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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

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.

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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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NETHERTON GRANGE: Top of Youngwood Lane on Friday, February 12, a billboard appeared announcing phase one of 168 new homes to be build here with more to follow.  In total 450 homes will be built on this sloping meadowland. To register an interest go to: https://www.taylorwimpey.co.uk/proposed-developments/england/somerset/nailsea/netherton-grange.
Further along the Engine Lane Barratt Homes will be developing 171 houses on the site owned partly by the Nailsea Town Council site at Engine Lane. To register an interest for this site go to https://barrattbristolcommunity.com/engine-lane-nailsea/.
Both sites will have a percentage of 'affordable' social housing.

People speak - public consultation

Plans for the future of development in North Somerset have taken an important step forward with the publication of the council’s response to the latest round of consultation.
North Somerset Council is in the process of developing a new Local Plan for the area. 
People told the council they didn't want houses built in flood plains and favoured using brown field land.
The report says: "The Urban Focus approach seeks to maximise as much growth as possible close to the largest urban centres of Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead and Bristol where there are already a good range of services, facilities and jobs. This approach had the most overall support out of all the proposed approaches. 569 respondents strongly supported this approach and 391 respondents supported the approach. This means that 64 per cent overall though this was the best approach as to where to locate new development."
The issue of transport and impact on the road network was frequently citied as a concern both in and out of towns and on the villages, such as Tickenham located near to the towns and urban areas.
Tickenham Road Action Group is actively campaigning to stop any more commuter traffic thundering through its village. Its annual meeting is at 7pm on Tuesday, March 9, by video conference on Skype. To join email Bruce Campbell at info@trag.org.uk.
Once adopted, the plan will identify where development can and cannot take place in North Somerset as well as which supporting services and infrastructure are required.
More than 1,600 people took part in the six-week Choices consultation, which focused on the possible approaches to the location of future development in North Somerset.
Four approaches were put forward for discussion and people were asked what they liked or disliked about each, or whether there are any alternative ways of distributing the proposed growth. 
North Somerset Council executive member for planning, highways and transport James Tonkin is the independent ward councillor for Nailsea West End.
He said: “The responses to the Choices consultation have been so useful in helping the council understand local people’s priorities for development in North Somerset, so thank you to everyone who took the time to have their say.

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“The government’s housing target for North Somerset is currently 20,475 new homes during the next 15 years. 
"Without a Local Plan we could end up with unplanned growth in the wrong places, with no supporting facilities.
“The final agreed approach is likely to be a combination of the various different options. 
"We are determined to produce a Local Plan which provides high quality places, in sustainable locations, with all the facilities communities need to flourish.”
The results of the Choices consultation will be used as a starting point for developing a draft Local Plan, which will be consulted on this autumn. 
To view the results go to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/newlocalplan.

Nailsea arts & crafts homes

Did you know there is a row of four terrace houses and one detached home in Mayfair Avenue, Nailsea which are Grade II listed?

Numbers 11-15 were built in 1933-35 by Robert McClaren Love, FRIBA for WH Pippett.

The development was originally called The Close and not completed and the present number 10 was built in 1966 to an unrelated plan.

The homes were listed for their architectural quality as exceptional Arts and Crafts-inspired suburban houses, strongly influenced by Hampstead Garden Suburb, with interesting direct connections with Sir Edwin Lutyens.

In August 2020 one of the freehold three-bed terraced homes sold for £415,000

You can read more here:

https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1246121.

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Tick(enham)ing carbon zero boxes

Newland Homes has been given the go-ahead for a development of zero carbon housing in North Somerset.

North Somerset Council has approved the company's plans for 32 new sustainable homes in the village of Tickenham, all of which will benefit from solar panels, air source heat pumps and 'hedgehog highways'.

Outline planning permission was originally granted for the former garden centre in Tickenham, between Nailsea and Clevedon, in 2017.

This latest planning approval confirms the detail of the design and means that Gloucestershire-based developer Newland Homes can now start work on the site, with groundworks scheduled to commence this spring.

Newland Homes developments director Jeremy Drew said: "Newland Homes is investing in the future with our first Zero Carbon scheme.

"It is not a planning requirement, but it is the right thing to do, and is increasingly sought by our customers.

"This is a major milestone and sets the scene for all of Newland Homes' coming developments.

"We're upgrading the ambitions for our properties, so they are more sustainable and economic to run, without compromising on their style, and are future-proofed for both the homeowner and the environment.

"Our Zero Carbon homes even exceed the government's recently trialled Future Homes Standard, currently intended to be rolled out from 2025."

