Council's money-making plans for Portishead and Nailsea earn critics

PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 September 2018

Jonathan Mock and David Newton were carrying out a survey at the field.

Jonathan Mock and David Newton were carrying out a survey at the field.

Archant

Plans to build almost 20 homes in an 'incredibly important' Portishead field have been criticised by a wildlife campaigner.

Last week, North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) councils announced their intention to team up in a joint venture to build around 50 homes in The Upands, Nailsea, and 18 in Downside, Portishead.

The former says the scheme, which would be carried out by BANES-owned Aequus Development, could earn it up to £6million.

But resident and wildlife campaigner Jonathan Mock says the Portishead site is ‘incredibly important’, being the site of the town’s first primary school.

He has also hit out at the council for cutting the field weeks before he was due to carry out a survey in an attempt to get the land protected.

Mr Mock said: “We had started doing a survey of that field and in a matter of weeks the land was raised to the ground.

“We approached Portishead Town Council to see if the site could be preserved for the community.

“The person who is spearheading the joint venture is aware of the over-development in the town, yet has decided to announce this development.

“There are many reasons why this would be a disaster for the town, but I think the school was the first to be built in the town.

“As part of the town’s history that field is incredibly important.”

Nailsea Town Council clerk Ian Morrell has also hinted development at The Uplands may prove difficult, with limited access and likely opposition from residents.

He said: “The area of land to the south of The Uplands has been an allocated site for a few years, so although the town council was not aware of North Somerset Council’s intentions as the landowner, its proposal is not a surprise.

“However, there are a number of issues with trying to develop the land and these will have to be explored in detail before any development can take place.”

Plans to build 44 homes at Churchill Avenue in Clevedon have also been announced, but this may not be part of the joint venture.

A decision on the joint venture was due to be made at North Somerset’s full council meeting yesterday (Tuesday), after the Times went to press.

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