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Property peeps

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

Email: info@hbe.co.uk

See every property at: www.hbe.co.uk

ESTATE AGENTS, SURVEYORS, VALUERS, AUCTIONEERS, PROBATE SPECIALISTS, RESIDENTIAL LETTING & MANAGEMENT, COMMERCIAL PROPERTY CONSULTANTS, LAND  NEW HOMES.

MORE THAN 112 YEARS IN PROPERTY - Est 1909

Stamp duty has been suspended on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland since July 2020 has been extended to now end on June 30, 2021. After this date, the starting rate of stamp duty will be £250,000 until the end of September. Stamp duty will then return to the usual level of £125,000.

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2021

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ONLINE AUCTION: It was once Nailsea Members' Club then Decades nightclub and now it is an empty shell. Hollis Morgan had hoped to sell the upstairs of the High Street property by online auction in June but postponed the auction to Wednesday, July 28, when it sold 'prior to auction' for its guide price of £375,000. It has lapsed planning permission to convert into six one-bed and three two-bed flats which would give the development an estimated value of £1.4M. To view a YouTube video of the inside of The Arcade building go here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx_zkL9uWHQ&t=21s

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Nailsea not Watford Gap

The strategic gap between Nailsea and Backwell will not be breached by building 14 high quality homes at the top of The Perrings.
This was decided by North Somerset Council planning and regulatory committee on Wednesday night which was chaired by James Tonkin, the Independent ward  councillor for Nailsea West End. 
All Nailsea ward councillors spoke against the plans although Mr Tonkin had to stay neutral as he was in the chair.. 
You can listen to the full debate here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZszJ46JBQK8. 
The meeting said Town Green status for the sloping open space further along the road was still under consideration. 
Meanwhile at Nailsea Town Council planning committee also last night it was recommended to allow the Kebab Kitchen to expand into a neighbouring unit. There was only one objection citing noise and litter.
Kristian Chambers commented on Nailsea People Facebook page.
She said: "Terrible decision regarding The Perrings houses being built. 
"Views destroyed, the infrastructure battered, dangerous road layout getting in to the site. 
"The strategric gap is there for a reason... only a matter of time before building in to the others fields and destroying our natural country side."
And Anne Leonard agreed. 
She said: "I just despair of a single good decision being made by North Somerset planning committee about Nailsea. 
"There is no point in consultation, they just won't be happy until Nailsea is all concrete, no open space and thoroughly unattractive to live in. 
"And I thought that the original logic for destroying open space was affordable housing? 

"So how does 'high quality housing' in any way fit with that statement?"

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Although the plans include 30 per cent social housing Mark Gardiner said: "I work for a Housing Association and the term 'affordable' means something totally different compared with the government. 
"The quoted 30 per cent I imagine will be Shared Ownership, what with this nation's obsession with owning your home. 
"Renting is a dirty word in this country with negative connotations attached, unfairly."

  • The government defines affordable housing as 'social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market'.

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Council houses at The Uplands

North Somerset Council has given itself permission to build on recreational land it owns in Nailsea.

Nailsea Town Council (NTC) has issued a statement saying it is bitterly disappointed that North Somerset Council executive member for asset Steve Bridger who is the Independent ward councillor for Yatton, Claverham, Kingston Seymour and Kenn and made the final decision to ‘appropriate’ the public open space at The Uplands.

The town council had written to Cllr Bridger drawing his attention NTC’s serious concerns with the decision report produced by NSC officers. 

NSC could not use its statutory powers to appropriate the land to planning purposes without going through due process as outlined in Section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972.  

In NSC’s report to Cllr Bridger it states:

’The council already owns the freehold of the site, and is a ‘principal council’. Therefore, the council needs to be satisfied that:

  • Whether land is no longer required for a particular purpose for which it is currently held, meaning no longer needed in the public interest of the locality for that purpose, is a question for the local authority, subject to Wednesbury principles of reasonableness, and not the Court;

The key words in section 122 are that the land “….is no longer required for the purpose for which it is held immediately before the appropriation”

 

NSC has not shown that the open space is no longer required for the purpose for which it was held, maintain the town council.

NTC advised NSC that the open space known to the residents of Nailsea as ‘The Uplands’, was, from as long ago as 1966, identified as land intended for the purpose of Public Open Space.

The local authority purchased the land in July 1997 for public open space purposes under the provisions of the Community Land Act 1975.

Up until the present day the site has been used for sport, recreation, leisure and play - it is also a place where adders like to bask on its stone wall.

At no time in the past 43 years has this stopped, either when it was an informal public open space, or for the 24 years it has been in the local authorities’ ownership, say the town council.

In the report NSC tries to justify the loss of public open space as being of lesser importance than the delivery of sufficient and high-quality, sustainable houses across North Somerset and is in the interests of the wider community and to meet the needs of current and future residents.

They state that ’On balance, there are sufficient open space and recreation facilities in the local area to off-set this loss, therefore it is considered that the site is no longer required for open space and appropriation for planning purposes is justified.’NTC asserts that the statement is flawed that it is in the wider public interest to increase the number of homes in the district, over the local needs for open space.

