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



Stamp duty returned to its usual level of £125,000 in October 2021. In July 2020, the government announced a cut to help buyers whose finances were affected by Covid. Until the end of March 2021, home buyers didn't have to pay stamp duty on the first £500,000 of a purchase price. This meant a saving of up to £15,000. The government later extended the tax holiday until the end of June, and then again until end September. During this period home buyers didn't have to pay stamp duty on the first £250,000: From the beginning of October rates return to pre-Covid levels on a rising precentage scale. 




Backwell housing online consultation

Developers are targeting smaller pockets of land in the village of Backwell having turned for the time being their attention away from the bigger prize of building on Farleigh Fields.

The latest attempt was refused in September by North Somerset Council.

This was by Persimmon Homes for 125 houses on the farmland.

The latest controversial proposal is for 65 houses on a patch between West Leigh Infant School behind Backwell Scout Hut on Rodney Road.

Taylor Wimpey is looking at the 2.3-hectare site it describes as ‘irregularly shaped, unmanaged pasture field’.


Backwell Residents Association reports in its October bulletin the proposal has already attracted 363 objections with only three in support.

Meanwhile meadows next to Nailsea & Backwell railway station are gradually being filled with homes.

Taylor Wimpey has built 65 executive homes at Coppice Place, Moor Lane, which are ‘interesting’ as the houses have very little front garden which we are told is the ‘norm’ these days.

Now Octavia Homes has announced an online public consultation about its proposed development on four acres on the Backwell side of the station.

The scheme is for 50 two- and three-bedroom dwellings next to Coppice Place.

It is outside the settlement boundary - a line drawn on a plan around a village, which reflects its built form, this is also known historically as a 'village envelope'..

Octavia Homes said in a statement: ‘Backwell is an exceptional location, with a wide range of amenities, schools and vitally sustainable transport routes. The project will be built at high density to minimise the impact on the countryside and sustainably, including renewable energy technology’.

Octavia Homes director Matt Regan said “As a family man I share many parent’s concerns that when our children decide to settle down, they will be forced to move into properties outside of the areas they grew up in.

“Of course, this is not a new problem, the under delivery of housing in this country is at crisis point and we are delighted to be able to unlock new homes for those in the greatest need.”Backswell Resident Association told its readers ‘while these ideas will be attractive to many, there are some significant disadvantages with the proposals, including over-development of the site, and the potential for traffic congestion onto the already over-loaded Station Road’.

The consultation is open until Monday, October 25, to have your say go to:


Nailsea win, win from new homes

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.

This is shared with town and parish councils every six months.

In the latest round of payments more than £266,000 has been distributed to 14 councils with Nailsea Town Council the main beneficiary receiving just over £183,000.

Fifteen per cent of the money is passed by North Somerset 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 town or parish 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.

The other councils to benefit are:

  • Abbots Leigh - £770.35

  • Backwell - £4,767.79

  • Banwell - £2,510.42

  • Bleadon - £2,386.86

  • Clevedon - £1,258.04

  • Flax Bourton - £2,862.17

  • Kingston Seymour - £210.84

  • Locking - £2,571.15

  • Long Ashton - £18,659.16

  • Portishead - £3,165.13

  • Weston-super-Mare - £36,636.71

  • Wraxall and Failand - £2,556.71

  • Wrington - £4,685.64.

These latest payments bring the total amount passed to town and parish councils since the introduction of CIL in 2018 to more than £700,000.

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

He said: "Town and parish councils have the flexibility to use the money to best meet the needs of their local communities and provide new infrastructure for the benefit of their residents.".

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, including annual reports on the total amount of CIL received and how North Somerset Council spends its share, can be found on the council's website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/cil.

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Drawing by Wotton Donoghue Architects, Clifton

Change is coming to Nailsea town centre

Something is stirring in Nailsea town centre.

Tower House Medical Centre has applied to North Somerset Council to re-vamp its building facing the Stockway South car park.

