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Our town is a very nice town

Invitation to sing with choirs on Friday night

Waitrose has taken over a town centre car park and installed CCTV.

The supermarket chain has leased the Link Road car park from North Somerset Council at a cost of £80,000 a year.

A Waitrose spokesman said: "We are pleased to announce that our lease of the Nailsea car park completed at the beginning of November and we are currently carrying out works to the site before it reopens at the end of the month.

“We will be improving the lighting and access to the car park to provide better parking for the town and encourage more people to shop in Nailsea rather than elsewhere."

Waitrose wanted to take control of the car park to prevent the possibility of charges being introduced by North Somerset Council.

The supermarket hasn’t disclosed how much it has spent bringing the 162-space car park up to standard as ‘this information is commercially sensitive’ but confirmed they have one less bay following the revamp.

However there will be five designated spaces for customers with children and 10 bays for disabled customers who are blue badge holders.

Nailsea has more than 1,000 parking spaces in its town centre.

Its public car parks at Clevedon Road (300), the Link Road (nearly 200), Stockway South (190) and behind the High Street (300) are the biggest.

But Tesco supermarket, Scotch Horn Centre and behind the Factory Shop have even more spaces.

There are also approximately 30 short stay parking bays along the High Street and Crown Glass Shopping Centre has three smalls areas for staff and deliveries.

The main car parks have three hour waiting restrictions to stop commuters leaving their vehicles all day but if you pay at Nailsea & Backwell railway station there are another 285 spaces.

Nailsea School also has its own large car park although it advises visitors to use one of the town centre car parks.

So has Nailsea got a shortage of parking spaces and more importantly if it lost 40-odd spaces to Lidl would it really matter?

Well it might to Tower House medical centre staff and patients but other that than?

Local vicar Steve Tilley set up a Twitter hashtag at #Nailseaparkingchaos to gauge local reactions.

To date no-one has reported that they couldn’t find a car parking space in fact people are saying the opposite.

Residents John Walker tweeted this week: “Chose to walk to town this wet Monday.

“Walked through two main car parks to my destination...spaces to be had.”

And even with the diggers and contractors on site at the Link Road car park he tweeted: “Car park still being tidied up and a few bays out of action...parked in a vacant space.”

Mr Tilley tweeted: “Main car park busy yesterday at 10.45am.

“Waited one or two minutes for space...does our town have corporate impatience?”

But this hasn’t stopped residents of Meadway Avenue launching a Save Our Car Parks petition because of fears that if Lidl goes ahead and the town centre loses 40+ spaces visitors to the health centre and shops will use their narrow residential road.

North Somerset Council currently owns three car parks in Nailsea at Clevedon Road, Link Road and Station Road.

The other large car park at Stockway South belongs to Nailsea Unit Trust owners of the shopping precinct.

All offer three hours of free parking and Clevedon Road and Station Road now offer spaces for long stay commuters.

The car parks owned by North Somerset Council are managed by Nailsea Town Council which pays for contractor Britannia Car Parking a contractor appointed by Waitrose to enforce the parking rules.

Despite the flurry of activity and consultations this summer Lidl still has yet to formally submit its planning application to North Somerset Council.

Nailsea Town Council clerk Ian Morrell said: “The town council is very pleased that Waitrose has taken over management of the Link Road car park.

“The condition of the car park was extremely poor and the investment they are making in improving the site is good news for the town.

“This now leaves Station Road car park as the next priority for investment as its condition compares very unfavourably with the other car parks.

“Waitrose’s commitment to maintaining free car parking has been vital in the lengthy negotiations with North Somerset Council to retain this vital benefit throughout the town.”

Have your say by going to comment box on page 4 by clicking HERE.

CARS PARK: For free in Nailsea with the exception of revamped and enlarged car park at the railway station 

Christmas number one

Union J Nailsea singer

Waitrose completes Nailsea car park improvements Saturday, November 29

The Nailsea high street car park has reopened after undergoing a major makeover, following Waitrose’s recent acquisition of the lease from the local authority.

The retailer invested in the works with the aim of encouraging more shoppers to use the facility and visit the high street.  

