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HENSONS the estate agents sponsor the Nailsea People property page.

With more than 80 networked offices in the south west and London the Nailsea office is at Ivy Court, 61 High Street, Nailsea, Bristol, BS48 1AW


Telephone: 01275 810030


See every property at:





A brochure containing the proposals by Gleeson Land to build 400 houses south of Nailsea towards the railway station has been delivered to all homes and businesses in the immediate area affected by the plans.

It contains the same information that were revealed at a Nailsea Town Council meeting at the end of October as reported by Nailsea People.

This was given in a presentation by a four-strong project team from Gleeson, the Hampshire-based planning, technical and land specialists, who were commissioned by approximately 10 local landowners to seek planning permission on the green fields.

Led by planning manager Nick Keeley it was explained the 94-acre site was fraught with difficulties as it contained in parts old coal mining workings, floodplains, conservation area around Backwell lake, protected wildlife and trees as well as some listed farm buildings and public-rights-of-way.

​The 4-page handout delivered to neighbours said: “We would like to invite you to provide your thoughts and ideas on our proposals for new homes and public open space on land at south Nailsea.”

It confirms that Gleeson Land intend to submit an outline planning application later this year.

Gleeson added: “Approximately 400 new homes will be provided within the scheme. These will be a mix of one and four bed homes – covering all from starter homes and apartments to larger family homes. Up to 40 per cent of the new homes will be provided as affordable, made available for local residents for below market rent managed by a housing association…”

Backwell resident John Dicks was among those who submitted an objection saying it didn’t conform to the North Somerset Local Plan by ignoring both the Green Belt and strategic gap between Backwell & Nailsea policy.

Mr Dicks said: “The flat fields running parallel to Station Close are water meadows.

“The water table is never very far from the surface and in periods of continuous heavy rain ponds form on the surface of the land.

“Covering the hillside with concrete and Tarmac will further reduce the capability of the land to absorb water.

“Furthermore, the runoff from this area will naturally flow to the meadows making the risk of flooding more likely.

“This principle also applies to the proposed new road.

“I would suggest that if it is ever built it should be on top of a small embankment to avoid road closures.

“The proposed roundabout on Station Road means that it would feed into an already busy and congested road.

“Traffic would be delayed by the single-track low bridge under the railway and speed bumps from there to the A370.


Flooding fears for new building in green belt 

“Queues of traffic are already experienced in rush hours and school starting and finishing times.

“Is it advantageous to add more traffic to this chaos? You should be aware that its proximity to Backwell Lake is close to an area of SSSI.

In his submission Mr Dicks highlights the plight of bats, deer, badgers, foxes and even a lynx which all live on the land under threat.

He added: “This is not a well thought out and considered plan and numerous other objections are going to follow.”


Barratt boys sport new kit

Homebuilder Barratt Homes Bristol has helped the Nailsea Junior Football Club U16s tackle their kit conundrum with brand new strips to kick off a successful 2022-23 season.

The developer behind the new homes at Engine Lane, Nailsea wanted to score a goal for grassroots football with a £1,000 donation towards the new kit for the upcoming season.

Established in 1974, the Nailsea Junior Football Club provides a friendly and inclusive atmosphere for girls and boys between the ages of five and 18 years for all abilities.

With pitches all over the Nailsea and Backwell area, the club specialises in developing the skills and passion of aspiring young footballers.

Nailsea Junior Football Club chairman Ben Watts said: “We are thrilled to receive this generous donation from Barratt Homes, which will enable our U16s team to run out on the pitch in style.”

Barratt Homes Bristol sales director Andrea Pilgrim said: “Local sports teams play a vital role at the heart of our neighbourhoods, so we are pleased to be able to support the Nailsea Junior Football Club.

"The club do a tremendous job at supporting and encouraging the next generation of local football players and we wish them all the success in their upcoming season.”

Parish Brook, just off of Engine Lane, Nailsea, offers a range of two, three and four-bedroom high quality and energy efficient homes.

This new community is on the edge of the North Somerset countryside and is the perfect location for first time buyers, downsizers or commuters with great access to the M5 and Nailsea & Backwell train station.

Barratt Homes Bristol is committed to investing in the communities that it builds in and has recently donated to the Nailsea Skate Fest and Bristol Pride.

The new show homes and sales office are open at Parish Brook from Monday-Sunday,10am-5.30pm and offers a range of schemes including


Part Exchange Guarantee and the Key Worker Deposit Contribution Scheme.