As part of Tyntesfield Medical Group which caters for 31,600 patients from Backwell, Long Ashton and Nailsea previous plans to sell Brockway Medical Centre and move lock stock and barrel to Tower House were thwarted by the pandemic.

This planning application is for:


‘removal of existing single storey projecting oriel window at ground floor, erection of a single-storey glazed extension to form new entrance lobby, proposed new steps and DDA-compliant ramp up to new entrance lobby and associated hard and soft landscaping. Internal reconfiguration of existing accommodation to create 8no. new consultation rooms, creation of climate-controlled archive store in basement / car parking area’.


You can read full details HERE.

It says in is design and access statement prepared by architects Wotton Donoghue ‘the key principles of the proposal are to enhance the patient and staff experience of the existing centre, improve the efficiency of the internal layout, as well as safeguarding against spread of disease.


•The proposed external changes are minimal relative to the scale of the site. The new glazed entrance extension will be more welcoming than the current entrance, which is visually tucked away.

• New pedestrian access up to the proposed entrance will be required as both steps and a ramp to ensure inclusive ease of access.

• The ‘sensory garden’ is a holistic intervention to help offset the clinical nature of a medical centre. Plants and flowers with different colours, shapes, smells and textures will be chosen to create a calming setting for visitors.

• Decanting the medical archives from the second floor to a new, climate-controlled enclosure in the basement will free up muchneeded administration space, and provide better preservation of the documents.

• EV Charging points will encourage and facilitate staff members to drive electrical vehicles.

• Reconfiguration of the Somerset Room will allow for a more efficient use of space following the changes in approach to healthcare since the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Nailsea People has no start date if planning permission is given and no costings at this stage.

Earlier this year it was announced that the redundant Weston College building at Somerset Square could be transformed into apartments and the library relocated as part of ambitious plans for the town centre.

From bank to books?

One rumour currently circulating is the library will be moving into the old NatWest retail unit.

The iconic building with its chain drains is like marmite - we love it.

Developments Bristol headed by Wraxall businessman Paul O’Brien said in January 2021 the timescale for change was early 2022.

The company is behind the transformed the former Royal Oak Garage into 10 homes, offices and a retail unit and converted Court House in the High Street from offices into apartments.

It has also redeveloped the former Waverley House offices in Clevedon into 17 flats and is currently working on a project to build new homes at Slade Road in Portishead.

Six years ago, the college secured now lapsed planning permission to turn the site into flats, but nothing came of the plan which had been opposed by the then owners of Crown Glass Shopping Centre who didn't want homes on the ground floor.

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Which is the best address in town?

Hensons estate agents is selling this charming new build at Bucklands Grove, Nailsea.

On the market for £595,000 freehold this detached house near Backwell Lake boasts some of the best views for miles.

The property has an open plan kitchen/diner, bi-folding doors from living room to garden, main bedroom with Juliet balcony and en suite shower room with a further family bathroom and two additional bedrooms.

High quality fittings and fixtures have been installed throughout.

And the local builder also has credentials for high standards. 

Outside is a private driveway, double garage and landscaped garden.

To download full details, click HERE or contact the High Street office on 01275 810030.

Another desirable address is Tower House Lane, Wraxall.

Hensons is marketing this detached country house with an upper price guide of a cool £2 million.

Hidden from view this rural retreat is just half a mile from Nailsea.

Built in the 1930s and enlarged and remodelled in the 1970s this has been the family home of the current owners for some three decades.

With formal dining and drawing rooms on different levels, there is also kitchen with Aga and breakfast space in the additional family room.

The principal bedroom has en suite bathroom and balcony with four further bedrooms, two more bathrooms, study and boot room.

To download full details, click HERE or contact the High Street office on 01275 810030.

Planners refuse 4th attempt to build on Backwell farmland 

Controversial plans to build dozens of homes on green fields in Backwell have been thrown out by planners - again.

Developers have been trying for years to build homes on Farleigh Fields in the village, with each application being rejected by planners.

Persimmon Homes submitted an outline planning application to North Somerset Council to build 125 homes at Farleigh Fields earlier this year.

