Firm asks to build car park on green belt land

A 173-SPACE car park could be built on the outskirts of Nailsea to alleviate parking problems in the town.

GE Oil and Gas, in High Street, has submitted a planning application to North Somerset Council to build a new car park on land adjacent to the site, which falls in the green belt. The firm currently has 573 staff, and 92 vacancies advertised, but only 238 parking spaces.

The lack of spaces mean many employees park in nearby roads, causing problems for residents, and GE Gas and Oil has also had to move 50 employees off site to cope with the shortfall.

The company’s planning statement says: “The car parking is required to overcome existing issues in relation to the under provision of car parking on site, to enable staff to relocate back to the Nailsea site and to make provision for identified future growth in operations on site.

“Despite the introduction of measures to manage the existing car parking and encourage alternative transport modes, including car sharing, cycle to work and public transport, there is a critical need for additional car parking to support the business and car parking by employees has had to take place in surrounding streets.”

GE Oil and Gas is a world leader in advanced technology equipment and services for all segments of the oil and gas industry.

It is expected to expand further and require more staff over the next two years and bosses say an additional 173 parking spaces are needed to enable it to operate effectively.

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The firm wants to use the land to the north east of the site as a car park. However, the plans have provoked some upset with residents who are concerned about the loss of green belt.

Darren Lovell, of Barns Close, said: “So it looks like Nailsea will be losing 100 spaces to a new supermarket in the centre of town and we will be sprawling into the green belt to add more parking.

“Such development on the green belt should be rigorously defended by our community.”

A decision on the application is expected in January next year.