Is the long-awaited Banwell bypass on its way? Masterplan says it must be built before new garden villages

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 October 2017

Could a bypass put an end to Banwell's traffic woes?

Could a bypass put an end to Banwell's traffic woes?

Archant

Two garden villages with thousands of homes could be created in North Somerset – but not until the long-awaited Banwell bypass and extra motorway junction have been built first.

The new villages could be created on land north-west of Churchill and north-west of Banwell, a housing masterplan has revealed.

North Somerset Council has come up with the proposals, called the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP), alongside neighbouring authorities in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset.

Across the West of England area, 12 towns and villages have been earmarked as ‘strategic development locations’ to take large developments – which in North Somerset involves Banwell, Churchill, Nailsea and Backwell.

North Somerset Council leader Nigel Ashton said in a joint statement with the other authorities: “People feel passionately about where they live and the impact new growth might have on their local communities. We share the value they place on their local environment, landscape and biodiversity because it is part of what makes our region the place we want to live.

“We are committed to this plan-led approach to provide certainty to our communities, in order to secure high quality, sustainable growth for the West of England.”

Banwell Parish Council has long campaigned for a bypass to alleviate the village’s traffic issues.

MORE: Plan for thousands of homes and Banwell bypass needs ‘much work’ after survey.

The report acknowledges the village suffers from ‘significant congestion’ and a bypass would be needed, along with a connection to a new M5 Junction 21a.

The report says: “Development will not commence until the construction of the Banwell bypass is delivered as part of the M5 to A38 highway improvements with connection to a new M5 Junction 21a at a location to be confirmed.”

Since early drafts of the JSP were released, the proposals have been changed from one garden village with 5,000 homes to two.

The Banwell garden village would accommodate 1,900 homes, and a new centre with shops and services to ‘complement the existing facilities’ in the village. Two new primary schools would also be built.

The Churchill garden village would fit 2,675 homes, with another 125 possible after 2036. Three primary schools would be provided.

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