The scheme would have seen the homes built on the north east of the site on the lower slopes, with a new junction to the site installed on the A370 Farleigh Road.

The plan also included new green spaces and pedestrian links to the wider footpath network and traffic calming measures on the A370.

But council planners have once again refused the scheme.

The news that Farleigh Fields - a much loved green space in the village - has been saved has been welcomed by residents and campaigners who have fought off previous development attempts in the past.

Developer Charles Church Severn Valley - part of Persimmon Homes - previously put in plans to build 200 homes on Farleigh Fields.

But this was thrown out by a Government inspector in 2018 following a public inquiry.

The inquiry came after North Somerset Council refused the plans, prompting developers to appeal.

An inspector upheld the appeal and the matter then referred to the Secretary of State.

At the time, the parish council, supported by the residents association, paid for a specialist planning lawyer to speak at the inquiry.

More than 400 letters of objection were received against the scheme and more than 20 villagers spoke at the inquiry.

In 1984 CH Beezer Homes also put forward plans for 250 homes on the eastern part of the site.

But this was refused by the then Woodspring District Council who said the development would have an adverse effect on Backwell.

The developers appealed and lost and the matter was then referred to the Secretary of State who ruled the agricultural potential of the site should be protected.

Developers also put forward plans to build 150 homes on the site in 2000, but these too were thrown out.

Part of Farleigh Fields was included in North Somerset Council’s sites and policies document which says the land should remain as local green space.

However the authority is currently formulating its new local plan, setting out how the district should develop in the coming decade.

Any development of Farleigh Fields is also against the Backwell Neighbourhood Plan.

The news has been welcomed by campaign group Backwell Resistance - set up to fight inappropriate developments in the village.

Spokesman Lorraine Hopkinson-Parker said: "There is much relief and delight that North Somerset Council have refused the developer Persimmon permission to build 125 houses on Farleigh Fields.

"However, it is frankly appalling that despite it being not quite three years


ago that this planning application was thrown out by the highest authority inthe land on these matters, the Secretary of State, that Persimmon came back yet again.

"Despite the financial, emotional and time, invested by Backwell village and villagers this developer sought to exploit a small window of opportunity while Backwell and North Somerset Council work on the new Local Plan, which will address the housing need and requirement.

"We are delighted that North Somerset Council has reached this correct decision and hope that Persimmon will finally accept this land is NOT deemed suitable for house building and do not return again."

Village resident Martin Powell said: "This is a relief to the local people and the obvious and sensible decision by North Somerset Council as there were so many issues that make this development unacceptable.

"It is time that Persimmon sat down with local people and had a proper discussion about Farleigh Fields, so that we are not facing these applications every few years.

"Housing is important but so is agricultural land and food supply. Backwell is a rural village, so not an appropriate place for a housing estate."

More and more green field sites across North Somerset are coming under threat from developers as North Somerset Council tries to meet its Government house building targets.


ACQUIRED PREMISES: Property developer Joseph O'Malley who is the director of 13 companies include Rokform Nailsea Ltd is behind the recent purchase at auction of upstairs at The Arcade. Mr O'Malley who hails from the Stoke area specialises in design some let's hope the half finished flat conversion gets finished soon...

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Developers encircle Nailsea

Local democracy reporter Stephen Sumner has shared copy with the Bristol Post, Somerset Live and the North Somerset Times about ‘new’ moves by developers for the green fields off Clevedon Road, Nailsea.

These more detailed plans first surfaced in 2017 during a Green Belt review.

They are for up to 600 homes on a huge site to the northeast of the town in the green belt in Nailsea.

At the time Nailsea Town Council and local environments reluctantly supported the proposals in the hope of ‘saving’ massive house building off Youngwood Lane.

The development would run from Jacklands Lakes to Southfield Road trading estate.

Previous attempts going back to the 1980s were not successful but this latest project has ‘stayed on the table’.

We are told it is in multi- ownership and currently the National Grid is busy realigning the pylons which straddle the land.

It is difficult until a formal outline planning application is submitted to see if this is a serious attempt to undo our Green Belt - see map.

