Green light for Nailsea homes
PUBLISHED: 06:50 22 December 2017
Almost 200 homes will be built on the edge of Nailsea, despite major concerns over poor roads and the 'higgledy-piggledy' way in which the town's growth is being plotted.
Barratt Homes’ plan to build 183 houses in Engine Lane was approved by North Somerset Council on December 13. It is buying the land from Nailsea Town Council which seeks to stop the population further declining.
But the scheme was opposed by Nailsea Action Group (NAG) and people living close by.
NAG’s Antony Evans told North Somerset’s planning meeting the land was meant to be kept for recreation ‘in perpetuity’ once the town council bought it and should not be ‘sacrificed’.
Cllr Jan Barber said: “Infrastructure should be in place before a single brick is laid. No way can we cope with 180-odd homes on a very poor road before infrastructure is put in place.”
A M5 link road is proposed from that side of town within the West of England’s Joint Spatial Plan for 2016-2036, which earmarks Nailsea for 2,575 more homes.
Cllr Mary Blatchford said: “Nailsea is higgledy-piggledy at the moment – there’s no infrastructure and this is just added on.”
But town council chairman David Packham ‘welcomed’ the planning committee’s verdict.
He said: “For too long the need for new homes to satisfy the demand which exists has not been met within the town.
“Now, with the housing mix to be built on this site, there will be an opportunity for families and people of all ages and incomes to come to or remain in our town.
“The residents who will occupy these homes will help fill our schools, increase the vitality of our town centre, create further job opportunities and enhance the wide range of sports and leisure activities in our town.”
As with any large development, Barratt must make financial payments to offset it. These include £400,000 to Nailsea & Backwell Rugby Club for new sports pitches and £112,000 to extend the station car park.
Barratt’s planning and design manager Chris Dolling said he was ‘thrilled’ by the decision, adding: “This is good news for the many locals who have been struggling to find a suitable home in Nailsea. We’ve worked hard to ensure this much-needed project provides what local people are looking for.”
North Somerset Council received 181 objections to the scheme and eight letters in favour.