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Telephone: 01275 810030

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WE PLOUGH THE FIELDS: And build everywhere. At Taylor Wimpey site at Netherton Grange the new householders put their bins out for collection and other homes display 'sold' signs, at Parish Brook the Barratt Homes site off Engine Lane we see the roofs going on the timber-framed houses and on Tuesday morning, August 16, work began on the chalet bungalows off The Perrings next to what was the children's play area

Local plan another consultation looming

North Somerset Council has completed a summary of the latest Local Plan consultation responses.

The consultation on the Local Plan 2038: Preferred Options commenced on March 14 this year and ran for six weeks until the end of April 2022.

There were 739 respondents to the consultation with a total of 4,227 comments.

Surprised to read that that some believe the ‘importance of Nailsea & Backwell railway station is grossly exaggerated’ and not surprised that Nailsea Town Council has 'concerns around the practical issues for the delivery of the transport hub at the station'.

The term ‘affordable housing’  is mentioned but no actual definition what that means in momentary terms.

All comments are available to view on the online consultation system by clicking HERE.

North Somerset Council is aiming to finalise a pre-submission version of the plan by the end of the year and then we get another consultation.

Here is what Nailsea and Backwell people had to say in the summary:

LP3 Nailsea and Backwell: 

A total of 301 comments were received in relation to this policy. 241 objections, 40 support with amendments, 20 support. A key concern is around the scale of proposed growth and the impact this will have on existing infrastructure, character and identify of the village. In this respect greater concern appears to focus on Backwell rather than Nailsea. Key concerns centre on traffic impact both in terms of existing situation and the need to deliver new infrastructure. In addition, wider concerns around impacts on wildlife, agricultural land, landscape quality, and flood risk. Some responses question the justification for proposed release of land within the Green Belt. Key focus on the importance of infrastructure, notably transport infrastructure and its deliverability. Some comments consider the lack of information at this stage to support the growth proposals. Despite a majority objection to the proposals, there is some support and recognition of the need for growth at a smaller scale, and for smaller units to meet local needs.

LP10 Transport infrastructure:

Allocations and safeguarding. A total of 80 comments were received in relation to this policy. 28 objections, 43 support with amendments, 9 support. A number of respondents raised concern around the lack of detail on transport schemes associated with new growth areas, particularly at Nailsea and Backwell. There was some support for prioritisation of active travel and public transport, although some concerns around the practical issues for the delivery of the transport hub at Nailsea station. Comments on requirements or clarifications for specific schemes including J21 relief road, enhanced J21, and a connection between the M5 and Nailsea. Concern around existing parts of the network including the A370, particularly around the Congresbury area, Portbury and Tickenham.

DP50, 51 and 52 mentions ‘… the deficit of leisure provision at Nailsea and the fact that exiting facilities are dated and inadequate. It was felt that he a site should be safeguarded for new leisure provision in Nailsea based on the number of new homes being proposed. It was felt that the open space around Backwell should be recognised as an important leisure facility with access to open space helping people’s wellbeing and mental health’.

Backwell Parish Council:

• The overwhelming majority of residents consider the Preferred Options proposals would be a disaster for Backwell. Responses in this consultation reflect our request that the proposed housing allocations are reconsidered. New development should be redistributed to some of the other locations that are much more sustainable and better matched to North Somerset Council policies. • Proposed allocations are of an excessive scale – disproportionate to the size of the village resulting in a 60% increase. • Inconsistent treatment of Backwell in the Local Plan. In some policies/documents it is referred to as a village and in others as an urban area combined with Nailsea. There is also inconsistency regarding potential employment allocation at Nailsea/Backwell and its future location. • No evidence to justify removing land from the Green Belt east of Backwell – the plan needs to consider urban locations first in line with the spatial strategy such as Clevedon, Portishead, Ashton Vale, Pill or north Nailsea. • The loss of Grade 1 agricultural land at Backwell would be significant. • Removal of land from the Green Belt could lead to urban sprawl between Backwell and Flax Bourton. • Transport solutions and proposals are very vague and general. No specific deliverable schemes are set out. • The importance of Backwell railway station is grossly exaggerated. The station is currently inadequate (poor access, short platforms, plans for electrification, overcrowding and significant numbers of fast trains passing through (making any increase in services difficult/impossible). Therefore, new residents will be driving to work increasing traffic on the A370 including the A370 crossroad and station road which your document states should not be made even worse than they are now. • The document does not describe where the new primary school would be in Backwell in relation to our existing schools. There are many complex issues about changing secondary school provision and this is not detailed adequately. • Impact on wildlife will be significant for example the Special Area of Conservation and Sites of Special Scientific Interest for our Horseshoe Bats which are known to use the fields in Grove Farm as a major foraging area for the maternity colony present in Brockley.