It has been reported that Nailsea Holdings is the consortium eyeing up 25 hectares of arable farmland on the northern edge of the town.

And that it has asked North Somerset Council to take a look at early proposals that also include two hectares of land for commercial, leisure or specialist housing to consider the environmental impact.

The authority confirmed that an environmental statement would be required.

Nailsea Holdings said in its request for a screening opinion: “Upon completion, the delivery of around 600 residential units and two hectares of land for commercial, leisure or specialist housing is likely to provide benefits in respect of local housing demand, job creation and increased spending in the area.

“The introduction of a new residential population may lead to some demand on nearby community facilities such as primary schools, healthcare facilities and secondary schools.

“However, it is considered that any effects that may require mitigation as a result of the proposed development and the increase in population would be secured by financial contributions through an appropriate mechanism (ie s106, CIL or equivalent).”

It said the potentially significant impact on the landscape would be considered in the environmental statement alongside the flood risk and the effect on ecology.

A previous scoping opinion request to the council in 2018 by Land Value Alliance - which says it focuses on “forming responsible alliances with landowners and all other stakeholders to create developments which add value to their communities” - was not followed by a planning application

A post on the firm’s website said it was pressing at political and strategic levels for the green belt that “constrains” Nailsea to be reviewed.​

  • Stephen Sumner is one of many local democracy reporter nationwide who are part of a BBC-funded scheme launched in 2017 to get journalists back into council chambers. The aim is to hold power to account. His main focuses are Bath and North East Somerset Council and North Somerset Council, but the role also encompasses NHS bodies and the police and fire authorities. Basically, anywhere your council tax is spent.

  • Praxis the owners of Crown Glass Shopping Centre is having talks with Nailsea Town Council about building a four-storey block of flats on the old petrol station at Stockway South. It includes changing the road layout to the car park. An outline planning application yet to be submitted to North Somerset Council has planting and seating in the space outside of the medical centre and creating a pedestrian only section that runs from the medical centre to the precinct. It is also proposed that the one-way system for cars be converted to be an entrance and exit, but this will be reviewed by the Highways department before being confirmed. Presently the project is for 28 flats over four floors, with more focus on smaller units of 1-2 bedrooms.

Lots of new Nailsea homes for sale


Half an acre of scrubland on the edge of Nailsea with planning permission for six homes is on the market for an unspecified sum.

Once developed with three 3-bed, two 4-bed and one 5-bed houses a price tag of nearly £4 million has been put on the site.

On the southern boundary of Nailsea & Backwell rugby club with the recent removable of the pylons it looks like a desirable rural location.

An agent note on the details says ‘on Google Street the view shows electricity pylons and wires visible adjacent to the plot. These have been removed as part of the National Grid Hinkley Point Connection Project’.

To download details click HERE.

Viewing is by appointment with Robin King Estate Agents at 1 The Cross, Broad Street, Congresbury office, telephone 01934 876226 or email post@robin-king.com.

There have been rumours developers have made several approaches to the rugby club which is next door to the Barratt Homes housing estate on land previously part owned by Nailsea Town Council.

With work started on the Taylor Wimpey site at Netherton Grange and surveyors spotted in the 'strategic gap' fields bordering Nailsea Patio Centre there is hardly a green field surrounding Nailsea that hasn't been eyed by house builders.

Although The Uplands site owned by the district council which gave itself permission to build has been 'challenged' amid claims it breached rules.

North Somerset is tasked with identifying land to build more than 2,000 dwellings annually up to 2025 to conform to government five-year housing supply.

In April 2020 it admitted to a shortfall.

Nailsea Action Group continues to be busy in upholding its main aim to protect Nailsea’s rural setting especially at its boundaries with the countryside that surrounds it.

As many of these open spaces are attractive to housing developers, NAG remains alert to speculative planning applications that threaten them, says its latest summer newsletter.
Chief of these, and the cause of NAG’s formation in 2015, has been Barratt’s development of 171 dwellings off Engine Lane which is now likely to begin later this year as the contracts of sale were completed in June.