In addition to the 32 new homes available for private sale, about 9,700 sq ft of commercial space is being built by Newland Homes at Tickenham.

This will take the form of office and light industrial space.

Building homes fit for people

The countryside in this photo may soon be lost to development and hundreds of commuters could attempt to shortcut to the M5 along this rural road unless and alternative route is built.
As expected North Somerset Council had little choice but to approve the residential development of up to 168 new homes on land off Netherton Wood Lane, Nailsea. 
This application includes the provision of 30 per cent affordable homes, ensuring that local people are able to live and work in the local area, say developers Taylor Wimpey.
The reserved matters planning application is for the first phase but also includes infrastructure roads for the wider development and a safeguarded route for a potential future link road. 
The proposals form part of the first phase of a development which received outline planning permission in November 2019 for 450 homes. 
The remaining 282 homes will be sought for planning consent at a later date.
The Bristol Post has reported that developers have plans to build hundreds of new homes on green belt land in Failand.
Harrow Estates has launched a major consultation on its vision to build up to 500 homes over 40 hectares of land - which would see the size of the village double.
The development would be spread over three sites bordering the ‘Failand Triangle’ all of which are currently in the green belt near the B3128 and just down the road from Bristol and Clifton Golf Club.
A consultation on the vision has now been launched by Harrow Estates, which is part of the Redrow Group.

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The consultation, which will run online due to the current pandemic, runs until Monday, February 22.

The proposal is being put forward at the same time as North Somerset Council is starting to draw up its Local Plan for the area up to 2038.
Read the full story here https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/major-development-bristol-outskirts-could-4929777.
People can find out more about Harrow Estates plan at www.sustainablefailand.co.uk.
And there are reports of more developers 'hovering' or should that be 'harbouring' schemes for other green fields in the Nailsea and Backwell area...

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Retro rabbit hutches

It was the biggest planning application they had discussed for two decades, said Nailsea Town Council planning committee chairman Rod Lees at its Zoom meeting on Wednesday, January 13, but the detailed design of the 168 Taylor Wimpey houses for land north of Youngwood Lane and east of Netherton Wood Lane failed to find favour with councillors.

This is Phase One of a development which will eventually see nearly 500 new homes build on the green fields towards West End.

The questionable road network, missing cycle routes and lack of carbon neutral ideas were criticised, and the rows of houses dubbed ‘featureless retro rabbit hutches’, by the committee

There will be 118 homes put on the open market consisting of 16 two-bed, 56 three-bed, 41 four-bed and 5 five-bed with 30 per cent affordable housing for rent or shared ownership.

On the development will be four three-storey blocks of flats.

Taylor Wimpey said: “The application includes 30 per cent affordable homes, ensuring that local people are able to live and work in the local area. The first phase includes infrastructure roads for the wider development and a safeguarded route for a potential future link road. The development, which is accessed from a new through route from St Mary’s Grove, gives us an opportunity to deliver a mixed development of homes, from one-bedroom apartments up to five-bedroom family homes, with parking and public open space." 

The application is to be considered by North Somerset Council planning and regulatory committee on Wednesday, January 20.

North Somerset Council decide on the planning applications – Nailsea Town Council only has the power to recommend.

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The district council virtual meeting will be livestreamed on You Tube and with all the planning paperwork here
https://planning.n-somerset.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QHFDU5LPIWZ00/.

  • Retrospective planning permission was sought for a ‘huge’ roof extension on a Victorian cottage in Nailsea High Street. But neighbours said the revised application for the partially built dormers resembled ‘towering’ boxes stuck on top of the 19th century terraced home and they complained had not been informed about the original application. The committee decided the application was a ‘fragrant disregard of planning rules’ and if allowed would send the wrong message to those working in the local construction industry.

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Plans for Nailsea eyesore

A redundant college building in Nailsea could be transformed into apartments and the library relocated as part of ambitious plans for the town centre.
Developments Bristol has purchased the former Weston College site in Somerset Square with a view to redeveloping it into apartments with a retail unit on the ground floor.
It is also possible that the town’s library building could be sold and included within the development, with the library being relocated elsewhere in Nailsea.
The firm, headed by Wraxall businessman Paul O’Brien, is currently in talks with Nailsea Town Council, North Somerset Council - which own the library - and the town centre owners Praxis.
Mr O’Brien said the plans were very much at the ‘discussion stage’ but said he hoped the development would provide a mix of private, shared ownership and affordable homes for local people.
The former Weston College building has laid vacant in the town for over a decade and over the years has become an eyesore.
Mr O'Brien said: “We are currently in the very early stages of discussions for this site.
“We want to come up with a scheme that works for everyone and takes into consideration the community buildings.
“The idea is to have retail below and apartments above but nothing is yet set in stone.
“This development will regenerate what is something of an eyesore in Nailsea town centre and provide homes for local people.”
It 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.
If plans are agreed, building work could start on the old college site early in 2022.
The site has been subject to a number of development plans over the years.

