Banwell bypass and new school plans progress

The Banwell bypass route.

The Banwell bypass route. - Credit: Archant

Long-awaited plans for a Banwell bypass, a new school and improved infrastructure are progressing as North Somerset Council finalised the terms of its contract with Homes England.

The council’s executive agreed to accept £97million in government funding through the housing infrastructure fund to build Banwell bypass and a school at Parklands Village earlier this month.

The authority has now finalised its contract with the government’s housing agency and released concept drawings and technical documents for the bypass to the industry to begin the process to find a contractor.

The funding will be used to design and build Banwell bypass and a 900-place secondary school expansion at Parklands Village, as well as to improve local roads and utilities, and for flood mitigation.

More: Banwell bypass finally gets green light as council receives £97m in Government funding.

North Somerset Council’s executive member with responsibility for planning and transport, Cllr James Tonkin, said: “Finalising the contract means the project’s teams can start to use this critical funding to progress designs.

“A lot of technical work has already been happening behind the scenes, so it is exciting to see these badly-needed and, in the case of the bypass, long-awaited schemes develop.

“We are already talking to organisations and individuals who have helped shape our thinking, and we want to get more people involved as officers start to move to more detailed design work.

“We expect to start conversations in the autumn with a full public consultation process to follow next year.”

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Engineers will now start to collect essential technical information and data, including ecological and watercourse surveys, traffic modelling, and ground investigations to start developing designs.

These designs will also be informed by community conversations and consultation with parish councils, residents, business, and organisations in Banwell and surrounding villages.

The schemes are expected to support around 7,500 new homes, more than half of which are due to be built as part of Weston Villages – Haywood Village and Parklands Village – and the remainder will be decided by the new Local Plan process.

The infrastructure should be in place by 2024.