To find out more about the new homes at Parish Brook or to register your interest visit 

Fryth Way minus pylons but plus more houses?

fryth way.png

Future possible housing and employment development on land owned by North Somerset Council will be considered at the full council meeting on Tuesday, November 8.
Included for Nailsea are playing fields at Fryth Way, home to Nailsea & Tickenham FC, which has been considered for redevelopment for nearly a decade or more.
This is part of a wider allocation for 450 dwellings that North Somerset would need to work with adjacent landowners/developers to agree a joint masterplan and delivery proposals.
A successful football club after many years fundraising recently installed floodlighting at Fryth Way which was paid for in part by a £20,000 grant from Nailsea Town Council.
There is no timescale on when North Somerset Council want to go ahead with development of its Nailsea sites.
Having identified this land as in its ownership perhaps the district council need to go back to its legal team and find out why it has patches of land not

formally adopted in the 1960-90s.

These green verges and parts of the highway are dubbed 'no mans land' in the town of which several have been sold recently by London auction houses.
Other sites throughout the district have the potential to deliver up to 1,500 homes and create new jobs, while raising up to £25m to fund capital priorities such as schools, roads and leisure facilities, says the report going to council.
The development programme to be considered by councillors was shaped by almost 700 responses received during an eight-week consultation (25 April to 20 June 2022). 
Key priorities for respondents included affordable housing and higher levels of sustainability.
The consultation also highlighted the need for further engagement with local communities, including the council’s ward members, so that the future of some sites could be considered in more detail.

Land at South Nailsea 3.png

Next big thing for Nailsea


Proposals to build 400 houses south of Nailsea towards the railway station were revealed at a Nailsea Town Council meeting on Wednesday evening, October 26.

A presentation was given by a four-strong project team from Gleeson, the Hampshire-based planning, technical and land specialists, who were commissioned by approximately 10 local landowners to seek planning permission on the green fields.

Led by planning manager Nick Keeley it was explained the 94-acre site was fraught with difficulties as it contained in parts old coal mining workings, floodplains, conservation area around Backwell lake, protected wildlife and trees as well as some listed farm buildings and public-rights-of-way.

Please note: The 14 new homes currently being built off The Perrings where a deep coal mining shaft was discovered in September are not shown on the Gleeson maps.

Nick said: "The land was secured about 10 years ago so there has been a heck of a lot of work to get to the point we are today."

A new road and cycle paths will link the Taylor Wimpey Netherton Grange 450-homes to the 400 proposed homes and  would come out at a roundabout on Station Road close to Nailsea & Backwell railway station, councillors heard.

Station Road will be the primary access and could replace the narrow Station Close as the route to Nailsea Patio Supplies at the Coal Yard and all the new houses. 

The provisional timescale is for building to start in three years and it is envisaged completion will take a further three years.

If added to the 171 Barratt Homes Parish Brook development close by at Engine Lane and other smaller developments in total that adds up to more than 1,000 new homes in less than a decade for Nailsea despite its only routes in and out of the town being B-roads and narrow country lanes.

Because of the many technical issues, it has taken three years to get to the stage when we are ready to submit an outline planning application, the Gleeson team said.

But when the team said there would be no new medical centre or schools councillor Joanne Hopkinson who is also chair of governors at Nailsea School suggested they go back to the drawing board.

She said: “You say it won’t impact on local schools, it will, we have all these houses to accommodate, I don’t think this has been thought through enough to protect what we have.”

Finance and policy committee chairman Ben Kushner asked: “If you put 1,000 new homes two miles from the centre of Nailsea do you expect massive amount of vehicle journeys and the current medical, dental and schools to cope?”

Report by: Carol Deacon

The Gleeson team said it was government policy for more people to walk and cycle and for the less able there would be buses.

Nick said: “400 homes does not trigger the need for a new school or medical centre but there may be a need to enhance and/or improve existing facilities”

Vice-chairman Emily Miller who was in the chair for the evening pointed out that in June 2022 in light of the growing climate emergency the town council adopted strict new build requirements that included 'new homes should not be connected to the gas grid and all electricity needs should be met on site'.

The green edge strategic gap between Nailsea and Backwell would be safeguarded with lots of community amenities provided and a promise of 40 per cent 'affordable' homes.

The planned properties would be 2, 3 and 4-bed but this could change when a detailed application is submitted.

The ‘affordable’ homes statement was meet with some derision by those present.

The master plan includes community orchards, linear park and adequate car parking space and could add sport fields and a pavilion, said the Gleeson team.

It is the failure of North Somerset Council to identify housing sites to meet government targets of at least 20,085 new homes by 2038 which has led to developers focusing on farmland surrounding existing communities.

All options now being put forward identify Nailsea for growth, added the Gleeson team.

An emerging local plan is likely to go out for consultation in the new year but North Somerset councillors are currently discussing 'implications for development in Nailsea if the proposed Green Belt allocation to the East of Backwell is deleted and the rail crossing is not delivered'.

Ambitious plans to develop 55-acres of greenbelt land near Wraxall and Flax Bourton to include 500 houses and a new community hall by FLP of the Gladman Group has been put forward.

Many see this as providing part of new road funding to link the A370 to the Nailsea developments but not joining up with the M5 which some say would cost £350 million.

