clevedon Mercury we ran a feature on whether it was Redcliff or Redcliffe under a heading about the inclusion of the letter ‘e’ in the name of the coastal community.
It was topical at the time as suburbia was awash with recreational drugs but in fact the article turned out to be a very learned polemic on ancient spellings.
Anyway, coming up-to-date it is social media which is awash with misspellings some caused by the dyslexic writer, preempted text or just a typographical error (typo) for which with the help of Google there really isn’t much excuse.
This small article is however, this is all about signposts as Nailsea has seen a profusion of local names with odd spellings.
Take Crown Glass Shopping Centre’s new signage which included Clevedon Walk with an added ‘a’ – soon replaced with the correct spelling.
Most recently it is Whiteoak Way which appears to have been reborn as White Oak Way when the firework damaged sign on the corner with The Perrings was replaced.
The Winchcombe Close bus stop drives me mad everytime I eye its incorrect lettering.
And I am never sure whether is Stockway North/South or Stock Way North/South, if Christ Church is Christchurch or St Mary’s Grove and/or Queen’s Road should have the apostrophes I have just put in?
While on the subject of signposts a Nailsea man spotted the one at St Ives Close come a cropper thanks to a supermarket van being reversed into it.
Defra employee Andrew Read posted on his Facebook page on Saturday, January 14, 'It case anyone wonders why St Ives Close has a broken sign, I witnessed an Asda delivery van reverse into it at 7.50pm last night. Not sure if they will report it but I have tweeted the council'.
Very public spirted of you Andy.
If you know of a howler near you or have any comments on this please email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on page 3, thanks.
Call to ban diesel cars
Mary Poppins flying high over Nailsea shopping precinct wearing a smog mask is an image being used to highlight air pollution by a local environmentalist.
Despite living miles from Heathrow airport and a major motorway junction Richard Lancaster is warning about dangerous airborne toxics using a photoshopped image of a famous children’s book character holding her umbrella high over Somerset Square.
Mr Lancaster, of North Street, is alerting people that only five days into 2017 the UK has broken its annual air pollution limits – three days earlier than the previous year.
The Greenpeace activist is part of a nationwide awareness campaign calling on politicians to clean up the UK’s air to protect children’s lungs.
It wants legislation to end the sale of new diesel cars which can pump out between two to 15 times the legal limits of toxic fumes more than heavy trucks and buses, new European data has revealed.
The stark difference in emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) is due to the much stricter testing applied to large vehicles in the EU, according to researchers behind a new report.
They say the same strict measures must be applied to cars.
We know people living near a busy road have an increased risk of dementia as revealed in a report published in The Lancet this week and that our proximity to Bristol is a risk but the most detailed map of North Somerset only pinpoints light pollution for people living in Nailsea.
Hong Chen, the scientist who led the work at Public Health Ontario, said: “Increasing population growth and urbanisation has placed many people close to heavy traffic, and with widespread exposure to traffic and growing rates of dementia, even a modest effect from near-road exposure could pose a large public health burden.”
Previously, scientists have linked air pollution and traffic noise to reduced density of white matter - the brain’s connective tissue - and lower cognition.
While NOx pollution is responsible for tens of thousands of early deaths across Europe, with the UK suffering a particularly high toll.
Much of the pollution is produced by diesel cars, which on the road emit about six times more than allowed in the official lab-based tests.
Following the Volkswagen 'dieselgate' scandal, the car tests are due to be toughened, but campaigners say the reforms do not go far enough.
Mr Lancaster backed by Greenpeace wants a rapid shift to hybrid and electric vehicles.
He said: “It’s shocking that it’s taken only five days to break the UK’s annual limit of air pollution.
“Despite growing concerns about the health impacts of diesel fumes, the government has done almost nothing to tackle car companies since they were caught cheating emissions tests.
“Unbelievably, the government is still backing incentives to consumers to buy brand new diesel cars that are pumping out illegal levels of pollution.
“If cars coming off the production line had dodgy brakes, you know the government would step in to sort it out.
“We urgently need to stop the sale of new diesel models until emission testing is truly fit for purpose.
“Better still, we need car companies to phase out diesel completely and concentrate on hybrid and electric alternatives.
“We need #cleanairnow.”
Under EU rules, any single location in the UK is only allowed to breach hourly limits of 200 micrograms of NO2 per cubic metre of air 18 times in a year, but Brixton Road in London broke that limit for the 19th time earlier this week.
That breach means the UK has already violated 2017’s annual air pollution limits just five days into the year.
In the past few months, doctors, health professionals and campaigners, have all spoken out about the devastating impact of air pollution on human health, especially children’s.
Air pollution can cause asthma in otherwise healthy children, stunts children’s lung growth permanently by up to 10 per cent and is linked to strokes, heart disease and diabetes in older people.
In November 2016, the High Court ruled for the second time in 18 months that the government is not doing enough to combat the air pollution crisis.
The judge also said ministers knew that over-optimistic pollution modelling was being used, based on flawed lab tests of diesel vehicles rather than actual emissions on the road and must now look again at proposals to bring pollution levels down to legal levels.
Another new housing estate
A Nailsea vicar fears the development of a green field on the east side of the town for housing is a missed opportunity to build a community hall.
Steve Tilley who runs Trendlewood Church from Golden Valley Primary School said: “Many Nailsea people, particularly those from the Trendlewood estate, will probably be aware that a proposal for full development of the land know as Shepstone field.”
In the North Somerset Development Plan the site is marked out for community use due to restrictive covenants which define what can and can’t be built there.
Mr Tilley said: “My predecessors and I have made countless enquiries as to the purchase of the land to make some community facility available - a meeting place for clubs, societies, fairs and, of course, the local Church of England church.
“A small 'village' hall would be a facility in which the church would be committed to invest.
“I would like to ask Nailsea people if the availability of such a meeting place has a wider interest?”
It is rumoured that 10 five-bed homes were about to be built however potential developers have since quadrupled that figure.
Mr Tilley added: “Once this land is made available for full development (housing) there would be little chance of such a meeting place ever becoming available on the estate.”
The field is on your right as you enter Trendlewood Way from Station Road.
The late Mary Shepstone, who lived in Bucklands Drive, bequeathed the fields to two charities, Brunelcare and St Peters Hospice about 15 years ago.
Mary had always wanted the field to serve the community, and particularly the elderly.
About three years ago, North Somerset Council replaced the designation of the field from a community use designation to one that allows mixed use development.
The charities have used this designation as a green light.
They have now signalled their intention to build 30-40 houses.
Nailsea Action Group has taken up the cudgels and joined the vicar to fight any plans which are not in keeping with the character of the area and sympathetic to the local residents and their properties.
NAG says ‘the overall number of proposed new dwellings for Nailsea is too high…we request that the numbers allocated to Trendlewood Way fields be drastically reduced’.
Miss Shepstone bequeathed the land to the charities hoping it would be used to benefit the elderly.
NAG proposes a maximum of 20 dwellings including some bungalows and affordable housing and points out there is an old coal mine shaft in the wooded area and many underground tunnels.
It says birds and wildlife including badgers and foxes use the hedgerow as a corridor between Backwell lake and Nowhere Woods.
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