The Tyntesfield Medical Group had wanted to purchase the building next to its Tower House Medical Centre.The plans proposed selling the practice’s Brockway site in the town for housing and relocating the 12 consulting rooms to the medical centre.

A further six consulting rooms would have been added to Tower House, along with a new waiting area, with practice administration staff moving into the Weston College building.

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However, the plans were axed due to the uncertainty in the commercial property sector as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
At one point, the college secured 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.
Mr O'Brian presented to Nailsea councillors several options and added to the Nailsea People Facebbook page: "As I said to the Bristol Post reporter who first publish the story it’s very early days. 
"I am speaking with the relevant parties. 
"Nailsea Town Council , North Somerset Council and the owners of the shopping precinct owners to come up with a viable solution that will work for everyone including Nailsea residents.
"It needs to work for everyone or it just sits there for another 10 years.
"Regarding the library , there are plenty of large empty shops and ground floor offices in the precinct and to make a scheme viable the library may need to be relocated, access arrangement will be taking into account and I believe would be better than the current arrangement.
"We did have some objections to the development at the Royal Oak but I think the new houses there look really good, designed by O’Leary Goss architects. 
"We shall be using them on this project."

2020

Nailsea Action Group spokesman Antony Evans says residents living on commuter routes are selling up fearing traffic chaos when more homes being built on the edge of the town.

He said: “In the past two years, there has been a large number of houses up for sale along the Clevedon Road in Tickenham which is the main route for traffic from the Nailsea area to the M5.

“At one point there were 20 ‘for sale’ boards up.

“Similarly, in North Street, Nailsea, at the bottom end of Engine Lane, there have been many houses for sale in recent weeks.

“I suggest that this a direct consequence of the current and prospective traffic flows along these roads."

At a recent town council planning committee meeting in a public forum on Zoom a West End resident said using the Tickenham road was preferable to using a ratrun through their hamlet or Chelvey.

Mr Evans added: “Nailsea Town Council published a Vision For The Town back in 2018, but this either needs formulating into a plan of action in order to achieve the aspirations of that vision, and/or a co-ordinated strategic overview and lay-out of how the ingredients will fit together and in what sequence in order to avoid a continuation of piecemeal, hand to mouth planning.

“In the next year or two it is likely, for example, that the south-west corner of Nailsea will be wrapped round by new housing developments, and the green open spaces lost for ever thereby:

  • 168 off Youngwood Lane in the first phase, possibly rising to 450 in subsequent phases; and

  • 54 south of The Uplands and 171 houses off Engine Lane.

“Nailsea Town Council has always opposed the development on Youngwood Lane, but the government inspector’s judgement that planning can take place there effectively overrules this and North Somerset Council’s original opposition.

“As to The Uplands the voting to recommend building was 4 for, 6 against, and two abstentions.

“In 2016, by a very tiny majority (a casting vote in fact) the town council voted to sell its land off Engine Lane for development.

“The agreed contract, however, has not been concluded yet, and some of the residents claim that, if that does not take place for another couple of years, when inflation is taken into account and certain financial constraints are reduced, Nailsea Town Council would benefit from a significantly increased price.

“What tends not to be considered sufficiently fully is the cumulative effect of these plans.

“This responsibility, it has to be said, does not rest solely at Nailsea Town Council’s door, as it is only empowered to make recommendations to North Somerset Council which, in its turn, can choose to ignore Nailsea’s suggestions.

“This suggests that there is a pressing need for more working together, or more evidence of it if it is already happening, to craft together a plan from the ingredients. “These might include:

  • a realistic assessment of what the housing needs really are and how, where and for whom they are to be met;

  • how many houses will be genuinely ‘affordable’;

  • the impact of the consequential and cumulative effects of increased traffic within, and in and out of the town, and how the infrastructure will be changed to accommodate this;

  • what and where the new local employment opportunities that are supposed to be a condition for new houses in an area, will be;  

  • in the light of the proposed housing developments, how and where better green open space will be provided to make up for the many acres lost – not just putting in a little park within a housing estate; and

  • how the much publicised, and now seemingly relegated, Climate Emergency Plan will be realistically implemented.

