Council ‘let down’ after delays to housing development

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 November 2018

How the Engine Lane development could look.

How the Engine Lane development could look.

Archant

A housing development which was approved to provide much-needed homes in Nailsea has been delayed due to National Grid.

Barratt Homes was given permission to build 183 houses in Engine Lane in December last year after it bought the site from Nailsea Town Council.

The authority sold the land to the developer to enable more homes to be built for families in the area and to boost the declining population.

More: Green light for Nailsea homes.

However, the development has been delayed as National Grid has still not confirmed where it wants to dig a trench for the 132kV power cables for Hinkley Point C.

Speaking at Nailsea Town Council meeting on November 7, Cllr Clare Hunt said: “I want to put it on record that we sold that land as a matter of emergency because we need houses in our town and National Grid has held us up and North Somerset Council is doing likewise with the section 106 agreement.

“I think that’s quite wrong. It is clear houses need to be built and they need to be done immediately.

“We have worked hard to provide houses for our town and we are being let down.”

The development has also been held up due to a section 106 agreement which is being drawn up by North Somerset Council to set out planning obligations the developer must adhere to.

National Grid cannot confirm where it needs to carry out work on Engine Lane until it has appointed a contractor, which it was due to do earlier this year.

Work was due to start on the site at the end of September, but due to the delay Barratt Homes is not likely to begin the development until the middle of next year.

Town council clerk Ian Morrell said: “National Grid still hasn’t appointed a contractor, but we are expecting it to do so by the end of November.

“We are just completely dependent on National Grid, we can’t start anything on that site.

“There’s nothing we can do to put pressure on National Grid. It is a large, complex project and we are just a tiny part of it.

“I think we will be doing well to get Barratt Homes started on the site in the second half of 2019.”

As with any large development, Barratt must make financial payments to offset it, including £400,000 to Nailsea & Backwell Rugby Club for new sports pitches and £112,000 to extend the station car park.

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