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Nailsea will see an increase of more than 600 new dwellings within 200m of The Uplands.

The increase in homes is already evident. The Uplands needs to be kept as a public open space for leisure and recreation, particularly with the additional people that will come with these 600 new dwellings, it adds.

No alternative land has been offered by North Somerset Council to replace this much loved and used public open space.

Nailsea Town Council clerk Jo Duffy said: “There is limited public open space in Nailsea, and during the current pandemic more people have used the space to get fresh air and exercise than in quite some time.”

Public Health England states in its Health Matters: Getting Every Adult Active Every Day ’Increasing physical activity has the potential to improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and the nation as a whole. Public Health England (PHE) wants to see more people being physically active.’ It goes on to say ’Improving or adding green spaces and tree cover improves air quality as well as making spaces feel more welcoming. Such changes have prompted substantial shifts from car transport to walking and cycling.’

Nailsea Town Council chairman Mike Bird said: “The Uplands has always been greatly valued by the local community as public open space and Nailsea residents have been very vocal in their defence of that status.

"North Somerset Council decision document clearly ignores this.”

The town council understands that district councillors representing the town will be ‘calling in’ the decision with North Somerset Council community and corporate organisation policy and scrutiny panel.

Snakes alive they have left space for the adders

North Somerset Council has agreed to take forward development on council-owned land to the south of The Uplands in Nailsea.

On Monday, July 19, the full council agreed a Commissioning Plan for the procurement of a development partner to deliver 52 high quality sustainable homes at the site.

The Uplands site is part of the council’s Development Programme agreed in February.

The programme seeks to improve the supply and quality of new housing and employment on council-owned-land, driving up standards and meeting the needs of local people.

The Uplands site secured planning approval in February and will be a flagship for high quality and high sustainability housing:

  • The design team has been led by Mikhail Riches Architects, who in 2019 won the RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture for a scheme in partnership with Norfolk City Council.

  • All homes will be Passivhaus certified, a very high standard of energy efficiency meaning lower carbon and lower energy bills for residents. Electrical Vehicle Charging will be provided throughout.

  • The scheme is 'landscape-led', with more than 50 per cent of the site remaining as green space and including enhancements to footpaths and woodland.

  • The housing mix includes a higher than usual proportion of two-bedroom homes, as well as eight bungalows and features designed to enable home-working and/or downsizing – all intended to help meet local needs. All homes are at least 10 per cent bigger than required by National Space Standards.

  • The scheme will provide 30 per cent affordable housing and exceed policy requirements in relation to accessible and adaptable homes that are suitable for residents with disabilities.

North Somerset Council executive member for placemaking and economy is Mark Canniford the Liberal Democrat ward councillor for Weston-super-Mare Hillside.

He said: “The Commissioning Plan will look to find a development partner through an open procurement process.

"We will prioritise a developer that embraces the quality and ethos of the development plans, while at the same time bringing the investment and expertise to deliver the site promptly and efficiency.”

Procurement is proposed to start late summer/early autumn with a view to appointing in early 2022 and a start on site in the spring.

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Developers propose new traffic calming measures on main road

Plans have been submitted to North Somerset Council to prepare the way for a housing estate to be built on Farleigh Fields, Backwell – just three years after being rejected by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government. 

Villagers have just a few weeks to make comments on plans by Persimmon Homes to build 125 houses on the farmland, demolish two main road houses, reduce the speed of traffic on the A370 with new traffic calming measures and introducing more 20 mph limits on feeder roads.

The current 40mph on the Farliegh Road will be reduced to 30 mph with another light controlled pedestrian crossing on the A370.

A total of 28 documents have been submitted to the council by Persimmon covering issues such as traffic, landscaping, proposed pedestrian crossing on the A370 and water run-off from the new development. 

A pond is proposed behind houses on Farleigh Road in a bid to prevent flash flooding, which has closed the road in the past, from being made worse by the development. 

Persimmon has applied for outline planning, so that full details of the scheme can be submitted at a later date. 

Previous applications were for more houses and covered a greater number of fields. These were rejected by the parish and district councils and on appeal by the Government.

A previous offer by Persimmon to hand some of the fields over for recreation is not included in the new plan. 

Backwell was one of the first parishes in the country in 2015 to submit plans on where people would like development. Farleigh Fields was earmarked to remain as agriculture. 

Persimmon argue that although the Backwell Plan set out thinking until 2025 it is now out of date and should be disregarded.

The new application says things have changed sufficiently since 2018 to justify the new application, which will see homes built up to the boundary of the private Fairfield School. 

Backwell resident, Martin Powell, who was one of the objectors to the previous application, said: “Although houses are needed in this country here is also a real need to protect farmland, following Brexit, as we 

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PLANS AFOOT: Top shows the traffic queues along the A370 before any new traffic calming measures are imposed and the plans highlights in red the area under threat

need every inch to grow food.

“Backwell Parish Council identified development sites and these fields were not appropriate. 

“The impact on the local roads and facilities in the village will be enormous with this scale of development.

“Although these plans are smaller scale than the previous ones it seems Persimmon are applying in stages to try to get their development through by stealth. 