Prior to the meeting 90 agenda pages were issued and the meeting lasted more than two hours but time was not given to a resident of Bibury Close who wished to give councillors an update on the gulley situation.

The Gleeson team said they would welcome feedback and hope to set up a website for this purpose.

In the meantime go to our Nailsea People Facebook page or email and we will add your thoughts.

Nailsea resident Roger Smallshaw said: "Thanks for this summary of all that's proposed - what a dismal future.

"Disappearance of Green Belt, strategic gap and coincidentally our library building. 

"Complete absence of infrastructure, new essential roads and the usual promise of affordability.

"Affordability is a total impossibility anyway: pure law of economics - supply  demand price.

"Oh and add in greed.

"North Somerset Council is intent on 'dumping' on Nailsea with the executive members intent on protecting their own wards and careers.

"In the duration of this administration we have been deluged with wordy consultations and building proposals that it has become impossible to keep up with it all.

"Before anything else is approved we need to call a complete halt and conduct a full review of it all, prepare a simple, easy to understand summary and put it to the residents/electorate of Nailsea and the town council.

"It has to be accepted that this will be time consuming but the eternal random, uncoordinated urban spread has got to be stopped. 

Nailsea's no man's land


The roots from 40ft high trees planted close to the boundary of a 1970s Nailsea property have caused numerous cracks in the brickwork and is likely to have damaged its foundations.

But homeowner Jeremy Parker, of Bibury Close, who has consulted an arboriculturist, surveyor, solicitor and his insurance company is going round in circles trying to find the landowners of the adjoining gulley to resolve the problems.

The IT technician and car enthusiast has lived in the detached corner property for 23 years.

He said: “Tree roots have been discovered in my drains and by monitoring the pattern of seasonal movement it has been found they are sucking moisture out of the grounds causing subsidence.

“All the evidence has been gathered and the conclusion is the trees are too close to my property causing damage.

“Whoever planted the trees should have seen a ‘foreseeable risk’ and that makes them responsible.”

But finding out who owns the open space between the two east Nailsea residential roads which was recently sold for more than £40,000 by a London auction house is proving a nightmare.

North Somerset Council has been cutting the grass and trimming trees for the past decade without charging anyone for the maintenance work.

It is thought the original idea behind the planting was to make a beech hedge but because of neglect they have just grown with branches also dangerously overhanging Trendlewood Road.

Beech trees have the potential to grow to 80ft while the cherry trees in the small coppice are not so tall.

Friends of Trendlewood Park spokesperson Pat Gilbert said: “There is inevitably a lot of concern being generated about the auction of land between Bibury and Birdlip Close.

“This constitutes part of Trendlewood Park and has been managed by North Somerset Council with help from FoTP since 2010-11 when the park was created.

“We have known since the outset, that this land is not owned by North Somerset, but nothing was done about it legally by North Somerset.

“Of course, the obvious fear of residents is that any new owners might buy the land with a view to developing it.

“This seems highly unlikely but there is clearly something else going on here, which means that the owners want to shed this land.

“I believe the land has Local Green Space designation, but this must be confirmed in the new Local Plan.

“This area is part of an important 'green corridor' that allows birds, bats and other wildlife to move freely through the area.” 

Mr Parker said what once were small beech and cherry saplings still have the potential to grow even taller.

He added: “This is all really stressful and I have no idea when it is all going to get resolved.”

With the major landgrab in Nailsea of many open spaces not adopted by the district council on housing estates all over the town Mr Parker is concerned others may be in a similar position to him.

This is the second parcel of land sold by a London auction house for a reputed £40,000 plus prior to the sale date in recent months.

The first sale consisted of play areas, grass verges and part of the highway off Queens Road.

Hammersmith auctioneers Barnard Marcus listed the Trendlewood Park gulley for sale on Wednesday, October 19, but posted online it was sold pre-auction on behalf of Legacy Land Holdings.

Lot 240 was listed with a guide price of £15,000 plus fees.

The auction details advise ‘the freehold site of approximately 3,478m2 / 37,436sqft / 0.859 acres within a residential area would require prospective purchasers ensure they have inspected the site and rely upon their own enquiries, assessments and due diligence with regards to its current and potential uses’.

 It adds 'all or part of this site may comprise adopted highway. Purchasers are deemed to rely upon their own enquires with regards to this'.

Read more here

Federated Homes who developed the houses south of Queens Road back in the 1970-80s went bust and as the land in contention was counted as an ‘asset’ by the official receiver it was duty bound by law to sell to the highest bidder.

Before this happened, it was wrongly believed the freehold of the separate parcels totalling approximately 4.1 acres was under the ownership of North Somerset Council.

There is no obligation to tell neighbours or district and town councils of the sale.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “We have been maintaining the land, including grass cutting without payment for many years.

