Our town is a very nice town
News 2 April 2015
House numbers at minister's door
There is a lot of sabre-rattling in the run up to a General Election by politicians of all persuasions which sometimes leads to broken promises.
But the pledge made by two Conservative MPs - Liam Fox and John Penrose - to get the housing quota for North Somerset decided by a Government minister has succeeded.
In an unprecedented move Eric Pickles, as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has agreed to call in a decision by planning inspectors to impose 21,000 extra houses in the North Somerset and Weston constituencies.
This was one of the last moves by the sitting MPs before the dissolution of parliament pending the General Election
The powers to ‘call in’ the housing plans have never been used before but the MPs, backed by North Somerset Council said an inspector’s decision to impose lots more houses in this area is unacceptable.
All are concerned that being ordered to build 21,000 more homes by 2026 will ‘overload the infrastructure, damage the environment including flood defences, and undermine democratically-approved local community development plans’.
Many of the homes are earmarked for open countryside surrounding villages.
Dr Fox said “We must not sacrifice our green belt for short term considerations.
“It is part of the legacy that we leave to future generations and we must not overload the infrastructure on our current towns and villages which would damage the quality of life for those who already live there.”
In what North Somerset Council has called a landmark decision Mr Pickles confirmed this week that the Government will intervene directly in the determination of the appropriate level of housing to be provided in North Somerset.
North Somerset Council adopted the Core Strategy in April 2012 with a housing policy to plan for 14,000 houses.
Following a legal challenge, the policy was found to be unlawful on the grounds that the independent planning inspector had failed to give adequate and intelligible reasons for his support of the council’s housing requirement.
The plan was then referred back to the Planning Inspectorate and, despite the council agreeing in the meantime to increase the number to 17,000, a further examination resulted in a formal report from the Planning Inspectorate in which a new inspector concluded that 17,000 houses was still insufficient to meet the council’s needs.
Instead, the inspector confirmed a housing figure of 20,985 - a 50 per cent increase over and above the council’s original proposal of 14,000 dwellings.
This all puts Nailsea in a bit of a predicament because without more homes being built the town will stagnant and schools will close...what do you think
NEWS IN BRIEF
Developers are asking North Somerset Council for permission to demolish Redwood Lodge Hotel and Country Club, at Beggar Bush Lane, Failand, to make way for homes for the elderly.
Redwood Hotel and Country Club in Failand will last summer with the loss of 80 jobs.
Set in 16-acres of woodland permission is being sought to build a 124-apartment ‘retirement care community’ complete with associated communal facilities including restaurant, spa and library.
Royal Oak pub
The Spirit Pub Company is asking for listed building consent to give the Royal Oak a new lick of paint and to tart up the garden.
The High Street pub is also set to get new garden furniture and planters plus a wall-mounted plasma screen.
Inside the company wants to make alterations to the bar, replace the flooring and repair an old fireplace.
General manager Luke Jones who hails from Cambridgeshire took over the pub in December.
The date of the opening of the Glassworks park has been change.
The official opening is now on Thursday afternoon, April 30.
Who is to be invited and what is happening is a matter of consideration for Nailsea Town Council.
Voted the worse ‘grot spot’ in Nailsea and amid a deluge of vocal complaints at the 2014 annual town meeting the council has spent £250,000 improving the area which it part of the town’s industrial past.
Nailsea Town Council clerk Ian Morrell said: “The contractor is responsible for the grass for 12 months after ‘practical completion’ so understandably they don’t want to remove the fencing until they are confident it will not be damaged by people walking across it.”
Holy Trinity church
A £30,000 government grant from Llisted Places of Worship: Roof Repair Fund has been awarded to Holy Trinity church.
The Fund was set up after the Chancellor of the Exchequer and has a total funding budget of £55million.
Work will start on the south aisle roof next year.
Changing face of our town centre
Weston College want to sell its Nailsea town centre property with planning permission for retail and residential units.
The former health centre on the edge of Crown Glass Shopping Centre was used by the college to run computer and beauty courses for several years up until 2010 when it was closed and put up for sale.
It is now boarded up and semi-derelict.
With a floor area of 12,701 sq ft the building is offered for sale at £805,000 or £70,000 per annum on lease by property consultants Alder King.
But in a move this week to make the plot easier to sell owners Weston College has submitted an outline planning application to North Somerset Council to redevelop the land and build shops, homes with underground parking.
North Somerset Council marketing and communications officer Richard Turner said: “The application is for outline planning permission for a mixed use development comprising of 28 residential units with associated parking and a ground floor commercial unit at Somerset Square.”