“There is a lot of information in the plans and Persimmon have not put on any public displays to clarify issues for people but it is important that everybody makes their views known.” 

Outline application is HERE

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The Perrings on slippery slope

Nailsea's favourite recreational slope popular with ramblers, dog-walkers and in winter the premier place to go tobogganing.sledging is under threat from developers.
Moves to safeguard the area by giving it 'town green' status look likely to be thwarted after it was discovered Persimmon Homes own the land.
Former Nailsea Town Council chairman Jan Barber said in her report to the 2021 annual meeting: “The council is aiming to protect the land at The Perrings, at present a well-used open space but undesignated.  
“We are hoping it will be given town green status."
But in the passing of time like many play spaces throughout Nailsea ownership has become blurred as developers almalgamate or go bust.
It was a sincerely held belief locally that this open land was owned by North Somerset Council who had mowed the grass and maintained the play equipment for many years.
Speculation on whether the shortcut leading down to Backwell Lake is a public footpath is another serious questionmark.   
With Nailsea is set to have thousands of new homes at Youngwood Lane and Engine Lane in the next decade or two thoughts of traffic, schools and community facilities dominanting conversations.
But with the town council likely to get a windfall from the developments hope is at least we will get an arts centre, heritage museum and trail although we are told a swimming pool is not high on the agenda list.
Meanwhile a 23-page report is going to North Somerset Council planning and regulatory committee on Wednesday, July 21, considering the building of 14 homes behind the bungalows at the top of The Perrings.
All objections to building height, wildlife, planting new hedgerows, maintenance of fire hydrants and cyclepaths have been addressed and despite neighbours fiercing opposed the plans have been recommended for approval by planning officers.
You are read the full report HERE and watch the committee discussion from 6pm via YouTube here https://www.youtube.com/user/northsomersetcouncil.
The committee chairman is James Tonkin the Independent ward council for Nailsea West End.

FACING FUTURE: Hensons the High Street estate agents has decided that from Monday, July 19, as it spends so much time going in and out of other people’s houses staff will be continuing to wear face masks and hand sanitiser during appointments.

A Hensons spokesman said: "May we politely request that all visitors to our offices and those viewing properties with us wear facemasks or face coverings too. We have been very grateful for the support of all of our clients throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and we are sure you will help us to continue to stay safe and open while infections are rising."

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Backwell estate agents welcome new director

Bristol property specialist Andrew Simmonds has joined Parker’s Estate Agents in Backwell, North Somerset as a board director.

He joins long-serving director Juliet Noble, who has lived in Backwell for many years building up a reputation as a friendly, expert property specialist.

Virginia Madan has retired from the firm after more than 30 years in estate agency.

Welcoming Andrew to the business, Juliet Noble said: “It is great to attract someone of Andrew’s calibre and experience to Parker’s and he has the enthusiasm and drive to help us ensure we keep improving our service to the residential property market in the area.

“The last year has been very difficult for people wanting to buy or sell their home and we are now seeing a great deal of activity in the market as people look forward to the Covid rules being relaxed.

"Andrew and I are looking forward to helping people secure their dream home in North Somerset as the Covid rules are relaxed.”

Andrew Simmonds, who is an associate of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, has worked in the residential property sector since 2005.

He has most recently worked with developers on sales strategies for new build homes and was previously managing director of one of the region’s largest businesses managing apartment blocks for private landlords.

He said: “There is such a diverse range of properties in Nailsea, Backwell and the other North Somerset villages and it is an attractive place for people to live.

"My aim is to build upon the already strong reputation that Parker’s has built, since it was founded by Tim Parker in 1989 and give local people the service they need and deserve.

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"My aim is to build upon the already strong reputation that Parker’s has built, since it was founded by Tim Parker in 1989 and give local people the service they need and deserve.

“North Somerset is a fantastic place to live and work which gives it a lively property scene. We know that every property placed with us for sale or rent deserves attention to detail so that we can help people move with the minimum of fuss.”

For more Information go to wwww.parkers-estate-agents.com.

Town council seal the deal to build 'affordable' homes at Engine Lane

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A housing deal between housebuilders Barratt Homes, Nailsea Town Council and two other landowners was sealed finally on Wednesday, June 23.

The plan has led to many contentious arguments, heated council meetings and many questions about who will benefit in the six years it has taken to bring to fruition but work is due to start late this summer.