“It is our understanding around the background to this is that there’s quite a bit of open space in Nailsea which was not transferred to North Somerset Council as it should have been when the housing developments were completed.

“We don’t know why these transfers did not take place.”

Nailsea Town Council is discussing designating the latest plot to come under threat which is considered part of Trendlewood Park a ‘town green’ like the slope at The Perrings. In the meantime Nailsea People has paid a fee to the Land Registry to ascertain who currently owns the Trendlwood land land.

We wait with bated breath but learn it could take three months to get this information.



  • In April 2021 a title deed holder sought planning permission to build a pair of semi-detached houses on ‘open space’ between homes at 16-18 Winchcombe Close which has been a play area for many years. Luckily this was blocked as it was deemed the 0.11 acre a ‘development high risk’ by The Coal Authority. The freehold site is now for sale by Paul Fosh Online Auctions, of Newport, as Lot 13 on Thursday, November 10, with a price guide of  £27,500+ and a minimum opening bid: of  £25,000. More information here

  • Developers Gleeson will be giving a presentation to Nailsea Town Council at 7.30pm on Wednesday, October 26 , about proposals to develop more land to the south and southwest of Nailsea. The agenda says, ‘they wish to share with the council where they are and seek guidance as to what the community might seek in terms of reasonable and related infrastructure provision’. The meeting is open to the public. Read more


Barratt showhouse open

Barratt Homes opened it showhouse at Parish Brook at the weekend and Nailsea People went along to view.

When completed the site with have 171 in total 2, 3 and 4-bed homes with prices ranging from £334,995 to £509,995

We shared some of our photos on the Nailsea People Facebook page.

With 27 houses now sold the homes are beautifully decorated and staged.

The boy's own rugby themed small bedroom especially is an work of wonder.

But it was the plaque 'Why live here' with its spelling and punctuation mistakes coupled with misinformation about 'nearby' primary school and directions to how to shop and eat out of town which most upset the locals.

That and prices starting at  £330,000+ for a 2-bed which although open plan with limited space downstairs does boast three loos!

The 'recreation' land was sold by Nailsea Town Council and other adjoining landowners five years ago at a knockdown price with the idea of providing at least 10 'affordable' homes to local people.

Although a proportion of the properties are social and shared ownership the dream of helping people unable to get on the housing ladder and with strong ties to the communities just doesn't seem to have happened.

STOP PRESS: The wording on the website after 51 critical Facebook comments was corrected overnight and hopefully the poorly worded plaque with follow suit! The road sign that said Penant Way has also been changed to Pennant Way on the site map.


Coming soon... Bucklands Place

It has been a long time coming but finally they are about to start building on Miss Shepstone’s field off Trendlewood Way.
A detailed planning application to build 24 homes went to North Somerset Council three years ago.
This was for a mix of high quality one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom homes and includes four dwellings with enhanced accessibility for people with disabilities.
The design for Acorn Property Group keeps the existing woodland on the northwest of the one plus hectares which is says ‘will be retained undisturbed but will be cleared of accumulated man-made debris including corrugated iron and general litter’. 
But in line with the planning application a detailed environmental statement had to be submitted prior to building work beginning.
This has been done.
The disused bunker will be protected, with the entrance enclosed by a suitable open grille to allow bat access but prevent human disturbance. 
Nailsea Town Council highways and planning committee recommended approval for 24 houses to be built on the field in February 2019.
And North Somerset Council gave outline permission that year.
Its designation for ‘community use’ was removed by the district council in a strategic planning review making the scrubland a prime development site.
This tied the hands of town councillors as no valid reason for recommending refusal could be found.
Landowners Brunelcare and St Peter's Hospice were bequeathed the field in Miss Shepstone's will but it is widely her intention was it should not be built on but benefit local people.

planning scheme.png

Previous plans had included a community shop/building but this was removed by the developer for ‘economic’ reasons.
Five years ago, then local vicar Steve Tilley put in a plea for a community building which featured on the front page of Nailsea People - you can read his words here
It is with some irony that the Trendlewood vicar has since retired and moved out of Nailsea just a day before the 'coming soon...' billboard went up.

Nailsea Town Council planning committee has the arboricultural and tree protection reports on its agenda for Wednesday, October 12, at 7:30pm

  • at the Tithe Barn. Councillors will also be discussing an application to extend the garden of rest on Stockway North; and

  • Don't forget on Saturday and Sunday, October 8-9 • noon-4pm show homes open at Parish Brook on the Barratt development off Engine Lane


NAILSEA OPEN SPACE FOR SALE: Another London auction house is selling a green open space in Nailsea. Hammersmith auctioneers Barnard Marcus has listed the gully which runs between the homes in Birdlip Close and Bibury Close in its sale on Wednesday, October 19, though it says it is open to pre-auction offers. It is being sold on behalf of Legacy Land Holdings. It is lot 240 with a guide price of £15,000 plus fees. It advises the freehold site of approximately 3,478m2 / 37,436sqft / 0.859 acres within a residential area would require prospective purchasers ensure they have inspected the site and rely upon their own enquiries, assessments and due diligence with regards to its current and potential uses. It adds 'all or part of this site may comprise adopted highway. Purchasers are deemed to rely upon their own enquires with regards to this'. Read more here


Open air toilet break

A irritated Nailsea person has written to Taylor Wimpey complaining about the behaviour of workers on the Netherton Grange building site.