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NON IMPORTANT: Some of the responses seem as contrary as the upside down artwork at Nailsea & Backwell railway station

Nailsea Town Council

• The planned location for development on land south of Nailsea is unsustainable with poor infrastructure including road, public transport and facilities for example leisure and sports provision. The locations are set away from the existing town centre and will disproportionately impact on the residents of the town by placing pressure on the existing highway network and facilities. This land is also considered important, attractive and both agriculturally and environmentally significant, particularly in terms of bat habitats. • Unclear in both policy SP9 and LP3 where the 8.1 hectares of proposed employment land is likely to be for Nailsea and Backwell. Development of the land 40 to the North of Nailsea will create opportunity to enhance the Southfield Road industrial estate and enable the redevelopment of Coates Yard, providing more sustainable jobs for the town. • Further development of Nailsea can only realistically be considered with the introduction of additional highways infrastructure. Lack of detail about what this will be. Investment is also needed in the bus services and train station to make them affordable, reliable and attractive options. • Land to the North East of Nailsea within the Parish of Wraxall is better suited for taking out of the Green Belt and will allow for more sustainable development to take place in a location closer to the town’s amenities including jobs, schools and retail. We strongly urge North Somerset Council to re-consider this sustainable location. • Supportive of the extension to the Green Belt to the south of Nailsea to prevent the merger of Nailsea and Backwell and any further encroachment into the countryside. • Concern about the reference to Nailsea and Backwell continually throughout the Local Plan. These two locations have completely separate identities which must be protected. Each settlement has its own distinct issues which require solutions. • North Somerset Council needs to lead the way with its commitment to support zero-carbon development and local policy must insist that any new development adopts the highest possible principles of low carbon or even carbon neutral development. • Within schedule 4 there is no provision/location whatsoever for a new primary, secondary and special educational needs school within Nailsea, nor is there any provision for additional leisure facilities which are very much needed in the town and are referred to in policy LP3. • Policy DP15: Active Travel Routes: Festival Way linking Bristol to Nailsea is further extended to the West of Millennium Park towards Clevedon and then on towards Weston-super-Mare in line with the plans being developed by Sustrans. The drove road running between Nailsea and Clevedon should be opened to the public to provide safe off road access between the two towns for both pedestrians and walkers. • Nailsea Town Council is supportive of the policy to ensure that no more than 20% of proposed major development schemes in the town are for dwellings of four or more bedrooms.

This will be the final version of the plan to be consulted on before the plan is submitted for examination.


ON TRACK: Green fields and farmland forfeited for new homes

The tenancy of the Ring O'Bells in Nailsea is up for sale on Find My Pub.

Offered at an annual rent of £36,000 it describes it as a ‘traditional village pub located in the affluent area of Nailsea’ which should please the neighbours.

The advertisement goes on to add it is ‘home to Nailsea Folk Club and several skittles teams’ and ‘the landlords are looking for an experienced catering-minded publican to take this pub to the next level’.

It was in the summer of 2019 the Ring O'Bells pub saw former landlords Kev and Di Mildon coming home to run the St Mary's Grove pub in a joint venture with regulars Liz and James Harding.

And it was Kev and Di’s daughter Rebecca Williams, mum of two small boys who took up the day-to-day running as manager.

Beccy said: “We are leaving in November.

“Someone else is joining but business is as usual until then.”

New faces behind bar

The Ring O’Bells isn’t the only Nailsea pub to be under new management in a revolving doors of the past 12-months Moorend Spout currently closed for renovations, Royal Oak and Sawyers Arms have all seen new faces in charge due to people moving on or retiring.

Parts of the Ringers date back to the early 19th century but it is a large building with living accommodation upstairs.

The bar area has seen many changes and serving food and functions is a big part of its business now.

Even the skittle alley doubles as place to host parties, christenings and even wedding receptions.

Then there is a large beer garden currently covered in a massive awning, children’s play area, floodlit petanque pistes and 25-space car park.

