News 1 June 2015
JUNIOR JUNE SHOWS
For your first pantomime of the season see Aladdin or little people may prefer Thumbelina or a bit of Porridge though we are not sure whether it includes the three bears - details on the Performing Peeps page by clicking HERE.
Thousands of new homes in pipeline
One of the largest British house building companies is proposing to build a self-contained 'new town' in North Somerset.
Taylor Wimpey has written to all newly elected North Somerset councillors setting out its idea for three new villages making up the 'new town' on the eastern edge of the district bounded to the east by south Bristol and to the west by the A370 Long Ashton bypass and Barrow Tanks - pictured top.
Here is wants to build 4,500 new homes, three primary schools and a secondary school plus a University Technical College (UTC) for 14-19 year olds similar to its provision in Buckinghamshire – a county which has retained grammar schools.
It also wants to provide job opportunities on a business and retail park.
It is also looking at park and ride facilities as well as a new railway station.
And the sweeter Taylor Wimpey South West divisional managing director Nigel Holland adds at the end of its letter is the project dubbed The Vale will net North Somerset Council more than £39 million in New Homes Bonus.
Okay Taylor Wimpey and other builders have lots more plans in the pipeline for North Somerset including building at Backwell, Congresbury, Nailsea and Yatton and they admit this project would take many years to come to fruitition.
What do you think?
Return of village ATM ram raiders
Early on Sunday morning raiders tried to steal a cashpoint machine from the Spar stores at Backwell.
The would-be thieves cut a hole in the shop window at approximately 2am and attached a cable to the ATM and the back of their getaway car.
But the vehicle wasn’t strong enough to wrench the machine from its fittings and they fled empty-handed.
Shop manager Julie Philpott was woken by police in the early hours to go and assess the damage.
She said: “There was quite a mess with broken glass everywhere and some of the product stands were ruined.”
Julie said it looked like the raid had been made by a professional gang who were caught on CCTV wearing black balaclava and gloves.
She added: “Everything has been repaired including the expensive plate glass window.
“Nothing like this has ever happened before at our Rodney Road store.”
Police are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.
They believe the culprits tried to haul the ATM out using a vehicle but were foiled when the cables they were using snapped and they left empty-handed.
PC Matt Christie said: “CCTV in the area shows a few people walking around, perhaps returning home from a night out.
“I’m especially keen to hear from them as they may have important information for us.
“I’d ask anyone who can help to get in touch.”
To contact the police online click HERE or call 101 quoting reference 56824/15.
Alternatively ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
Nationwide gangs have been targeting ATMs and in Merseyside in April this year four men were jailed for blowing up ATM machines and stealing almost £700,000 in 30 separate raids.
Tactics have included using powerful circular saws with petrol-powered disc cutters.
Even across the pond they have the same problems.
In New York police say a team of crooks are stealing ATMs city wide using crowbars, cars and chains with 73 incidents reports in the past 12 months.
Back in 2012 ram raiders made an unsuccessful attack on the ATM mounted on the pavement across the road from the Spar at Backwell.
These perpetrators also escaped empty-handed but totally destroyed the Tardis-style cashpoint.
Its replacement still stands flanked by four heavy-duty safety bollards and warning notices that it is fitted with CCTV.
Backwell Parish Council had recommended to North Somerset Council that CCTV, security lights and bollards were made planning conditions.
But this didn't happen and at midnight on New Year's Eve the ram-raiders struck using vehicles stolen from Backwell Motors.
The ATMs act as a financial lifeline for the village after HSBC closed the only bank in the village in November 2011.
The crime rates for Nailsea and Backwell are considered average for similar size communities.
Below is a snapshot of the latest statistics published for April 2015 at foe Nailsea.
Crime at Crown Glass Shopping Centre has been reduced since the introduction of security staff and a Shopwatch scheme.
Backwell only record six - three for anti-social behaviour, one for theft and one deemed 'other crime'.
Food furore at Backwell Lake
Neighbours are objecting to plans for a mobile catering unit selling hot and cold food being parked at Backwell Lake.
Trader Michael Silvera has applied for a licence to sell food and drink at Backwell Lake under the name T-Bird Sun Hut from 9am-7.30pm daily.
But people living nearby say this is not appropriate in a nature reserve.
Barry and Helen Madge, of Station Road, said: “There is already an ice-cream van parked at the lake car park.
“We have had considerable problems with vermin in the past...it took years to eradicate them.”
And they blamed overflowing bins at the lake grounds.
Nailsea Town Council recommended refusal at is planning and enviroment committee because of fears of increased litter and pressure on the car park.
North Somerset Council will decide the application.
The only dusk feeding frenzy Nailsea people would like to see at Backwell Lake is this one captured top on film by environmentalist Gill Brown.
The lake ground is owned by Wessex Water and is leased from them by North Somerset Council for 25 years.
It was designated as a Nature Reserve in 1990 and is an outstanding area for dragonflies and for foraging bats, including the protected Greater Horseshoe bats.
After path around the lake was completed this year thanks to Backwell Access Group (BAG).