NAG resisted the proposal vigorously and for as long as possible, but this is not the only area under threat.

A question mark hangs over the decision to ignore the previous ‘recreational use’ designation on the land sold for millions of pounds and giving the town council its biggest bank balance ever.

On its purchase in 2008 the 'recreational use' wasn't given formal status which eventually led to former chairman Mary Ponsonby to resigned over promises not kept despite a costly plan for junior rugby commissioned.

WEST END: Land for sale on edge of Nailsea

Taylor Wimpey has started to prepare the land at Youngwood Lane to receive 450 houses in total in three phases over the next few years

NAG was strongly represented at the Inspector’s hearings which ultimately enabled planning approval.

Similarly, NAG has been supporting the group of residents in The Uplands who are trying to maintain the land behind their houses as public open space, which it has been for many decades.

Early in August 2021 North Somerset Council Scrutiny Panel voted unanimously to refer the council’s decision to appropriate the land for building back to the executive member who agreed it, for further consideration and assessment.

And despite applying and getting planning permission on the Engine Lane site NAG report that ‘Nailsea Town Council is incensed that a planning application that was initially refused to build 14 houses on The Perrings, has now been granted’.

NAG concludes: “The fact that, comparatively suddenly, a number of sites all close together are to be built on (some 687 houses in all), seems to have piqued the development industry’s interest in Nailsea as a likely prospect for the easy passage of planning applications.”


Georgian style home fit for King

This fabulous Georgian property is as rare as hen's teeth in Nailsea and appropriately was once home to the village dentist!

Stuart Burdge, of Hensons, believes this beautiful property is one of only a few in Nailsea left from that era.

He said: "The Ferns stands in Silver Street and was apparently for a considerable time in the late 19th and early 20th century the home of the village dentist and housed his surgery.

"This was long before Iqbal Fazal, of Smilesaver Dental Care, was practicing opposite and at about the same time as Dr White, of Whitesfield Road fame, had his surgery just a short distance away in Silver Street.

"Everyone will of course be aware of how rare Georgian houses are in Nailsea and this one has documented history dating it to 1830." 

For more details go to the Hensons website here http://www.hbe.co.uk/properties-for-sale/property/5690218-silver-street-nailsea and download a brochure. Viewing by appointment only with the sole agents Hensons, telephone 01275 810030.

There is a house to rent...

Property landlords and those renting across North Somerset and Bristol can now take advantage of a new 'easy to read' guide that has been published by the Government.

Anyone renting out a property is required to provide tenants with the standard How To Rent booklet at the start of a new tenancy or if a tenancy is renewed.

Juliet Noble of Parker’s Estate Agents, based in Backwell, North Somerset, says it is a simple requirement but failing to comply can cause problems for landlords.

She said: “In the Past year there have been temporary changes to the way that people rent properties due to Covid-19 and these have made the situation more complex.

“A few weeks’ ago the Government published a new 'easy to read' version of the How To Rent booklet and, although it runs to 48 pages it is a great help for both landlords and renters to understand their obligations and the latest rules.

“The rental sector in Bristol is booming and there are also many people across North Somerset that are renting properties out. Anything that simplifies the rules and helps landlords understand their obligations is a help to them.

“The role of letting agents like ourselves is also covered off in the new guide so that all parties know exactly where they stand on all aspects of renting.”

Parker’s Estate Agents act for many landlords across the area, supporting them in finding and retaining tenants and meeting the myriad of changing regulations.

Juliet added: “Handing those renting an up-to-date copy of the booklet is a legal requirement and for the last few years the rules have stated that every time there is a renewal an updated version must be handed over.

"Falling foul of simple regulations can land a landlord in trouble if there is a future dispute.

"At the moment the rules still require the full booklet to be presented to tenants but the Easy To Read version is certainly more straight-forward and less time consuming to go through.”

Landlords can obtain a copy of the “easy to read” document from Parker’s Estate Agents by calling 01275 460396.

  • The Government does not hold an archive of older How to Rent booklets on its website, but these can be accessed by NRLA members here. 

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