They said: "I note that despite our previous complaints, we are still greeted by the sound of multiple radios blasting forth from your site whenever we walk along the bridleway at the Western boundary of your site, and that you are unable or unwilling to control this issue.

"However, I was frankly offended this morning to witness one of your contractors urinating in one the building plots in full view of the public bridleway this morning."
Taylor Wimpey has yet to respond.

This article on our Nailsea People Facebook page reached 6,985 and attracted 68 comments.

Here are a few:

  • Derek Iles posted: 'What rotters - playing a radio!' 

  • Jay Bear Jones posted: 'Come on really, radio's on a building site shocking state of affairs. Peeing in a bush is a bit off'

  • Barry Lewis posed: 'Volume? It's day time! After 11pm, yes'

  • Steve Morten posted: 'Beats dogging!'

  • Barry Lewis posted: '​They do realise that they're just wasting people's time'

  • Lisa Jones posted: 'Gosh a 10 minute walk poor man to a Portaloo. How hard done by - I thought the whole point of Portaloos was you can move them. What’s wrong with radio headphones - why do we all need to listen to it?'

IMAGE: For illustrative purposes and not to scale 

Barratts 1.heic
Barratts 2.heic

OPEN HOUSE:  Nailsea People believe, along with many others, that affordable housing is a myth for first time buyers - the best they can hope for is shared ownership with a housing association. In Nailsea we were ‘sold’ on the idea that the town council by selling the Engine Lane green field site would help young people own a home of their own is fantasy land. The recommended minimum deposit is 20 per cent of the price of a new home. How much do you need to earn to get a £300k+ mortgage? Generally speaking, you can borrow 4.5 times your combined household income. That means your annual earnings would need to be just over £66,000 to borrow £300k. This can be on either a sole or joint basis, depending on how you wish to apply and your personal circumstances. Sadly the only beneficiary is not young people getting on the housing market but the town council coffers…sorry not what it was all about. But Amy Nott, who is development manager at Miller Homes Ltd, disagrees. She said: "There are plenty of five per cent and 10 per cent deposit options available out there in the market for mortgages. Shared ownership and deposit unlock to name a few. Still available after the HTB Equity scheme comes to an end in approximately six weeks time for new applications. People are quick to moan about the cost of a new home… yet you don’t see people in Nailsea moaning about the built up equity in their own homes from over the years! Can’t have your cake and eat it!" Go see for yourselves on Saturday and Sunday, October 8-9, noon-4pm show homes open at Parish Brook on the Barratt development off Engine Lane for the first time. We are sure someone will ask about the misspelling of Penant in the road sign?

Help for homebuyers

A cut to stamp duty in England and Northern Ireland will benefit “the vast majority of homebuyers” to the tune of £2,500, according to a Backwell property agency. 
Until Friday, September 23, stamp duty was payable on any property worth more than £125,000 on completion but Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has now raised that threshold to £250,000.  
For someone buying a property at £270,000 for example, their stamp duty bill will be cut from £3,500 to £1,000. 
Anyone buying a second home will also save this money, although they will still have to pay the additional 3 per cent levy for second homes. 
First time buyers will see their exemption level raised from £300,000 to £425,000 and pay no stamp duty up that level, thereby saving them a maximum of £6,250. 
Parker's Estate Agents director Andrew Simmonds said: “We have had several exchanges that have held off this week as people wait to see what the Chancellor would announce.
“This measure is great news for anyone looking to move home in the next few months as it will save them up to £2,500, money that could be used to make the house move easier. 
“Essentially the middle £125,000-£250,000 bracket has been eliminated. In the south of England in particular, there is very little property that falls below £250,000 in any case, thereby benefitting the vast majority of the people in the market.” 
Mr. Simmonds is a chartered surveyor who has worked in the residential property sector for more than 20 years.
He added: “The government believes that cutting Stamp Duty will support economic growth by encouraging more people to move home or jump on the property ladder and while I don’t believe this measure will do that on its own, a saving of £2,500 will certainly ease the process.” 
Information on Parker’s can be found at 