Called Parish Brook, the new development of 171 homes on the land west of Engine Lane, Nailsea, will be offering much-needed housing to local buyers. 
Providing housing for local young people has been the priority in this development with Barratt Homes, said a council spokesman. 
Parish Brook is one of just a few developments in the South West to include a scheme allocating a proportion of homes to local people. 
Nailsea Town Council chairman Mike Bird said: “A fundamental part of the project is to attract young people and families back to our town. 
"They are valuable to our economy, as well as community life. 
"The saddest part has been the delay National Grid has caused in the delivery of these houses - they should have been built years ago.”
The three landowners agreed to sell the land to Barratt Homes back in December 2015, but unforeseen complications due to work being carried out by National Grid, has caused long delays. 
The setback has caused much controversy amongst residents, with pressure being put on the council for the deal to be re-negotiated. 
All three landowners have a joint contract with Barratt Homes with legal, planning and professional costs to be considered. 
Any re-negotiations carried a risk of the deal collapsing completely.
The council is following legal advice and pursuing a case to seek compensation from National Grid. 
Parish Brook will offer a range of two, three and four-bedroomed high-quality housing, with a proportion being prioritised for local buyers. 
There will also be 51 affordable homes - although what this actually means in monetary terms is unknown, and a selection of one-bedroom maisonettes to encourage first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder. 
The site will include a dedicated public open space, child-friendly play areas and a broad range of sustainability measures including protected trees and hedgerows, a new meadow grassland and sustainable drainage ponds. 
A dedicated cycle path will connect the development with Engine Lane and the wider Sustrans cycle network, and a selection of homes will have electric car charge points.
One Nailsea resident told the council: “Having grown up in Nailsea, I’m keen to get on the property ladder but have only been able to afford to rent until now. ”

"Engine Lane is a great location to live and I’m excited about the thought of being able to own my own house in my town.

The money the council receive from the sale of the land - believed to be between four and five million pounds - will be ploughed back into the town. 

The council intend to hold a number of resident consultations later on in the year to share ideas and opinions about how the money will be invested. Barratt Homes have also donated £400,000 to Nailsea Rugby Club towards clubhouse renovations, new changing facilities and alternative pitch locations.Mr Bird added: “We are really pleased that the deal has been sealed on this important development for the town and its young people. 
"The Nailsea buyers scheme is fundamental to the council’s long-term plans to provide 1,000 additional houses in Nailsea.”
Barratt Homes’ Bristol division sales director Andrea Pilgrim said: “We are very pleased that this key milestone has been reached in our plans to bring much-needed, high quality new homes to Nailsea, alongside significant investment in wider community and sustainability initiatives. 
"It’s important to us to support the creation of a balanced and thriving community at Parish Brook so we are committing to allocating a proportion of the homes to people who have worked or lived in the local area in the past two years, with the broader mix of homes suitable for a range of people from first-time buyers to families to downsizers.” 
To find out more about Nailsea Town Council, visit www.nailseatowncouncil.gov.uk

Parish Brook baloney

Nailsea Action Group

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Don’t you just love it when developers pretend to ‘know‘ a local area.

Getting ready to build at Engine Lane in August on the Nailsea Town Council land Barrett’s say:

  • Great transport links - yep, we have a railway station with no access for people with disabilities, not sure how a bus is going to in and out of this site? Perhaps they mean all our B-roads in and out of Nailsea?

  • Within walking distance, you will also find Barkers of Nailsea - a family-owned butcher which has been trading for more than 100 years. It is called Bakers the butcher - Barret's is barking up wrong tree!

  • It is promoting Ofsted 'outstanding' Golden Valley Primary School as close by?

  • Only 10 selected homes available for first-time buyers that have lived or worked in Nailsea for at least two years.

  • Oh and this must be the winner £68,819 going towards Horseshoe Bat research & conservation!

Read for yourself HERE.

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Nailsea Action Group (NAG) was established at the end of 2015 originally to promote and protect Nailsea’s rural setting particular at its interface with the countryside around it.  

Over the past three years its objectives have broadened into campaigning that, if and when the planned additional 3,000+ homes are built in and around the town the necessary infastructure and community support comes with it.

Its response to the announcement by Nailsea Town Council of the completion of the contract with Barratts, paving the way for work to start on the building of 171 houses once the National Grid works are completed.NAG said:

'Much emphasis is placed on a proportion of homes being allocated to local people, with few details provided as to how this scheme will operate. The proportion of affordable housing provided is the minimum required by North Somerset Council's standard policies. The National Grid has been given the brunt of the blame for the delays, despite the fact that both Barratts and Nailsea Town Council were well aware of the constraints for these underground cables in 2015, long before the public was even aware a deal was being considered. However we must now focus on ensuring that the Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money raised through this sale is used to minimise the impact on the West End of Nailsea.'

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Click HERE to download full details as a pdf or call the Nailsea office to talk about this property on 01275 810030

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Click HERE to download full details as a pdf or call the Nailsea office to talk about this property on 01275 810030

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Battle for The Battleaxes

Nailsea People reported on its May front page:

There are plans to turn The Battleaxes at Wraxall from a country pub into a five-bed house.

The iconic Grade 11 building has stood empty and unloved since summer 2020  when it went on the market with a £1million price tag.

The restaurant with bijou bedroom suites to rent has a chequered history but it was November 2020 the business went into voluntary liquidation.

Then owner South African Matt Lowe had suffered a baptism of fire with zero hygiene ratings, major roadworks outside and then the pandemic.

FRP Advisory Trading Ltd, of Brentwood, Essex, were formally appointed liquidators.

And now Mr and Mrs Patel, of Frampton Cotterell, have submitted a change of use application to turn the pub into a five-bed home.

The Battleaxes was originally built as a Temperance house by the benevolent Matilda Blanche Gibbs, widow of wealthy merchant William Gibbs, in 1881.

To read the application in full on North Somerset Council website click HERE.