Weston College marketing operations manager Darren Bane said: “The situation with the premises in Nailsea is that we are hoping to sell it.”
Nailsea councillor Jan Barber said: “The application is for approximately 28 apartments with retail underneath and presumably car parking spaces in the basement.
“I saw some rough plans a few months’ ago and so nothing is finalised as this is just an outline plan.
“I am delighted that the site is being developed at long last as it is such an eyesore in the town centre.
“I approached one of the college governors urging them to do something when Churchill Retirement Living put in plans for Sycamore House.
“I do think the site lends itself to housing and there is a definite need for affordable accommodation in the town centre.
“I notice that the Churchill development actually started this week and I hope that the outline planning permission for Weston College is successful and that detailed plans are submitted as soon as possible after that, so that the whole area is improved.
“I also think that boarded up sites shouldn’t be allowed for more than a few months in town centres as this is not an attractive view for residents and visitors coming to the town.”
Although the new plans do not include other neighbouring offices or the library it is hoped when Scotch Horn Centre is improved and the library, police station, children and youth services are all moved into this building and the swimming pool built that a larger area of Somerset Square will be improved.
Nailsea Town Council has set up a premises working party to look at other at risk or empty buildings giving concern and with the object of acquiring another building for community use.
It is keen to have a ‘Nailsea Place’ to bring together a ‘diverse range of organisations within the NHS, social services, charities and voluntary organisations in a ‘non medical setting’.
It has a £12,000 budget to commission professional advice, said town clerk Ian Morrell.
Besides the Weston College site other properties it is looking at are:
Royal Oak Garage: Owned by Hobbs Properties it is for sale with a price tag of £250,000 plus. The land under the building is contaminated with asbestos and chemicals from historic industrial use of site. Previous plans for a covered market, resident and retail were thwarted by its Scheduled Monument status. The working party has dubbed it ‘an eyesore to the gateway of the town’.
Youth House: Owned by North Somerset Council the former butcher’s shop is constrained for community uses because of access problems. The district council says it will not grant a lease to the town council to enable ‘to keep its options open for disposal’.
The Arcade: Chartered surveyors and commercial property consultants Burston Cook is offer the freehold of 67-69 High Street for £725,000. The eight retail units include the vets, estate agents, hairdressers, jewellers, firework, gift and shoe shops plus the upstairs nightclub.
Meanwhile work converting Four Oaks infant school into housing has also begun and the date of the official opening of the old Glassworks site park - see News In Brief on this page.
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Mums to open childrens' cafe at Crown Glass Shopping Centre
Young Possum’s Imaginarium has been voted winner of the Crown Glass Shopping Centre win a shop competition.
Backwell mums Lorna Dukes and Melina Snell, pictured right, proposed running a play café to offer a safe and stimulating play environment for Nailsea children.
As mums and teachers, Lorna and Melina know the importance of play in the development of children and, as a result, all the toys, play equipment and books they have been chosen will stimulate young minds.
Young Possums will also offer drinks and pre-prepared foods especially for young people.
Lorna said: "‘We are thrilled and excited to be starting our new venture with Crown Glass Shopping Centre.
"It is such an opportunity to take our business idea that we have dreamed of for so long together onto the high street."
Mel said: "We can’t wait to get the children’s books and toys out and meet our new customers big and small and have some fun."
The competition, which was launched at the beginning of the year, culminated with the shortlisted finalists in a Dragons Den interview with Ellandi investment director Mark Robinson, Crown Glass Shopping Centre manager Charlotte Jarrett, Nailsea Town Council clerk Ian Morrell, and North Somerset Times chief reporter Vicky Angear.
Mr Robinson said: "Although it was a repeat of the project two years ago this years ideas were even more unusual and we knew that every one of these finalists would bring something new and unique to Nailsea.
"It made the final decision so much harder."
Young Possum Imaginarium follow in the footsteps of Emily Rickard, the 2013 winner whose shop Ewe Knit 2.
During the coming year, Lorna and Melina will not only be able to run this play café from Crown Glass Shopping Centre, rent, rates and service charge fee free, but they will also be able to receive mentoring from local business professionals incuding HSBC business specialist Heather Sea and Waitrose manager Simon Brumby.
TOUGH AS NAILS
Join a commando-style assault course build by Nailsea neighbourhoold police team and help raise monies for a new concrete skate park. Click HERE to go to Young Peeps page for more details of how to get involved
Hundreds of young people took part in the Bristol Dance Eisteddfod at Backwell School this week.For a selection of photographs from North Somerset competitors click HERE to go to gallery news
bar l restaurant I coffee lounge
wine bar and good food restaurant
The Courtyard, Nailsea
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