Stamp duty rates under the previous system 

  • £0-£125k - 0%

  • £125k-£250k - 2%

  • £250k-£925k - 5% 

  • £925k-£1.5m - 10%

  • £1.5m+ - 12% 


Stamp duty rates under the new system 

  • £0-£125k - 0%

  • £250k-£925k - 5% 

  • £925k-£1.5m - 10% 

  • £1.5m+ - 12% 

figures supplied by Mr Simmonds


WHO LET THE SHEEP OUT? A new development on the edge of Tickenham opposite The Star called Ryves Vale, saw some squatters move in at the weekend. The housing estate of just 32 properties boast being the first zero carbon 3, 4 and 5 bed homes to be built on this scale. But at the weekend a flock of sheep took up residency. This was after it was reported that fences were broken down by thieves trying to steal heat pumps from the countryside building site. The development when finished will include large wildflower meadow, woodland, natural outdoor play areas and paths with a 'hedgehog highway' and now a sheep pen! Thanks go to Dan Goldstone, of Goldstone Plumbing, for the photos and apologises from Nailsea People for mistaking the animals as goats!

Weston College 2.jpg
Weston College 1.jpg

Somerset Square affordable homes

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North Somerset Council planners are due to decide in the next week or so whether to allow a landmark residential development to be built in Somerset Square, Nailsea.

The developers have secured a partnership with Bromford Housing Association who are committed to ‘provide affordable homes for people who can’t access market housing… to providing safe, secure and warm homes, but also care about the people who live in our homes’. 

Dubbed ‘the most exciting residential and commercial project to regenerate the western end of Nailsea shopping centre’ it rises to six storeys above Somerset Square.

There is an additional lower garden apartment level facing the car park.

This would be a similar height as the Wessex Water building at the end of Clevedon Walk and the office building next to Wetherspoons at Crown Glass Place.

It will replace the semi-derelict former health centre/Weston College building which has stood empty for eight years.

The application is for 40 apartments with commercial space on the ground floor.

More than half of the nearly 40 online comments are in support of the planning application with several including Nailsea Town Council sitting on the fence and nine together with North Somerset Council conservation and heritage officer Neil Underhay expressing reservations.

This is a snippet of what those in favour say:

‘Well-designed development… mix of high-quality materials and architectural forms… will add some welcome interest and scale to our otherwise dreary town centre’

’This building has been boarded for some time. I believe a while ago there was some intent to join the GP practices which on the face seemed a good plan but this did not go ahead. Nailsea needs some constructive development and provision for old and young. Having accommodation and office space close to the dwindling amenities of the town centre should move towards keeping this centre alive - if it’s not too late’

‘Better to build here than constantly eating into the Green Belt’

‘Since the increase in affordable properties in Portishead… we have lost such a huge percentage of young people wanting to get onto the property ladder. With their departure we have seen local businesses, shops and restaurants struggle to survive while Portishead continues to flourish’

‘There is a dire need for one and two bed apartments for first time buyers and for the rental market in Nailsea. The demand for rental and affordable housing in Nailsea far outweighs the current supply and is a serious concern’

‘This scheme looks fantastic; affordable housing and a new retail unit which would be perfect for a small supermarket. The old college building has been an eyesore for years and Nailsea is sorely in need of a regenerated and modernized shopping area to accommodate the new housing estates at the west end of town’ and

‘The applicants should be applauded for taking on this site and submitting this scheme.  No scheme will ever be perfect but on balance the opportunity to bring new, energy efficient affordable housing on a brownfield site within an extremely sustainable location together with flexible office/retail uses at ground floor level should be grasped with both hands’.

There were some worries about parking and the height but it is understood that Crown Glass Place Shopping management company is seriously looking at adding height to its buildings in Colliers Walk, Nailsea People have been told.

One person said: “The proposed building is simply too big, it towers over any other building in the area. A shadow survey suggests the surrounding area will suffer little impact, with the greatest shadow falling on the church side of the proposed building - this raises concerns about the existing mature trees. These are substantial and obviously require light to remain healthy."

Another added: “The transport assessment reads like a fantasy vision of city living with everything in walking distance or with cheap, regular public transport. Nailsea is a commuter town, it doesn't have the features of a city that provide work, entertainment, shopping etc. to attract people to live in flats in the belief they have everything on their doorstep.

Nailsea Action Group spelled the pros and cons more accurately.

1. Brownfield site
2. Redevelopment of long derelict building
3. Town Centre - so may assist regeneration
4. Small dwellings for downsizers or starters
5. Dwellings not extendable
6. 16 garages available (but for 38 dwellings)
7. 'Affordable'
8. The commercial space created beneath the development could be used for local office working - probably preferable to more retail space
9. Dwellings are wheelchair accessibility compliant

Weston College 3.jpg


1. Height of tower - potentially overlooking nearby residences
2. Massing - dominating the precinct, the old vicarage, the new vicarage and Christ Church. The computer aided design images illustrating the development exaggerate the size of the Somerset Square buildings thereby rendering the representation of the tower smaller than it really would be.
3. Loss of some trees - potentially more than the three identified in the Arboriculture Report - some very fine specimens already very tall and full
4. Significant increased vehicle movements in the development's service yard, access to which being the main crossing point to Crown glass Place and Colliers Walk. This will be made more critical if, as and when the old Esso garage site developed very close by.
5. Increased carbon emissions from more vehicles
6. The commercial space created beneath the development should not be used or not designated for retail as there are already many vacant shops in the immediate area. Office space/facilities for local workers would be better

What will happen to the library is unclear as the rest of the site is in the ownership of the council and shopping centre.


