Work to start on Nailsea housing development this summer
- Credit: Archant
Work to build 171 houses in Nailsea is due to start later this summer after a housing deal between Barratt Homes and the landowners was secured yesterday (Wednesday).
Nailsea Town Council agreed to sell land off Engine Lane to Barratt Homes in December 2015 to attract more families and to provide affordable homes for people in the area.
Nailsea has a declining population and the authority is desperate to attract more people into the town. The new development, called Parish Brook, will enable first-time buyers from the area to get on the property ladder.
It is one of the first developments in the South West to include a scheme allocating a proportion of homes to local people.
Mike Bird, Nailsea Town Council chairman, said: “A fundamental part of the project is to attract young people and families back to our town. They are valuable to our local economy, as well as community life.
"The saddest part has been the delay National Grid has caused in the delivery of these houses - they should have been built years ago.”
The three landowners agreed to sell the land to Barratt Homes back in December 2015, and planning permission to build 183 homes on the site was granted in 2017.
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However, the number of homes was reduced to 171 to enable National Grid to have access to underground cables on the land to link up to Hinkley Point C Power Station. Work was then delayed while National Grid installed the cables.
The setback has caused much controversy amongst residents, with pressure being put on the council for the deal to be re-negotiated.
As all three landowners have a joint contract with Barratt Homes, there were legal, planning and professional costs to be considered. Any re-negotiations also carried a risk of the deal collapsing completely, endangering the Nailsea buyers’ scheme which is fundamental to the development and the wider plan for housing in Nailsea.
The council is following legal advice and pursuing a case to seek compensation from National Grid.
Parish Brook will offer a range of two, three and four-bedroomed homes, with a proportion being prioritised for local buyers. There will also be 51 affordable homes and a selection of one-bedroom maisonettes for first-time buyers.
The site will include a dedicated public open space, play areas, a new meadow grassland, a cycle path connecting the development with Engine Lane and the wider Sustrans cycle network, and a selection of homes will have electric car charge points.
A local resident said: “Having grown up in Nailsea, I’m keen to get on the property ladder but have only been able to afford to rent until now. Engine Lane is a great location to live and I’m excited about the thought of being able to own my own house in my town.”
The money the council receives from the sale of the land will be invested in the town. The council plans to hold a number of resident consultations later this year to share ideas about how the money will be invested.
Junior playing pitches at Nailsea and Backwell Rugby Club will be lost due to the development, but Barratt Homes has donated £400,000 to the club towards club house renovations, new changing facilities and alternative pitch locations.
Cllr Bird: “We are really pleased that the deal has been sealed on this important development for the town and its young people. The Nailsea buyers’ scheme is fundamental to the council’s long-term plans to provide 1,000 additional houses in Nailsea.”
Andrea Pilgrim, sales director for Barratt Homes’ Bristol division, said: “We are very pleased that this key milestone has been reached in our plans to bring much-needed, high quality new homes to Nailsea, alongside significant investment in wider community and sustainability initiatives.
“It’s important to us to support the creation of a balanced and thriving community at Parish Brook so we are committing to allocating a proportion of the homes to people who have worked or lived in the local area in the past two years, with the broader mix of homes suitable for a range of people from first-time buyers to families to downsizers.”