Developer advances 700-home plan, leaving council to investigate its options

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:42 03 November 2017

An aerial illustration of where the Grove Farm homes would go in Backwell.

An aerial illustration of where the Grove Farm homes would go in Backwell.

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A 700-home development in a North Somerset village has been brought forward by at least eight years.

The Times reported last week that a draft of the West of England’s Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) has been published, outlining how thousands of homes are being lined up for Nailsea and Backwell.

The JSP said Backwell would receive a 700-home ‘extension’, but it was thought house-building would not start until 2026 at the earliest.

Developer Taylor Wimpey has announced its intention to build those homes on Grove Farm, in West Town Road, and may submit a planning application next year and start building much more quickly than was anticipated.

MORE: JSP lines up thousands of homes for Backwell and Nailsea.

It will put its plans on display in the parish hall, in Station Road, on November 9 from 2.30-7pm.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: “The proposals include part of the new road infrastructure to help move traffic more efficiently around and away from Backwell and Nailsea.

“The plans also include a new primary school, much-needed affordable homes, pedestrian and cycle links, significant public open space and financial contributions to improve existing local facilities, services and other infrastructure.

“Taylor Wimpey’s plans are currently at an early stage. Feedback from the exhibition will be used to help evolve the plans further over the coming months.”

The Times understands Taylor Wimpey hopes to complete its consultation process by January.

Backwell Parish Council said it had been aware of the proposals for Grove Farm, but believed they would not be brought forward until 2026-2036.

A parish council spokesman said: “We have already had meetings with North Somerset Council planning and highways department early in the year, as well as seeking advice on updating our Neighbourhood Plan in order to investigate our options as we feel it’s only right to have a say in the future of Backwell.”

Parish council chairman Bob Taylor said last week: “We don’t mind gradual growth but we need to see infrastructure – schools, doctors, dentists – first.”

North Somerset Council will also hold a presentation of the JSP and its effect on the district on November 30.

It will take place in the parish hall from 4-8pm.

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