But what Wraxall businessman Paul O’Brien, of Developments Bristol, has done is give Nailsea what people said they wanted affordable homes in the centre of town which also conform to the town council wish of no more new homes with gas boilers.

Plans by O’LearyGoss Architects were submitted to North Somerset in May by Adam Rabone, of CSJ Planning Consultants Ltd. These were posted online in June.

In the planning statement it says: 'The development will support an increase in housing supply and diversity in Nailsea at a time of identified housing need.

'The development will also ignite the initial stages of a much-needed transformation of the Somerset Square shopping precinct, which has suffered from a noticeable decline in commercial and community prosperity over several years.

'The development will start the process of breathing new life into the area, creating new housing, commercial and vitality opportunity, and delivering significant townscape enhancement.'

The plans include 16 new car parking spaces and cycle racks for 60 bikes.

Outline planning permission for the mixed-use redevelopment of the site was granted in 2015 but faltered because of the multi-ownership of the larger site.

The apartments will be a mix of one-bed and two-beds. 32 of the 40 apartments have private outdoor terraces or balconies. The remainder have generous glazed screens with Juliet balconies.

North Somerset Council need to deliver 20,085 homes by 2038 which is challenging due to several constraints.

As a result, the emerging plan only proposed 18,046 homes which is 10 per cent short of the Government’s target.

To comment on the application and read all the background papers click HERE.

Backlash to green space sale

Nailsea Action Group said: "Is there, near where you live, an area of open green space, however small, that you value, either because you can walk there, or for the open views it has, or just the oxygen and wildlife it provides for our urban environment?
"Did you know that almost all such spaces in and around Nailsea are under the threat of development because of government and local authority housing targets and options builders hold on many of these areas?
"New houses may well be needed, but green space is needed too. 
"The powers that be, namely North Somerset Council driven by government policy and targets, make it very difficult to prevent builders’ proposals to develop even when on clearly unsuitable sites in terms of transport, employment opportunities, ecology etc..
"Open green space is currently disappearing under 171 houses off Engine Lane, 450 off Youngwood Lane, 52 behind The Uplands and 14 at the top of The Perrings. 
"North Somerset Council has recently indicated that it is prepared to consider yet 600 more houses in the area bounded by Youngwood Lane. 
"These developments are not accompanied by any significant infrastructure improvements or additional public open space to replace that which is being built over.
"Frequently plans are very well laid long before they come into the public domain. 
"This gives local residents no time to prepare a defence, and propose other options.
"If any of the above applies to you there is a lot you can do to give yourself the best chance of success should you find that your favourite piece of open space is intended for housing development.
"For example, if you can, get to know the area really well, who owns it, who rents it maybe, who uses and for what, who else lives close by and values it as you do, what if any, agricultural value does it have, what essential services run through it for example water, sewerage, gas, electricity, telecommunications and the like, who currently cares for it, what are the characteristics of the ecology of the area (newts, bats, badgers, special plant types), and archaeological/heritage aspects of the site.
Get together with like minds to share knowledge and ideas.
"Let NAG know too as we want to liaise with and help local people and other groups."
Further information here

What Nailsea People has to say on its Facebook page...

James Steel posted on the Nailsea People Facebook page: 'The head of planning at Nailsea Town Council who you quote in this article knew of this sale well before the auction so I would say the statement that they were ‘unaware’ is incorrect. I know because I personally discussed it with him and he said the town council should try and buy it. We first discussed it on the 2nd June and the auction was the 29th June so the Town Council had pretty much 4 weeks to act. Not sure why they didn’t attempt to do so with £4m in the coffers. My question would be if the new ‘owners’ could legally bring in parking charges / permits on the roads they now own as the land they’ve bought would be hard to develop on due to the small size of each.'
Nailsea People replied: 'Perhaps it is because North Somerset Council did act and offered £5k, only to be refused. Awful lots of Nailsea plots to buy, it is horrendous and had to write this as no one else seemed as concerned. We don't know who new owner is. Nailsea People was unaware of any conversation you had with Rod but surely someone would have alerted the householders living adjacent to the plots?'

Tom Cook said: 'Is it just the area in that map? What about the huge green areas around Greenslade Gardens, Nightingale Gardens and Cricketfield Green, I'd worry if they where in someone's hands.plenty of room for house on those areas.'

