Hopes for new shops and restaurants in Nailsea
PUBLISHED: 08:00 14 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:22 14 February 2019
Nailsea Town Council wants to transform Somerset Square into a vibrant hub with new shops, restaurants and leisure facilities with thousands of homes due to be built.
It is appealing for the owners of key properties in the town to work with the authority to develop a scheme which offers ‘real benefits’ to residents.
One of the key sites the council is keen to see redeveloped is the Weston College building in Somerset Square, which has been vacant for a number of years.
Chairman David Packham said: “Nailsea Town Council is seeking, through the proposed Local Plan, to keep the shopping centre and High Street as the focal point for our town as, and when, the proposed additional housing is developed over the next 20 years.
“The west end of Somerset Square offers a fantastic opportunity to provide new shops, restaurants, leisure facilities and residential accommodation to complement the facilities within the town.
“With ownerships of the key properties in different hands, the town council is eager to bring the parties together to design and develop a scheme that meets the future needs of our expanding town.
“Nailsea Town Council continues to have an open door policy to meet with the landowners and their representatives – Weston College, North Somerset Council, Ellandi and also NatWest Bank which has an ongoing lease on the property it vacated last year – to develop a scheme that delivers real benefits to the residents and reduces or eliminates the liabilities of the landowners.
“Once again I ask these key parties to meet with us for the benefit of all.”
Weston College applied for planning permission to convert the building into a commercial space with 28 flats above it in 2015, but the proposal has failed to progress.
Weston College executive, Dr Paul Phillips, said: “The college has put forward a number of options for the site including residential accommodation and a learning centre.
“The land on which the site is built does have some joint ownership with another party.
“At present, we understand there are major plans for the redevelopment of the town centre and we are therefore constrained until that is resolved.
“The college does have, and has led, a plan for implementation but obviously cannot move ahead until the above is clarified.”