Ringers is the home of weekly quizzes and bingo, paint parties and live bands.

It is where Nailsea International Bike Show is held along with the apple fest and wassailing ceremonies plus it is renown for hosting charity events and during lockdown for making gallons of tomato soup for Nailsea Community Group volunteers to distribute.

See more HERE on the Find My Pub website.

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New publican needed

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TO LET: Various sized office spaces to let in self-contained unit on busy trading estate in Nailsea. Rental terms and rates to be negotiated. Low energy usage inclusive upon review and included with shared Wi-Fi, welfare facilities and storage if required. Located close to town centre and approximately four miles from junction 20 of the M5 via the B3130. Contact Lee White via Facebook

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Plans to demolish petrol station

The petrol station next to Nailsea & Backwell railway station is to be demolished if a planning application for seven new homes gets the go-ahead.

The scheme by WH Architects would see a range of buildings on the land next to the railway station, in Station Road, Backwell.

But Backwell Residents Association isn’t totally happy with the plan.

It said: “Overall we consider this is an acceptable and sensible re-use of this site.

“However -we consider it potentially provides an excellent opportunity to adjust the site boundary with the railway and station - to enable essential crucially important upgrading works to the station and its inadequate access (especially for people with disabilities).

“We propose North Somerset Council should liaise with the site owners to work with the railway authorities to adjust the application site plan to allow such works to be carried out.”

Currently home to Backwell Motors assurances have been given the garage workshop will stay along with the equine business.

The application says: “The car repair workshops to the rear of the site are large and underused following the relocation of the spray-painting work to an offsite facility.

"It is proposed that the activities that currently take place within the small workshop at the front of the site are relocated into the main warehouse building.

"It is proposed that Equicraft, a specialist horse equipment and supplies shop is to relocate to the rear of the site in a purpose built, single storey building.

"Scattered in the rear of the site are various storage containers and small outbuildings. It is proposed that these are removed and replaced with a new single storey building to the rear of the existing workshop."

In the area near the Station Road access, however, buildings - including the petrol station - would be demolished for the homes.

"The petrol station site and residential accommodation above will be demolished and seven, two- and three-bedroom houses with associated parking, cycle and bin storage are proposed at the front of the site," the application adds.

"This will greatly improve the street scene."

The new homes will be 'highly sustainable', the plan says, being insulated to modern standards, having a high degree air-tightness and minimal requirement for heating.


However, given proximity to the train track a 31-page noise and vibration assessment by Acoustic Consultants Ltd has been carried out which concludes ‘with a suitably designed scheme, both noise and vibration will not adversely affect the proposed dwellings on the site and the development achieves the aims of the National Planning Policy Framework’.

For more details and to comment click HERE.

Backwell resident Will Hellier said: “Sad, but as a brownfield site I’m sure it will sail through planning.

“I can only imagine the retail of the business is no longer tenable.

“With three mini-markets in the village, Tesco and Tout’s up the road it is probably inevitable.

“I feel for the less mobile, especially those in the two nearly estates who reply daily on the garage shop.”

PHOTO: Top drawing of how the homes, on the site in Station Road, Backwell, could look WH Architects and a current view of the garage and shop 

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Phase 2 build for Taylor Wimpey 

Taylor Wimpey has submitted plans for the second phase of its Youngwood Lane major development.

This is part of the 450 homes with access roads, footways/cycleways, infrastructure works and associated community infrastructure including open space and landscaping at land north Of Youngwood Lane and east of Netherton Wood Lane Nailsea 

Its press advertisement says:

'22/P/1558/RM - Reserved matters application for access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale for the erection of 217 no .dwellings pursuant to outline planning permission 16/P/1677/OT2 (Outline planning permission including an Environmental Impact Assessment for residential and related development comprising the erection of up to 450 dwellings, means of access thereto, access roads, footways/cycleways, infrastructure works and associated community infrastructure including open space and landscaping. All matters reserved with the exception of the main site access point) on land north of Youngwood Lane And East Of Netherton Wood Lane, Nailsea.' 

Read the 52 accompanying documents by clicking HERE.

The application has one lone public comment so far saying 'Please turn down this development. We do not need more concrete and destruction of our valuable habitat and countryside. Simply not sustainable, it's contributing to global warming as demonstrated recently by the high temperatures. The character of North Somerset is being destroyed at an alarming rate - think has been ample house building in the county , the majority of which is unaffordable. Time to stop before no countryside left to ruin.'

