Council agrees development plan for Nailsea site

Uplands homes

A sketch of the proposed homes in Nailsea. - Credit: Mikhail Riches

North Somerset Council has agreed to take forward development on council-owned land to the south of The Uplands in Nailsea.

On July 19, full council agreed a commissioning plan for the procurement of a development partner to deliver 52 sustainable homes at the site.

The Uplands site is part of the council’s development programme agreed by council in February.

In May, Nailsea Town Council questioned whether a thorough assessment was carried out before plans to build on the key green space in the town were put forward. 

Cllr Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council's executive member for placemaking and economy, said: “The commissioning plan will look to find a development partner through an open procurement process.

"We will prioritise a developer that embraces the quality and ethos of the development plans, whilst at the same time bringing the investment and expertise to deliver the site promptly and efficiency.”

Procurement is proposed to start late summer or early autumn, with a view to appointing in early 2022 and a start on site in the spring.

The programme seeks to improve the supply and quality of new housing and employment on council-owned land, driving up standards and meeting the needs of local people.

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Nailsea Town Council is 'bitterly disappointed' with the announcement and believes The Uplands needs to be kept as a public open space for leisure and recreation, particularly with the additional people that will come with these new homes. 

Jo Duffy, town council clerk, said: "There is limited public open space in Nailsea, and during the current pandemic more people have used the space to get fresh air and exercise than in quite some time.”

Cllr Mike Bird, chairman of the town council, added: “The Uplands has always been greatly valued by the local community as public open space and Nailsea residents have been very vocal in their defence of that status. The North Somerset Council decision document clearly ignores this.”

The Uplands site secured planning approval in February and will be a flagship for high quality and high sustainability housing.

The design team has been led by Mikhail Riches Architects, who in 2019 won the RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture for a scheme in partnership with Norfolk City Council.

The scheme will provide 30 per cent affordable housing and exceed policy requirements in relation to accessible and adaptable homes that are suitable for residents with disabilities.

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