  • Currently there are 32 public comments still available to read. One says: “I've lived in Wraxall all my life and The Battleaxes has been a huge part of the community. The Gibbs family built the pub for the villagers to use and as a listed building it would be a great loss to Wraxall. With the loss of the Old Barn now not being a public house it's a facility the locals need. I've been to many weddings and wakes over the years and we used to use the pub for family occasions and socialising with friends. With the bus stop right outside it is easy for Nailsea people as the transport links are already available and with good footpaths and Tyntesfield being a huge attraction the pub, if managed well could be a very successful business again.”

⦁    PULLED PLANS: An application to turn The Battleaxes at Wraxall from a country pub into a five-bed house have been withdrawn. Portishead architects PJ Orchards has formerly confirmed to North Somerset Council development management team the decision. The iconic Grade 11 building has stood empty and unloved since summer 2020 when it went on the market with a £1million price tag.

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STONEWALLED: What's happening at the Sawyers Arms, anyone? Are popular landlords John and Ali Hooper moving onto their barge or is Stonegate Group selling/leasing its High Street premises. It isn't a 'for sale' notice just a board saying 'fantastic business opportunity'. Rumours are the pub group want to hike the lease in a situation similar to The White Lion in Silver Street. This story reached nearly 6,000 on Nailsea People Facebook page and Ali and John posted this response: "We can confirm that we are retiring and the pub is up for sale as a tenanted property. However, we will not let this pub close and are prepared to stay on until they find someone to take it on." This was followed by lots of messages of support for the couple

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ONLINE AUCTION: It was once Nailsea Members' Club then Decades nightclub and now it is an empty shell up for auction. Hollis Morgan hope to sell the upstairs of the High Street property by online auction on Wednesday, June 23, with a guide price of £375,000. It has lapsed planning permission to convert into six one-bed and three two-bed flats which would give the development an estimated value of £1.4M. To view a YouTube video of The Arcade building click HERE. Auction postponed until Wednesday, July 28

Community gain from building levy

Nailsea Town Council netted nearly £10,000 from a community levy charged to developers.

Developers are required to pay a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to North Somerset Council to help fund the cost of infrastructure such as schools and transport improvements.

Fifteen per cent of the money is passed by the council to the town or parish council where the development takes place, giving them direct control over how the money is spent in their local communities.

This increases to 25 per cent if the council has an adopted neighbourhood plan.

The rest is retained by North Somerset Council to spend on infrastructure to support housing development.

Payments are made to town and parish councils every six months. In the latest round of payments more than £95,000 has been distributed to the following town and parishes:

  • Cleeve - £6,072.75

  • Flax Bourton - £3,257.41

  • Nailsea - £8,514.49

  • Portishead - £69,652.80

  • Weston-in-Gordano - £446.91

  • Weston-super-Mare - £6,352.99

  • Winscombe and Sandford - £981.82.

This brings the total amount passed to town and parish councils since the implementation of CIL three years ago to more than £435,000 - but not enough to build many schools when you take into consideration Nailsea School cost £32million.

Fears were expressed at a Nailsea Town Council meeting that children would have to be bussed to neighbouring settlements if the situation isn't addressed before the next phase of house building begins.

Fears were expressed at a Nailsea Town Council meeting that children would have to be bussed to neighbouring settlements if the situation isn't addressed before the next phase of house building begins.

Planning committee chairman Rod Lees told those present that a letter is being sent to North Somerset asking how they will solve the dilemma. 

Mr Lees said: "Going up to 2035 we are going to get a lot more people and what about the school capacity - are they aware of this or addressing it?

"Where are we going to put the schools - there is no extra infrastructure planned for our town."

Councillor Jeremey Blatchford who served on the district council for 16 years said; "Some one really needs to have a hard look at this...the numbers just don't add up and I am concerned we would end of with the situation we had in Portishead in 2007.

Money Notes

"I am not satisfied at this moment that anyone has worked out the secondary school numbers because neither Nailsea or Backwell has the capacity to hold all the extra pupils."

North Somerset Council executive member for placemaking and economy Mark Canniford who is the Lib Dem ward councillor for Weston Hillside said: "This money can make a huge difference at a local level, helping communities provide new infrastructure for the benefit of their residents.”

Town and parish councils can spend the money on the provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure, or on anything else concerned with addressing the demands that development places on an area.

This gives local communities flexibility to use the money to best meet their needs.

North Somerset Council is more restricted in how it can spend its share of CIL, and must only use it towards infrastructure projects.

The council publishes an annual report on the total amount of CIL received and how it is spending its share.

In North Somerset the CIL applies primarily to retail and residential developments and the rates vary according to the size, location and type of development. There are exceptions for affordable housing and properties being built for the owner’s own use (for example house extensions) as well as for charitable projects.

There is no charge on employment or community buildings.