Backwell Lake was created in the 1970s by developers building new housing estates in Nailsea to drain water from the land and to avert flooding.
Police still to do sale paperwork
Nailsea Police Station will not be sold until its officers have a new home.
Avon & Somerset Constabulary put a ‘for sale’ board outside the town centre building in September 2014.
But this week a police spokesman confirmed that they still haven’t got a firm moving date or somewhere to go.
She said: “There isn't really an update at the moment.
“We're still in discussions with North Somerset Council about a permanent co-location for the neighbourhood team.
“The station won't close until we have confirmed plans to relocate.”
Fears that a pending budget by the new Conservative government could stall plans for the redevelopment of Scotch Horn Centre have been voiced.
A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “We can't comment on the future of the police station.
“A t the moment we are doing work to look at the potential for Scotch Horn to become a council service hub - think town hall, Castlewood.
“It is possible that this could include a police station, but this is by no means decided at present.”
Preliminary discussions with planners by a potential developer have centred on building retirement homes on the site.
In the run up to election Tory councillors promised much for Nailsea including a swimming pool.
At North Somerset Council executive meeting in March then council leader Nigel Ashton confirmed they were hoping to turn Scotch Horn Leisure Centre into a health and social care hub incorporating a new pool, library, police station and more family services.
And then Nailsea district councillor Jeremy Blatchford added to the speculation by saying that youth and health services as well as a swimming pool could also go into the Brockway complex.
But Mr Blatchford failed to get re-elected which leaves a bit of an impasse.
Previously swimming pool campaigners had been told the plans were not feasible because of funding issues.
Nailsea police station is part of a package of properties deemed surplus to requirements.
For sale notices were also put up at Clevedon and Southmead police stations and the roads policing unit base at Bourneville by commercial property consultants Hartnell Taylor Cook.
The 1970s police station at Nailsea sits on a 1.4 acres plot on the corner of Mizzymead Rise and Stockway South.
Surveyor Henry de Teissier who was in charge of the sale advertised the Nailsea plot with a price tag of £1,250,000.
The sales description added the property was suitable for ‘residential, retail and other uses subject to planning permission’.
Mr de Teissier said there were 10 bids for Nailsea and three were shortlisted.
Those on the shortlist were invited to ‘interview’ as the police were keen to choose a suitable buyer for such a prominent site and were not constrained to take the highest bid, Mr de Teissier added.
All three interested parties were interviewed with moving onto contract stage but no formal planning application has been submitted to North Somerset Council.
However, until the legal paperwork has been completed the police will not reveal the name of the successful bidder.
Reassurances that a police presence will be maintain in Nailsea town centre have been given but whether this is a shop at Crown Glass Place or a back room at Scotch Horn Centre nothing is set in concrete - yet.
Police say they will keep a public enquiry office in Nailsea which will be stay open 10am-6pm Monday to Friday and a 24/7 neighbourhood team but from 2015 their base will move elsewhere in the town.
North Somerset chief inspector Alex Cohen said at the time the sale was announced: “I see the location of the neighbourhood team in the centre of Nailsea as absolutely critical to our ability to deliver a quality service to the public.
“We have already outlined our plans to streamline our service by providing smaller, more accessible policing bases in the heart of our communities, including Nailsea.
“We need to ensure that we get the best value for money for the taxpayer from the sale of our buildings.
“There is no intention to bring forward the date of the closure of the current Nailsea police station from 2015-16, or to close the station before a new base is available.
"We are also exploring an opportunity to co-locate with North Somerset Council in an easily accessible leisure facility.”
The sell off is part of the force’s five year estate strategy which was announced earlier this year.
The Clevedon neighbourhood team has been based at the council offices at Castlewood, Tickenham Road since 2013 and the public enquiry office there remains open between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday.
UPDATE 1: Big reveal Monday
McCarthy & Stone want to build retirement homes on the police station site at Nailsea.
The retirement house builder is proposing a multi-storey flat-roofed building on the corner of Stockway South and Mizzymead Road containing 41 one-bed and two-bed apartments.
McCarthy and Stone is set to unveil its proposals on Monday, June 8, to local councillors, people living in neighbouring properties and various groups in the community in the business suite at the Scotch Horn Centre.
This is prior to submitting a formal planning application to North Somerset Council.
The company has built approximately 50,000 apartments nationwide in the past four decades.
The privately owned property developers have been awarded a five star rating in a Home Builders Federation (HBF) homeowner survey for the past 10 years.
They currently have permission to redevelop Staple Hill Police Station at Broad Street, Bristol, South for 43 one and two bed retirement living apartments and construction is due to start in March 2015 at the old Bridgwater Police Station, Northgate, for 36 one and two bed flats for the over 60s.
McCarthy & Stone had originally hoped to develop the Four Oaks school site but lost out to boutique property developer Juniper which specialises in small and exclusive developments in Bristol, Bath, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
Juniper also developed The Friendship pub site at Nailsea and The Fairways at Wraxall.
UPDATE 2: Big reveal cancelled
McCarthy and Stone meetings on Monday with councillors and the public are all cancelled.