“More and more, the importance of green open space is being emphasised locally and nationally, not least for physical and mental health and well-being.

“Portentous proclamations on the matter from governments present and past seem to come to nothing or very little at local level – where the people are.

“Especially now, at this challenging time, it is so easy to say ‘well, what can I do about it?’.

“It is a collective responsibility, so I hope readers of Nailsea People will continue to write, email, discuss and attempt to persuade those that hold the reins of power to act swiftly and together, not just for the people of Nailsea, but also for similarly affected communities in North Somerset, unless we want to see through no one organisation’s particular fault, what seems like continued uncertainty, muddle, blame and buck passing.”

To learn more about the campaigning of NAG clcik HERE.

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There's a house for sale

Alice in Wonderland territory, says MP

North Somerset Council has compiled a summary from the Challenges and Choices Part 1 Local Plan consultation.

This goes towards compiling a blueprint for future building in our area.

With plans afoot to increase the size of Nailsea by 3,000 new homes by 2036, hundreds of residents voiced their opinions.

You can read the summary in full HERE.

Contents include its purpose and how it conducted the consultation.

It asked several main questions:

Question 1: What are your hopes and fears about having new development near where you live?

Question 2: What changes over the next 15 years do you think will affect how we need to plan for residents, businesses and communities?

Question 3: Are you concerned that climate change may impact you or your family, business or local community in the future? And if so in what way?

Question 4: How should we plan for how you and your family will work in the future, or the future needs of your business?

Question 5: What sort of types and sizes of houses do you think will be needed for your community in the future?

Question 6: What do you think makes a good community?

Question 7. Do you agree with these suggestions for what sustainable development might look like? Are there any others which are important to you?

Question 8. We have come to value our local footpaths and green spaces more since Covid-19. How can we ensure that future residents benefit from access to green spaces?

Question 9: Should we be thinking about adjusting the Green Belt boundary if necessary?

Question 10: The previous sections set out the six challenges that we feel the Local Plan should address. Are there any other challenges you feel we need to address through the Local Plan?

Question 11: In light of the world we now live in, is this vision still appropriate for the future?

Question 12. Do these reflect your aims, those of your family, community or business?

Question 13: Have we identified the right priorities and are there any missing, which do you think are the most important and why?

The new Local Plan will shape how North Somerset grows and develops in the coming decades.

It will guide housing, jobs and business investment, transport, community facilities and supporting infrastructure in the area until 2038.

Hundreds of comments were received about the 56 sites which have been put forward as potential development locations; North Somerset MP Liam Fox secured a House of Commons adjournment debate on his concern about building in flood plains and residents expressed their fears about traffic levels on roads around and through villages especially Tickenham with a call for a new road between the M5 Junction 20 at Clevedon and Bristol Airport.

Concern was split between pushing ahead with the Local Plan to set new housing targets vs slowing down the process to ensure the draft Planning White Paper outcomes can be fully incorporated.

Some respondents felt that the plan period should be extended and take full account of housing need including Bristol unmet need while some respondents felt that growth isn’t compatible with climate change objectives and full account needs to be taken of the constraints such as AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty), flooding (which may be more pervasive than predicted).

Many found the consultation portal difficult to use and there was a call for more direct engagement and while some welcomed the straightforward language and the way the document was presented others thought it was too long and cumbersome.

The next stage of the consultation is the Challenges and Choices Part 2: Choices for the Future.

Response need to be submitted by Monday, December 14.

You can access the consultation documents HERE.

Nailsea Action Group is challenging plans to build unsuitable housing in the wrong areas and Tickenham Road Action Group has been formed to influence authorities in the development of new road schemes impacting its village.

Taylor Wimpey homes on horizon

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Nailsea is due to get 2,575 new homes in the next 16 years and is earmarked for another 725 plus soon after this date.

But exactly where they are going and when is not set in concrete because the latest North Somerset Local Plan hasn’t formally been adopted and still has a way to go.

A consultation ended in September 2020 and more than 60 Nailsea residents voiced their opinions online – it was the usual commuter traffic, social cohesion, fear of rising crime and lack of local amenities arguments.

But while many are conscious they are living in homes built in the 1950-60s on green fields that once surrounded a small Somerset village the thought of thousands more incomers and the loss of even more countryside is a little unpalatable.

However, having said that our shops could do with more customers and our amazing schools do have falling rolls.