Further guidance on the CIL, as well as the annual reports on expenditure, can be found on the council's website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/cil.​

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SCREEN STARS: Escape To The Country presenter Sonali Shah went shopping in Nailsea while filming a Somerset-based property search last November. Kent couple were looking for a rural home with a budget of £425k. Although the programme didn’t house-hunt in Nailsea the film crew popped into Simply Green, our amazing plastic free High Street shop, to feature the business. Owner Bethan Walker talked on camera about how the store challenges customers to think about their shopping habits in a bid to reduce packaging and food waste. If you missed the programme which went out on Monday afternoon, May 10, it can be viewed here on BBC iPlayer HERE

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Saving our green space

Nailsea Town Council is asking North Somerset Council to think again about building on open space at The Uplands.

The two hectares which is approximately the size of four football pitches is dotted with old stone walls and is close to Morgan’s Hill.

After its planning committee on Wednesday evening, April 28, the town council issued this statement in response to change the status of the land:

‘Nailsea Town Council question whether a thorough assessment of the need for open space has been carried out by North Somerset Council. The surrounding land is due to be development for housing and the loss of this well used public open space will put additional pressure on the limited public open space in Nailsea. No alternative provision for public open space has been established by North Somerset Council. We would like to see a thorough assessment which clearly shows the open space is surplus to requirements. If you would like to make an objection to North Somerset Council about the appropriation of land, please email uplands@n-somerset.gov.uk quoting reference UPLANDS before noon on Wednesday, May 5.’

 

To access the formal district council notice with various links to make an objection click HERE or use the email address link above.

Nailsea Action Group (NAG) spokesman Antony Evans spoke out via Zoom at the committee about the redesignation of the green field.

NAG was established in 2015 to promote and protect Nailsea’s rural setting particular at its interface with the countryside around it.

During the past three years its objectives have broadened into campaigning that, if and when the planned additional 3,000+ homes are built in and around the town:

  • there will be sufficient appropriate and sustainable infrastructure to support them;

  • that the working, living and ecological environment is not only protected but enhanced; and

  • that there is access to green spaces (especially where much may disappear) to maintain not least the quality of the air we breathe, but also for the benefit of physical and psychological health.

Mr Evans said: “The case has already been extensively made for retaining the land south of The Uplands as open space, to wit, not least, nearly 200 objections to the planning application, and I am not going to rehearse these or the history of this piece of green field in the past 50 years as I guess this is well known to Nailsea Town Council.

“I would like, however, to take this opportunity to make three points relevant to the appropriation process, even though they may not make a material difference to it, as I suspect it is more of a technical formality than a genuine opportunity to change the course of action North Somerset Council wishes to take with regard to this site.“First, if the land behind The Uplands is built on, the south western corner of Nailsea looks likely to lose all its easily accessible open green space, what with 171 houses to be built

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GREEN SPACE: Top photo of The Uplands field which North Somerset Council wishes to build on is taken by Nailsea Town Council communications and media officer Clare Cox

on Engine Lane very nearby scheduled to commence later this year, and 450 houses in three phases off Youngwood Lane.

“The Youngwood Lane site - currently coined by its would-be developers, Taylor Wimpey, as Netherton Grange - will abut the bridle path on the

southern boundary of The Uplands site, so will effectively be next door to it.

“Secondly, there is therefore no need for a further 52 houses in this locality, but a great need to stem the loss of recreational land, and an increasing need for open space not only for the current residents, but also for the inhabitants of 621 additional dwellings (therefore at least some 2000 people which approximates to 12.5  per cent of Nailsea’s current population).

“This is especially so at a time when the essential need for open space for physical and mental well-being is becoming much better understood, and particularly in the light of both North Somerset and Nailsea Town councils recently declaring a climate emergency, and the expectations therefrom.

“Thirdly and finally, the Local Government Act of 1972 specifies that one of the reasons that it may appropriate land is that ‘it is no longer required for the purpose for which it is held’.

“De facto this land has been held and maintained for public use for years.

“To override this with some technicality of law and destroy this green open space would be an insult to the people who treasure and value it, and a betrayal of the trust those people place in their elected councillors and officers to care for them and the world they live in.”

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Age gap housemates become media stars

Two Nailsea housemates with a massive age gap say they get on like a house on fire.

The people sharing a home are Denise Cook, aged 76, and Katie Wonham, 31.

This unlikely pairing was put together by Homeshare UK, a nationwide network for unrelated people to share a home for mutual benefit.

Typically, an older householder with a room to spare will be carefully matched with a younger person who will provide an agreed amount of support in exchange for affordable accommodation.

And the residential coupling of Denise and Katie has bought them some degree of fame with an article in national newspaper The Times and a live appearance via Zoom on the Channel 4 Steph’s Packed Lunch programme which features celebrity guests, fantastic food and the best entertainment, lifestyle and consumer stories making the headlines.  

The support provided by the homesharer might include help with tasks such as: cleaning, shopping, gardening, overnight security and companionship.

Homesharing is a simple concept with numerous and wide ranging benefits for all participants. It is an effective and sustainable response to three key policy challenges:

  • Helping an ageing population stay independently in their own homes for longer

  • Providing affordable accommodation for younger people at a time of record housing shortages and high rent

  • Ending loneliness

The Homeshare model is based on trust and friendship, allowing people to ‘live well’ within their chosen communities.

*The phrase 'Get on like a house on fire' means, as fast as a house would burn; very rapidly or vigorously. If two people get on like a house on fire, they like each other very much and become friends very quickly.