Jon Stubley said: 'Someone - presumably one of the councils? - bought and planted all those trees on the verges along Queens Road about 15-20 years ago. Did they get permission to do that from Federated Homes? Who now owns those trees, if they were paid for with ratepayers' money?'
Geoff Connock said: 'Having read the full article, I’m interested in a comment about the February 2021 proposed 'land grab' in Nailsea. The planners (presumably NSC planners) turned down this application essentially on the grounds that it was a recreational space and 'no mitigation or replacement for this had been proposed'. Is this the same issue that so many people have raised about NSC’s own land at The Uplands, but where NSC have granted themselves permission for development? Or have I got matters mixed up here. Can someone please advise?'

Roger Smallshaw said: 'Not surprised that NSC didn't know what was going on and why the correct procedure wasn't followed back in the day; nothing appears to have changed! I've had two battles with the council, each lasting about 2 years, before the council finally accepted responsibility and liability for damage to part of the wall that appears in all your photos. The last 'debate' concluded in 2015. At that time they seemed to believe that the land on Queen's Road side of the wall to the middle of the road belonged to the house owner but said landowner would only be allowed to cut the grass and the rough stuff but not touch the trees which belonged to the council. Crazy logic or crass stupidity?'

Julia Tutton said: 'Rights of passage and/or access? Does anyone have proof and evidence of unfettered access of at least 22years ( I believe this rule is still valid?) Doubtless they just want either council to buy the land at best possible price?'


Debbie Anne said: 'Well I've found out the land was bought by a company in London and they have already sold it on.'

Jane Woodhouse said: 'The roads (and I suspect the verges, I can't see from the highway records) are adopted, so regardless of who owns them, there are highway rights which need to be quashed first, and that is very difficult to do. They will not be able to charge people for using them or parking on them. If the roads are adopted they are under the jurisdiction of North Somerset Council, it doesn't matter who owns them, North Somerset is in charge, so nope, private landowners can't charge for their use as it stands.'

Auction house sells Nailsea grass verges


Concerns are being raised over small plots of land including roadside grass verges being sold off in Nailsea to the highest bidder.

Federated Homes who developed the houses south of Queens Road back in the 1970-80s went bust and as the land in contention was counted as an ‘asset’ by the official receiver it was duty bound by law to sell to the highest bidder.

Before this happened, it was wrongly believed the freehold of the separate parcels totalling approximately 4.1 acres was under the ownership of North Somerset Council.

Similar Federated Homes plots were sold by the receiver in Horsham, Sussex.

All the plots were marketed by Auction House London and described as having 'potential for a variety of uses (subject to obtaining all relevant consents)'.

There was no obligation to tell neighbours or district and town councils of the sale.

North Somerset Council had been maintaining the open spaces that were sold for many years.

The council offered to buy at the reserve price of £5,000 which was refused and an unknown purchaser bid at the auction £42,000 and snapped up the lot.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “We have been maintaining the land, including grass cutting without payment for many years.

“It is our understanding around the background to this is that there’s quite a bit of open space in Nailsea which was not transferred to North Somerset Council as it should have been when the housing developments were completed.

“We don’t know why these transfers did not take place.”

Town councillors were only told after the sale had gone through and are waiting for details from the land registry to find out who bought it!

The auction house noted on the sale details ‘purchasers are deemed to rely on their own enquiries with regard to any possible development potential for this individual plot. All or part of this Lot may comprise adopted highway. All interested Buyers should rely on their own enquiries with the local authority’.

On top of a buyer’s premium of £900 the auctioneers charged an admin fee of £1,200.

Nailsea Town Council planning chairman Rod Lees said this was all a relic from the 60s, 70s and 80s when most of the housing in Nailsea was built.

He said: “Once the housebuilder had transferred the freehold of a plot to a new house owner, the rest of the land including roads and open spaces, was under a legal agreement contained in the planning permission to be transferred to the then local authority Woodspring District Council.

“The housebuilder was always anxious to transfer the roads to the local authority service so that they could relinquish all maintenance obligations.

“As for any open space which could be extremely small, for example land at the rear of curbs to walls or fences, this was often forgotten once the builders had left site and there are many of these scattered all over the town."

In February 2021 another space in Nailsea which neighbours thought was a play area for their children was ‘grabbed’ for development.

Happily the planners saw sense and refused the application saying 'The proposed development would result in the complete loss of an area of open space which is an undesignated green space and is a community facility that makes a worthwhile contribution to the local open space and recreational use and the townscape of the area and no mitigation or replacement for this has been proposed' and was contrary to its core strategy policy. The original story is reprinted below and click HERE  to read more on North Somerset planning site.

Town councillor Jan Barber who served for many years on the district council tried to sort the mess during her time at Weston town hall.

However, she was told by officers it would take 20 years to sort and since then no one has taken up the cudgels.

The problem is that original developers have either gone bankrupt or been taken over by much bigger property companies and it is a nightmare in 2022 to find out who owns what, said Mrs Barber.



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