It can be used by anyone and offers a maximum two-hour stay.

The car park now includes five bays for customers with children, as well as more space and improved access for disabled Blue Badge holders.

Lighting and visibility around the car park has been enhanced and CCTV has been installed to create a safer environment.

Nailsea Waitorse branch manager Simon Brumby said: “We felt it was important to invest in a town centre facility which was hugely underused.

"It’s important to create a pleasant experience for shoppers from the moment they arrive and now we have a car park that can play a key role in attracting people to visit the high street.”

All green waste removed from the site - approximately 26 tonnes - has been recycled to use in the building trade, or turned into compost or wood pellets.

Waitrose will also be replanting an oak tree on the village green and 14 more trees around Nailsea.

In January, further work will be undertaken to increase biodiversity in the area, including the inclusion of bird nesting boxes, bat boxes and an area to encourage wildlife to nest.

The new park on the old Glassworks should be open in time for Christmas although currently it looks more like a scene from an unfinished Challenge Anneka!

In August workmen moved in to clear the undergrowth as part of a 14 week contract to turn the historic eyesore into a community park.

The concept for the green patch opposite Tesco supermarket includes seating and pathways.

The site on the corner of High Street has been subject of several commercial and residential planning applications during the past 40 plus years.

However, in 2011 English Heritage stepped in to protect the remains and that was the end of any more applications by speculative developers.

The major facelift is thanks to Nailsea Town Council taking out a loan to pay for the work despite North Somerset Council pocketing several windfalls from selling/leasing local properties and land.

However, the district council did agree to transfer the freehold of the site for £1 into the ownership of town council.

And English Heritage gave permission to infill the Glasswork remains.

Expert contractors had to be appointed to remove some of the soil – some of which is believed to be contaminated with lead, mercury and arsenic as a result of glassmaking activities – from the site.

Nailsea Town Council clerk Ian Morrell said; “Work at the Glassworks is about a month behind schedule.

“The main reasons are that asbestos was found and the whole site had to be checked to see the extent of the problem.

“The most likely source was sheets of roofing material dumped on the site some years ago.

“Also, the workmen unearthed a hole, which turned out to be the basement of a building built after the Glassworks closed.

“However, as with any matter concerning the site, English Heritage has to give permission for whatever plan of action is put forward and this always takes time.

“Having said this our contact at EH has been nothing but helpful regarding the project, once they were reassured the archaeology would be protected.

 “We hope the works will be complete by the middle of December - subject to weather.

“The total cost, including the contract and fees, is £195,000, funded from a Public Works Loans Board loan.

“We are currently within budget because although we have hit some problems, we had contingencies, and we have also saved some money on other parts of the scheme.”

Despite talks with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) too date no funding or offers of grants to help with the costs of clearing the site and protect the remains has been secured.

The Glassworks, in its time regarded as one of the most significant glassworks in the UK, was established in 1788 and operated until 1873.

Among the photos of old Nailsea in our gallery are some of the Glassworks.

Hobbs Holdings own the next door Royal Oak garage which is also part of the land scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 designated of ‘national importance’.

Its future is unclear.

Permission to turn the old building into an indoor and outdoor market was given in July 2011 but came with a three year timescale restriction.

The building, which was previously a garage for vehicle repairs, has been vacant for several years apart from being used for storage and once in the 1980s a Scouts fundraiser with The Wurzels.

The district council banked more than half a million from the sale of Four

GLASSWORKS: Contractors moved onto the site in August with the two other images showing the work in progress

Oaks Infant School and is poised for another financial windfall from the lease of the town centre car park to Waitrose.

Juniper Homes South West Ltd who developed the old Friendship pub site and the five-bed three storey homes at Fairways, Wraxall, bought Four Oaks infant school and playground at Silver Street back in June for more than half a million.

It total selling off the family silver has netted North Somerset Council £550,000 from the sale of the Silver Street school and it is poised to collect more than £80,000 a year from Waitrose for lease of the Link Road car park.

All monies made from sales goes into the council’s general capital receipts supporting our capital programme, said a North Somerset Council spokesman.

