Better transport links are needed in Nailsea and Backwell, admits North Somerset Council officer

PUBLISHED: 17:11 21 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:11 21 February 2017


Proposals to build thousands of new homes in Nailsea and Backwell cannot take place without investment in ‘extensive’ transport improvements, according to a senior North Somerset Council planner last week.

Some 3,600 homes are expected to be built in Nailsea and Backwell as part of the emerging joint spatial plan (JSP), which outlines where and how more than 100,000 homes will be built across the West of England by 2036.

Of this number, 2,800 houses have been allocated for the west of Nailsea and a further 800 for south Backwell – which will increase the size of the village by more than 50 cent.

The emerging JSP states likely transport mitigations to offset the impact of the new homes would include improvements to Nailsea and Backwell Railway Station, a possible MetroBus link stretching from Bristol to Clevedon, improvements to the M5’s motorway junctions throughout North Somerset and a new link road stretching from junction 20 of the M5 to Nailsea.

However, the council’s planning policy manager Michael Reep told a meeting of the North Somerset Green Party on February 7 that transport issues needed to be properly dealt with before any new housing is built in Nailsea.

Mr Reep said: “It is a concept (at this stage) – the detailed work is only beginning to be done now.

“The roads and railway (in Nailsea and Backwell) are both very constrained.

“There is very extensive transport infrastructure which needs to go in before we even think about those sites.”

Mr Reep also told the meeting development needed to happen sustainably, but he felt the attitudes of certain housing developers were only exacerbating the country’s existing housing problems.

He said: “There has been a lot of talk about developers sitting on planning permission because it is not in their interest to build lots of housing – they need to deliver it in place with their marketing strategies.

“There is a housing crisis and we need to deliver the housing people need, but it is not going to change any time soon.”

Several planned housing developments are earmarked for Nailsea, including at Engine Lane where the town council has agreed to sell land to Barratt Homes.

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