What Nailsea has going for it is a fantastic community spirit and its countryside location which no-one wants to jeopardise.

Nearly everyone wants young people to have access to affordable houses that allows them to remain in their hometown but judging by past decisions by planners and developers no one trusts those with the most sway to get it right. Floodplains and protected bats not withstanding!

In the 1970-80s the new roads had no footpaths, it was mostly rows of terraced boxes and nothing much for the new families and youth to do – we even had a New Year riot in the town!

Then they built the five-bed timber-framed Scandinavian homes in Rickford Road which sold in a jiffy and developers realised there was a market for posh places.

The first 2020 planning application to be decided is for 54 houses on land to the south of the Uplands.

Everyone thought it was public open space and even the landowner North Somerset Council describes it as ‘amenity area’ on old maps it is perhaps a little underused especially in the summer when the adders like to bask in the sunshine on the stone walls.

This application comes on top of the approved outline applications for 171 houses for Engine Lane on land owned in the main by Nailsea Town Council and 450 houses on Youngwood Lane all within metres of each other.

Nailsea Action Group (N.A.G.) 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.  

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.

N.A.G supports Nailsea Town Council in its wish for an integrated 'masterplan' for Nailsea's future.

This would include its aim to:

  • re-balance the age distribution of the town's population;

  • utilise long vacated modern buildings in the town centre currently owned by Weston College;

  • seek the development of the long derelict brownfield Coates site; and

  • adjust the Green Belt so that future development can be distributed around the town evenly thereby improving existing imbalances.

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NAILSEA PHOTOS: From top proposed housing sites at Youngwood Lane, Engine Lane, bridlepath to The Uplands, The Perrings bungalows, derelict Weston College which was an option for Tyntesfield Medical Centre move

So sticking hundreds of houses on the edge of Nailsea towards Clevedon doesn’t really make sense but the east of the town towards Wraxall is protected by Green Belt.

And while we are on the subject of additional building Linden Homes wish to build 195 homes behind Causeway View between the football ground and Watery Lane and developers have expressed the intention to submit applications to build 600 homes between Clevedon Road and Bristol Road.

Then there is the sloping land to the east of Youngwood Lane at its junction with The Perrings for 14 houses behind the bungalows.

The first of the big detailed planning applications for Phase One at Youngwood Lane and Netherton Wood Lane went to North Somerset Council this week.

It is for 168 dwelling.

So, while we were all worrying about the impact of the 54 new homes at The Uplands and a few more off The Perrings guess what? Taylor Wimpey submitted 80 documents to build 168 dwellings including 50 ‘affordable housing units’ ranging from one bed flats to four bed houses with rent and shared ownership options.

There is a further 282 properties to come in Phase Two and Phase Three with new highways routes and ponds on the farmland off Youngwood Lane/Netherton Lane.

You can download a map of the proposed site showing where the homes and roads are going HERE.

There is a proviso also for safeguarding a future link road to god knows where – M5? Tickenham residents will be pleased but West End(ers) will be worried.

Read more on the North Somerset Council website HERE.

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THANK YOU: A happy new owner sends a thank you card and chocolates to staff at Hunters celebrating selling 36 homes in one day through its Yatton office. Call 01275 544477 or email nailsea@hunters.com

People to live in green houses

Householders in North Somerset are set to benefit from a new energy-saving scheme.

The government Green Homes Grant can pay at least two-thirds of the cost of home improvements that save energy with a maximum cut-off of £5,000. 

North Somerset Council executive member whose portfolio includes climate change Bridget Petty said: “This grant is a good opportunity for residents to access funding to improve the thermal comfort of their homes, save money and reduce carbon emissions. 

"I would urge residents to act now as the work has to be completed by March 2021; do let family, friends and neighbours know about the scheme and what a great way to contribute to the climate emergency challenge."

Homeowners and landlords can apply for a voucher towards the cost of installing energy efficient and low-carbon heating improvements to their homes, which could help save up to £600 a year on energy bills.

A higher level of subsidy (£10,000) is available for households in receipt of a qualifying benefits and can cover 100 per cent of the cost of the improvements. 

The scheme is administered online through the Simple Energy Advice service at https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/pages/green-homes-grant and residents are encouraged to find out about the scheme and the eligibility criteria.

Not all types of work are eligible, so it's really important for residents to check before committing to any work or paying a deposit or other costs. 

Work can only be carried out by accredited suppliers through the Trustmark scheme and the council is warning people to be on their guard against rogue traders who may try to capitalise on the scheme. This could take many forms including making false or exaggerated statements about the value of the subsidy, quality and extent of work covered and say the council will fund the balance.