It will take Nailsea Town Council 40 years to repay the loan with interest at a rate of  £9,871.16 a year.

A mass choir of voices will be singing carols and festive songs around the Christmas tree in Nailsea town centre on Friday evening, December 5.

This annual event will fill Crown Glass Shopping Centre with seasonal sounds between 6.30-7.30pm.

Gathering  around the large Christmas tree at Somerset Square, Christians Together with children from Kingshill Church School, St Francis’ Catholic Primary School, Grove Junior and Hannah More Infant schools will led the community singing.

Crown Glass Shopping Centre manager Charlotte Jarrett said: “Christmas is a very special time and we are really looking forward to the evening. 

“There will be a collection for charity Great Western Air Ambulance and we hope our shoppers will dip deeply into their pockets and support this very worthwhile organization.”

Pictured are images from the 2012 event.

There is a gallery of carol singers from 2014 HERE.

Former Nailsea schoolboy George appeared with boy band Union J on a star-studded X Factor results show on Sunday night and only hours later the band’s latest record is number one in the charts.

Mum Toni Harris posted on FaceBook: “So excited and pluming feathers like a peacock.”

The group made a guest appearance with another former X Factor favourite Ella Henderson.

Also booked was iconic group Queen and US singer Adam Lambert.

Union J performed their new single Got It All, which was released on the same day.

After being asked who the boys think will win this years’ competition Union J band member George Shelley said:  “Ben and Fleur massively, Fleur has got the whole package, definitely.”

Formed in the 2012 edition of the UK X-Factor series, four-piece Union J had originally started life as Triple J.

After a successful audition, Triple J — consisting of members Josh Cuthbert, JJ Hamblett, and Jaymi Hensley — reached the group battle but were beaten to the judges' house round by GMD3.

After fellow group Rough Copy had to leave the show due to visa issues, Triple J were brought in as a replacement with the addition of another contestant, George, to make the group a quartet.

Renamed Union J, the four-piece went on to the semi-final, where they were eliminated.

Signing a deal with Sony subsidiary RCA Records at the end of 2012, the group released their debut single, Carry You, just six months later.

In 2013, Union J released their self-titled, full-length debut album, featuring the single Beautiful Life.

To download the No 1 from iTunes click HERE - it costs 99p.   

George has lots of North Somerset connections having gone to school locally and with family still living in the area.

His mum and grandparents live at Weston-super-Mare and George went to schools at Backwell, Nailsea, Clevedon, Burnham and Cheddar before doing a foundation degree course at Weston College and going to on Bath Spa University.

He comes from a musical family - granddad Dave, a retired policeman, has performed in many bands and still, and in his late 70s plays his accordion at old people's homes.

His uncle Tim and his brother Tom are drummers and his uncle John is a singer/songwriter, while mum Toni who also plays the guitar and writes her own songs used to perform regularly at pubs, clubs and folk festivals.

With the predictions of X Factor mentor Louis Walsh ‘they are the next big boy band’ ringing in their eyes it looks like it will all come true.

Union J performed in concert and turned on the Christmas lights at Cribbs Causeway last week and during a stay in North Somerset George was spotted out and about with family and friends including a trip to the Salthouse pub at Clevedon.During the live show 2014 X Factor contestants Ben Haenow, Fleur East and Andrea Faustini  were voted through to next week.

Bets have been cast on Ben winning the show, according to Boylesports the van driver is now at odds of 6/5 with Fleur East’s bets on 6/4, Andrea 4/1 and Lauren 16/1.  

Supermarket takeover of town centre car park

STOP PRESS FROM TWITTER: ‏@nailseapeeps  November 2

  • #nailseaparkingchaos Waitrose car park in chaos and half closed as workmen put in finishing touches - read front page story

Waitrose ‏@waitrose November 25

  • @nailseapeeps Sorry about this. The improvements to the car park should be finished this week and it'll be business as usual from Friday


Store car park complete for Christmas

Glassworks park finished

THE online community newspaper for Nailsea people, their family and their friends

December 2014
Part One
Nailsea High Street.jpg

Our town is a very nice town

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