In pictures: Campaigners join hands around Backwell Lake to fight road and housing plans
PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 January 2018
Around 600 people circled Backwell Lake in a show of solidarity against a developer’s housing plans and a possible link road.
Backwell Resistance was set up to oppose proposals in the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP), which lays out house-building priorities for the West of England up to 2036.
The group says it is concerned the proposed 700 homes for Grove Farm, in West Town, would decimate the village.
Many villagers are also worried about a link road proposed in the JSP, which appears to run alongside Backwell Lake.
Lorraine Hopkinson-Parker, who organised the family fun day at the lake on Sunday, said: “We are particularly upset at the proposals for the link road.
“There are otters and rare bats around the lake.”
The JSP documents say a link road is needed to reduce the impact on Backwell’s busy Station Road.
It says: “A new link road from the A370 west of Backwell would provide a connection to the new Nailsea SDL (strategic development location), connecting to an improved rail and transport interchange, and alleviating Station Road.”
Lorraine said the proposed road appears to cut through people’s homes.
Developer Taylor Wimpey has put forward proposals to build on Grove Farm, before the JSP has been finalised.
Taylor Wimpey says the comments it received during a consultation will be taken account when it is writing its final planning application.
Its application is expected to shadow the JSP process.
North Somerset Council says the JSP puts homes and jobs where they are most needed and in the most appropriate locations.
A spokesman told the Times: “Alongside the JSP, the four councils are taking forward the findings of the joint transport study which is designed to help the region meet the growing infrastructure demands which new growth will bring, as well as identifying the projects which are needed to tackle existing pressure on road and public transport networks.
“This includes providing public transport, cycling and walking infrastructure to reduce reliance on cars and highway improvements to tackle congestion.”