House For Sale Sign

BUYING AND SELLING: Sign up for a free property valuation and you could win £1,000 garden centre vouchers in a free prize draw at Hensons of Nailsea. Having first opened our doors back in our first estate agency office in October 1909, the same month that the Model T Ford was announced, Hensons has grown the business to become one of the market leading professional estate agents in the area and certainly one of the longest established family-run companies with a highly recognisable property brand. More details here http://www.hbe.co.uk/valuation.

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Formal consultation by council on housing plans at The Uplands

North Somerset Council will be formally consulting this week on plans to change the use of two pieces of land from open spaces to sites for a school and housing.

Notices will be published in the North Somerset Times on Wednesdays, April 14 and 21, to notify residents and other interested parties of the council's intention to change the use of land it owns at Brookfield Walk, Clevedon and to the south of The Uplands, Nailsea. 

The council is authorised under the Local Government Act 1972 to consider a change of use (appropriation) of land owned by the authority.

The appropriation process is separate from planning policy and application consultations and relates to the council’s legal duties as the landowner of these pieces of land. 

It is proposed through the appropriation process that the purpose of the land change from open space to allow the development of a school at the Brookfield Walk site and housing at The Uplands. 

Public responses to the proposals must be received by noon on Wednesday, May 5.

The comments will then be used to inform a decision on whether to proceed with the appropriation which is expected to be made in late May or June.

The council must give fair and proper consideration to any responses made in order to determine whether the land is no longer required for its current purpose. During this process, the council is entitled to seek to strike the balance between comparative and potentially competing public interests.

Comment can be emailed to brookfield@n-somerset.gov.uk or uplands@n-somerset.gov.uk.

See more details by scrolling down this page on what is proposed.

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The Chestnuts

Hensons Estate Agents is offering this  landmark house at West End Lane, Nailsea for anyone with more than £1 million to spend.
It is a particularly fine period country house dating from the late Victorian era affording spacious accommodation that flows beautifully and presents well with a light, airy feel, and panoramic rural views. 
This very comfortable home is enriched with many original features including many arts and crafts details and the elevated, but level setting is private with 360 degree views over a picturesque, gently undulating landscape as far as the coast some 6 miles away.
It also boasts a super pool, stone walled gardens
The impressive house and sweeping driveway has an extensive floor plan which includes family room, drawing room, library, dining room, elegant reception hall, kitchen breakfast room, en suite principal bedroom with three further bedrooms and bathrooms.

A suitably impressive reception hall with a grand Victorian staircase leads ultimately to 4 excellent reception rooms including the family room that is part of the stunning open plan triple aspect kitchen – dining - family room layout measuring over 36’ (11m).

This suite of rooms has a part vaulted ceiling and opens to a superb terrace and the swimming pool terrace. In addition, there is a boot room, a cloakroom, and a generous utility room on the ground floor.
Above, the part galleried landing allows access to a family bathroom and then four comfortable bedrooms, two having bathrooms en suite and all taking advantage of the lovely views in all directions.
The house is approached via a pillared gateway set in very appealing local stone walls. These wall fully encircle the gardens and grounds and are themselves a lovely feature built of the local ‘Nailsea’ stone.
The remote controlled gates open to a drive and carriage sweep with a superb 3-car garage and adjoining WC – changing area serving the pool and garden. A barrel-vaulted cellar is accessed from the forecourt, the swimming pool is heated and the extensive gardens and grounds provide an almost parkland setting.
Contact Kristina Fomina, of Hensons Estate Agents, Ivy Court, 61 High Street, Nailsea, North Somerset, BS48 1AW, call 01275 810030 or email info@hbe.co.uk.

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The best house in West End by a country mile.

This superb property is unexpectedly available again due to a chain break so, if you thought you had missed the chance previously act quickly now as there is already lots of serious interest from our mailing list and houses like this are typically available only once in a generation.

Is it stretching the pocket too far? Just remember how low interest rates are and where they are likely staying!

Call Tom or Stuart on 01275 810030 to view this fabulous home that is available without any onward chain delays.

Guide Price £1,250,000

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Three years on and no homes built yet?

Three years ago, the abattoir at West End, Nailsea, closed after being in business for 120 years.

At the time Toby Baker, managing director, told Farmers Weekly he blamed the “relentless” red tape emanating from the Food Standards Agency, and its associated costs, as a factor in the closure decision.

Bakers of Nailsea, put the commercial property and adjoining land on the market for £800,000 but there were no serious takings.

But in November 2019 the 2.7acre site sold by auction for £500,000.

Auctioneers Hollis Morgan said the commercial plot has ‘potential’ for residential development subject to planning permission.

Also, earlier that year in September a piece of land in Nailsea no more than a large kerbside frontage on Station Road sold for £39,000.

Described as a freehold rectangular parcel of land with mature trees and fenced boundary located it sits between Station Road and a dead-end lane leading to a few properties opposite Ash Hayes Road.

The auctioneer said that planning permission for a detached 3-bed house has previously been refused but ‘we understand a more sympathetic scheme may have potential’ subject to consents.