The new date is Tuesday, June 16.
The reason given was this was 'due to so many nearby residents having not received any invitation'.
UPDATE 3: It rains in Nailsea!
North Somerset district and town councillor Jan Barber has had some information about the proposals which she said are for two, three and four storeys blocks all with flat roofs.
Jan said: "They could well change that as I did mention we have a lot of rain!"
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wine bar and good food restaurant
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Manager Ellen-Louise Pirret and her staff look forward to welcoming all at 120 High Street
Open daily from 9.30am for
Dinner 6-9.30pm Monday to Thursday,
6-10pm Friday and Saturday and traditional Sunday lunch noon-4pm
Well-stocked wine cellar with fine selection of white and red
Butcombe beer on tap
To book click HERE, call 01275 854455 or email
Wanted: In-school artist
Nailsea School is looking for a street artist to help students make three large 2D posters for its community entrance.
The one day job for an ‘artist facilitator’ is being advertised by North Somerset Arts.
The brief is to work with a group of talented Year 7, 8 and 8 students on Thursday, July 9, from 9am-3pm under the direction of the head of art at the Mizzymead Road comprehensive.
The person they are looking for most have expertise in developing creative painting techniques including working with stencilling, mixed-media, layering, and using spray paint with a sound knowledge of illustration and abstraction methods on a large scale.
The students have been developing background work for the exhibition piece using screen-printing techniques which they will develop into stencils.
The artist facilitator will help the students to make three large scale ‘public art’ pieces for permanent exhibition.
For more details about the paid job click HERE.
The freelance ‘community and aspiration’ project has been funded by Nailsea Town Council and Nailsea School.
Nailsea currently only has a few examples of street art – The Glass Blower by Vanessa Marston which sits on the corner of the High Street opposite Tesco supermarket and the silhouette statues at the Millennium Park are two examples.
The glass works were founded in 1788 and became the fourth largest in the country.
It produced mostly low-grade bottle glass and closed down in 1873.
The site of the factory is now occupied by the car park of Tesco.
The silhouette statues include the 19th century evangelist Hannah More who taught Sunday school at Nailsea, Wurzel Adge Cutter who went to school in the town and recorded Drink Up Thy Cider live at the Royal Oak and Redvers Coates who founded Coates Cider Company and now has an industrial estate at Southfield Road named after him.
The photographs feature in the contemporary gallery of this website.
Nailsea Town Council is currently considering a Hidden History project to signpost the past with plaques, trail, murals, additional silhouette statues and information boards and a working brief has already been produced.
Pictured top left is Literacy Windows which was commissioned by the Times Project and put together by artists Carolyn Speranza and Lisa Link helped by five high school students for a large scale social sculpture and community engagement project at Pittsburgh in the US.
End of road
Final works will be carried out at Yanley Viaduct on the Long Ashton bypass this month following completion of the £3.4m scheme to replace essential parts of the structure.
The bypass re-opened to traffic in January.
Work continued underneath to maintain and refurbish the structure and has now been completed.
It means major work to the structure will not be needed again for another 15 years and the structure will remain fit for purpose, carrying more than 19,000 vehicles each day in and out of Bristol.
Work to improve drainage will take place between 9.30am-3.30pm from Monday to Saturday, June 8-July 18.
During these times, manually operated traffic lights will be used to control the flow of traffic on the bypass.
Some resurfacing of the northbound lane will also take place at night from Monday to Thursday, June 15-18, with two lanes remaining in operation so that traffic can flow in both directions.
North Somerset Council executive member responsible for highways Elfan Ap Rees said: "We said when the scheme was completed that it may be necessary to return to do some final works later in the year.
"That is not unusual with such a large and complex scheme like this one."
The A370 will be closed at night between Congresbury and Backwell for roadworks.
To minimise disruption on this busy commuter route, the work will be done at night over a two-week period.
Between Monday and Friday, June 22-26, the road will be patched, prior to future resurfacing, from the junction with the B3133 at Smallway to the Brockley Combe traffic lights.
As a result, the road will be closed from 8pm to 6am each night with a diversion in place via the B3133 - that is High Street, Brinsea Road, Stock Lane, the A38 Bristol Road, Red Hill, Bristol Road, Downside Road, Brockley Combe Road and vice-versa.
Signs will be put up on the diversion route and approaches to the closure advertising that businesses are open as usual. Traffic marshalls will also be present to advise motorists on access arrangements.
The following week from Monday to Friday, June 29-July 3, patching work will continue from the Brockley Combe traffic lights to the junction with Chelvey Road in Backwell.
The road will not be closed, but temporary traffic lights will be in operation between 8pm and 6am each night.
The £90,000 scheme is being carried out by Balfour Beatty on behalf of North Somerset Council.
North Somerset Council executive member responsible for highways Elfan Ap Rees said: "We are committed to improving North Somerset's roads and have pledged £40m over the next five years to do this.
"This busy road is being patched this year in preparation for surface dressing next year.
"We are having to close the road for the first week to allow our contractors to work safely, but will be moving to traffic lights in the second week where conditions allow."
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