Mrs Petty, who is the Backwell ward councillor, added: "Don’t agree to work from cold-callers.

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“Rogue traders will try to convince you that they operate within the Green Homes scheme.

“They will rush you into a decision and may ask for initial payments up front, perhaps even falsely claiming that they are working for the council or a government agency.

“Don’t let rogue traders mislead you!"

As part of the genuine scheme you will need to obtain your own tradesman from an approved list.

You also need to apply for a voucher and get approval first before getting any work done. The Simple Energy Advice Service is there to provide help and guidance on this process.

Local plan update

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To read in full this first article scroll down

Local people, particularly those aged under 30, are being urged to have their say and join an important consultation being run by North Somerset Council.

North Somerset youth advocate Huw James, aged 24, is the Liberal Democrat councillor for Portishead South ward.

He is calling for more young people to join the Local Plan 2038 Challenges consultation, before the closing date of Wednesday,September 2.

The new Local Plan will shape how North Somerset grows and develops in the next 15 years and beyond.

Cllr James said: “This is our future. We need to make sure young people are part of the conversation and proportionally represented in the development of North Somerset’s new Local Plan.

“For a Local Plan to work, it needs to tackle the issues and problems faced by young people. That’s exactly why this first stage of consultation focuses on the challenges the new Local Plan needs to address.

“We need to hear from more of our residents aged under 30, who might not yet have their own home or a family of their own, but will over the next 10-20 years.”

The number of new homes which must be planned for in North Somerset is determined by central government.

Zoom in to have your say

Nailsea Action Group is inviting supporters to a virtual meeting on Thursday, August 20, at 7.30pm to discuss North Somerset’s Local Plan 2038.

The new Local Plan will shape how North Somerset grows and develops in the coming decades. It will guide housing, jobs and business investment, transport, community facilities and supporting infrastructure in the area for the next 18 years.

To join the Zoom meeting go to:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83026157394…

Meeting ID: 830 2615 7394

Passcode: 893659

Phone +44 203 051 2874 United Kingdom

You can join via your computer or phone using the details above.

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The new Local Plan will shape how North Somerset grows to meet these targets, as well as guide the jobs, transport, community facilities and supporting infrastructure required.

The online consultation runs until Wednesday, September 2, at:

 www.n-somerset.gov.uk/newlocalplan.

 

The responses received to this summer’s consultation will guide the next stage of creating the North Somerset Local Plan, which will focus on the choices around the location of future development.

To take part go to the link above and look out for updates on the council’s social media.

McCarthy and Stone development in Nailse
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Final Nailsea flat for sale...

There is just one apartment left to sell on the Bucklands Retirement Living development at Stockway South, Nailsea, built by McCarthy and Stone.

This over 60s complex on the site of the old police station is offering its last unit a two-bed apartment with balcony at £399,950.

Rental and part-buy part-rent options are also available.

Built on the site of the old police station Avon & Somerset Constabulary put a ‘for sale’ board outside the town centre building in September 2014.

Work began on the town centre 22 one bed and 18 two bed apartments in 2017 when the officers moved to new accommodation at Pound Lane.

Pictured is demolition day when the bulldozers moved in October 2017.

McCarthy and Stone South divisional marketing manager Nicki Beswarick said: "Since we first opened the doors to Bucklands it has been a real success story.

"The development has struck a chord with discerning retirees who are looking to make the most of the freedom and independence of their retirement years while also experiencing the quality of life that comes from downsizing within Nailsea. 

“As availability continues to become limited, we are urging all those who are interested in being part of this exclusive Retirement Living community to act without delay and book a visit to Bucklands.”

McCarthy and Stone’s Retirement Living communities are thoughtfully-designed exclusively for the over 60s to provide the very best in modern,

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independent living within a safe and secure environment, says the advertising blurb..

Residents at Bucklands can make the most of the beautiful landscaped gardens, knowing all the maintenance is taken care of.

They can also feel secure in the knowledge that the House Manager is on hand to provide any help or support should they need it.

To find out more about Bucklands, please contact McCarthy and Stone on 0800 3100 383 or visit www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk.

What's next for Nailsea

While we have been in lockdown developers haven't gone away and now North Somerset Council has relaunched its Local Plan 2038 consultation for people to have their say - however, what notice will be taken we don't know?

For Nailsea the number one priority is to protected our beautiful countryside in a realistic way so that people of all ages can find somewhere to live at an affordab