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Award-winning architect designs Uplands housing

The locals didn't like North Somerset Council deciding to build on land it thought had been designated as 'recreational' but picking designer of last year’s prize-winning Goldsmith Street for 52-home project has won the council accolades in Housing Today the online industry magazine.
Mikhail Riches’ consented Uplands scheme is a ’rural sister site’ to the practice’s Stirling Prize-winning Goldsmith Street in Norwich, said the council
Architect Mikhail Riches has won planning for 52 Passivhaus-certified homes near Bristol it has designed for North Somerset Council
The 52 Passivhaus homes will be a minimum of 10 per cent above nationally described space standards and include space for home-working. The scheme includes smaller homes for downsizers and eight bungalows that can be adapted for wheelchair users.
The scheme, on council-owned land at The Uplands in Nailsea, a former 19th-century industrial town eight miles southwest of Bristol, is described as landscape-led and includes communal gardens and wildlife corridors. It has electrical vehicle charging throughout.
North Somerset Council said it wanted to 'challenge the development sector to do better by working with some of the best designers in the country', and director Annalie Riches said it was an example of 'what a forward-thinking council can achieve'. 
The council will begin procurement of a delivery partner for the Mikhail Riches development this summer with the aim of work starting on site early in 2022. The scheme is designed for manufacture and assembly of MMC panellised construction throughout.
Juliet Bidgood, chair of the Design West review panel which reviewed the scheme at three stages before and during lockdown, said: “We were inspired to see North Somerset leading by example using a strategic site to promote the high-quality design of housing by commissioning a talented design team.
“The project is a valuable demonstration of how contemporary low-carbon approaches to architecture can contribute new character and difference while learning from the local vernacular of a place.
“The project also has the potential to lead the way locally in how to develop homes that are part of a sociable and nature-friendly landscape. The panel were impressed by the way the architect and landscape architect worked together to bring trees into street landscapes and create communal gardens and orchards. It’s good to see North Somerset take practical action to address the climate and biodiversity emergencies through this approach.”
Mikhail Riches was appointed to the West Country project in July 2019 following a competitive tender process through the Greater London Authority’s ADUP2 framework.
It underlines the significance for architects of getting on the framework which can be used by authorities outside London. More than 1,100 applications were received for the 14 categories of the rebranded architecture urbanism panel 3 when retendering began last year.
The council is also working on placemaking schemes with Allies & Morrison in Portishead and Turner Works in Weston and will shortly be starting work on similar initiatives in Clevedon and Nailsea.

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Suburban semis for green space

A planning application has been submitted to North Somerset Council to build a pair of semi-detached houses on land between numbers 16-18 Winchcombe Close, Nailsea.

Nailsea is full of small parcels of land on its housing estates left by developers as open space for recreational purposes.

But through the years the original building companies have either amalgamated, gone bust or simply forgotten about these areas many of which North Somerset took on responsibility for mowing the grass and clearing rubbish.

Winchcombe Close resident Rachel Young said: "Our greenspace which lies between two homes where our children and the wider community gather has been sold.

"It is now owned by a someone living on the east coast of England who wishes to squash in two houses which are not in keeping with the rest of the homes in this residential close and infringes on our children's off-street playing area.

"We believe North Somerset conducted the sale of the land without informing the residents.

"As you can imagine the street is extremely upset about the lack of communication - we found out when a neighbour spotted a council planning notice stuck to a lamppost."

On the planning application it is described as ‘empty parcel of land’.

You can view the application HERE.

It was proposed at a recent Nailsea Town Council meeting that these areas could be utilised as community gardens for growing vegetables, planting orchards or pleasant places for neighbours to congregate.

Nailsea Town Council chairman Jan Barber said: “What happened to the town council being informed when North Somerset Council sold its green spaces – we were not notified.”

Rachel is hoping district councillor Andy Coles can answer their questions.

Water woes at Youngwood Lane

There are water supply issues with the phase one plans to build 168 homes on land north of Youngwood Lane and east ff Netherton Wood Lane, Nailsea.

Firstly, Bristol Water says it has an 18in and 450mm trunk main within the site boundary and needs to talk to developers about safeguarding its pipework.

And secondly Avon Fire & Rescue say it needs addition fire hydrants on the site.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service hydrant manager Fay Gresty said: "Avon Fire & Rescue Service aim is ensuring members of the community are safe from fire and feel safe within their own homes by taking a risk assessed approach."

It is calling for a contribution towards the cost of installation and five years maintenance of 13 fire hydrants at £1,500 + vat each by Taylor Wimpey.

Ms Gresty said: "...these fire-fighting water supplies must be installed at the same time as each phase of the developments is built so that they are immediately available should an incident occur, and the Fire & Rescue Service be called."

It total, the developers wants to build 450 homes with new access roads on green fields on the western edge of the town while safeguarding any future road links.

  • Meanwhile North Somerset Council has approved the development of the land to the south of The Uplands. North Somerset Council owns the land and has proposed to build 52 dwellings, plus a substation building on site. Nailsea Town Council objected to the land being developed, along with more than 150 others who took the time to comment on the application. The application was approved by North Somerset Council planning and regulatory committee on Wednesday, February 17.

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