Nailsea floodplain 2030


CLIMATE CENTRAL: Predictions for floodplains in less than a decade, produced by an independent group of scientists and communicators who research and report the facts about our changing climate and how it affects people's lives

Planning strategy

Nailsea Action Group (NAG) isn't about stopping all new houses being built in the town it is about building homes for need with supporting infrastructure on the best available sites.
Formed in November 2015 its latest mailshot details the state-of-play and how we got to this situation of potentially being surrounded by construction sites.
It says: 'The attempt to deter Nailsea Town Council from developing the land to the west of Engine Lane, which was the initial focus of our activities, was not, as you obviously know, successful. 
'As forecast, the Engine Lane build seems to have opened the floodgates to significant speculative and successful planning applications. 
'These are chiefly the Taylor Wimpey development on Netherton Wood Lane, the dubious and vigorously opposed appropriation of the land behind The Uplands for housing, the prospective build at the top of The Perrings, and the proposal to make the land east of the Taylor Wimpey site available for up to 600 houses. 
'It is clear that there is probably no area of open green space in Nailsea that is safe from planning applications. 
'As North Somerset Council has been given a very challenging target for more houses by the government, especially in the light of NSC not having an underwritten five year supply, it is likely that every available planning application will be encouraged and subsequently approved.
'As a proactive response to this, Nailsea Action Group is looking to extend and expand its activities to the whole town, to increase its supporters’ list, to raise its profile and to raise money effectively to oppose those plans that are clearly not in the public interest of the people already living here. 
'At the same time NAG will support the need for more houses in Nailsea, but only where it makes sense to put them such as on brownfield sites, underused or disused industrial premises, long vacant and nearly derelict properties such as those around the Library in the precinct, or areas of scrub that do not even have an ecological value to the community.
'Accordingly, we have re-written our statement of purpose and position which, with seven aspirations.  
'To achieve these we have a plan to become more effective by recruiting more active and other supporters. 
'So we ask for your help whether by joining the core group, or giving some time to our work, and/or telling your friends and acquaintances further afield in Nailsea whom you think might be interested in our work, to become supporters. 
'We plan a modest annual subscription as proposed from the floor at the last two NAG annual meetings. 
'For this, supporters would receive regular newsletters, updates and meetings. 
'Hopefully NAG would be able to build up a fighting fund to be more effective in pursuing its aims and aspirations.

Learn more here https://nailseaactiongroup.org.uk/.


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.
Since then its objectives have broadened into campaigning that, if and when the planned additional 3,000+ homes (1,781 in Nailsea and 1,120 in Backwell) 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; and

  • they will not be built where it is clear that climate change will seriously impact on their viability such as in north-west Nailsea (See the revised Nailsea district map for the land projected to be below annual flood levels in 2030 which covers all the area in north-west Nailsea proposed for the development of some 600 dwellings).

NAG supports Nailsea Town Council’s (NTC) 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.

NAG would support the creation of a Nailsea Neighbourhood Plan, and an approach to planning that focusses on sustainable development which enhances the rural and urban environments of the town and community for the future.
NAG supports the Town Council in its quest for a good proportion of ‘affordable’ homes to be built. However, NAG questions their genuine affordability for the residents who want or need them. The almost adjacent areas of land off Engine Lane, Youngwood Lane and The Uplands are now being developed for house building.  In the spirit of its founding principles, N.A.G. is concerned at the prospect of the total loss of a significant area of open green space in the south-west quarter of the town.



  • NAG will seek to become an overarching/umbrella organisation that co-ordinates Nailsea-wide concerns over the future of its green spaces, and strives to contextualise and, where relevant, prevent their loss.

  • NAG will become a lead player in the local area campaigning for infrastructure, roads, public transport and communication that matches the needs of a growing resident population and any incoming employers to increasing job opportunities.

  • NAG will seek to promote environmental strategies that diminish waste and pollution of all kinds.

  • NAG will seek to promote plans to enhance mental and physical well-being not least via the three previous aspirations.

  • NAG will seek to become a hub for the exchange of information on the matters outlined above.

  • NAG will recruit a legal adviser.

  • NAG will establish closer links to, regular contact with and better understanding of the relevance  England (CPRE), the Backwell Residents’ Association (BRA), Claverham Residents’ Action Group (CRAG), Tickenham Road Action Group (