Council calls for review of greenbelt due to plans for 'detrimental settlement'
PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 December 2017
Nailsea Town Council is appealing for North Somerset MP Liam Fox to push for a greenbelt review to prevent thousands of homes being built to the west of the town.
More than 3,000 homes have been allocated for Nailsea in the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP), but councillors fear the proposal will have a ‘detrimental impact on the town’.
The development would include 2,575 new homes along with five schools, shops and community facilities. A further 725 homes could be added after 2036.
The council is concerned the settlement would become a separate community and the authority is calling for a greenbelt review which could free up land in the north and spread out the development.
In a letter to Dr Fox, town council chairman David Packham said: “The town council is of the opinion that a new settlement to the west of the town will be detrimental to the town and create a separate community with its own services.
“The council favours new development wrapping around the town, thereby still keeping the existing centre as the hub of an enlarged community. This proposal will require, however, a greenbelt review.
“Nailsea Town Council has for some time been asking for such a review to release land to the north of the town while designating land to the south of the town to be included as greenbelt.
“I am aware the Government has repeatedly announced its objection to greenbelt reviews, however there is a precedent within the West of England area for such a review.”
The town council accepts the need for more housing but says it must be infrastructure-led and based on a ‘comprehensive review of the functional benefits of the existing greenbelt boundaries’ before sites are allocated.
Town council clerk Ian Morrell said: “The town council is opposed to an urban extension to the south and west of the town. Strategically it would be logical to consider a fully planned and serviced self-contained settlement, physically separate from Nailsea.
“However, the economic, social and environmental cost of this is prohibitive in comparison to wrapping development around the existing settlement boundary and developing a new settlement adjacent to Bristol which is where the job growth for the north of the district will be centred.”